Monday, September 26, 2005

A Special Ye Olde Poste of DeannaInUganda

This is Post #100 on this here blog, a Milestone Of Sorts, I suppose. Also, i'm going to finally get some Ye Olde Photoes up, since i haven't posted photos in ages. And so, our tale begins like this…

A long long time ago, way back in April, in a land far far away, Karin and Toby and I journeyed through the land of Malawi. (That’s the long skinny country on the right hand side of the Africa map, by the way.) Most of these photos were taken during the epic adventure back to Lilongwe, mostly during the several hours I waited on the side of the road in some random village, waiting for the bus to either be repaired, or for a new bus to come along:

What a bunch of characters!
Check out those kids!
The adorablest Malawian baby & A kid selling peanuts on the side of the road

A few days before, the three of us kayaked to this island in the middle of Lake Malawi:
kayaked here for snorkelling!
Also, fyi, I’ve personally had enough of the ‘ye olde storye’ trope, so no more of that.

And then a month or so ago, I drunkenly attended the Royal Ascot Goat Races (it was open bar - champagne w/strawberries for all!) Most of my photos from the second half of the day ended up kinda blurry, so here's the early afternoon:

This is Karisia (the only person i know who can talk while a photo is snapped and still manage to look great, moi, and Katie, at the beginning of the day. (I want so badly to reach into this photo and yank that pink dress up.)
Karisia, me, Katie at the Goat Races
Later in the day, people got a bit more fatigued. . Ahem, heather and ida.

And then, more recently, I went on a fabulouso trip with my parents. They arrived in Kampala late at night a couple of weeks ago. After a day checking out Kampala (I actually got my parents to go through the chaos of Owino Market), we then made the 12 hour drive out to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, in the southwest of Uganda. While they went gorilla trekking, I went on a village walk:

Selling the tea harvest (Tea is the big crop down there.)
A couple of observers at the 'Medicine Man' stop on the tour.
A woman carrying a basket and a baby.

After heading north from Bwindi towards Queen Elizabeth Park for a night at Jacana Safari Lodge, (thiswas one of the incredible sights along the way) we headed back to Kampala for a flight out to Tanzania’s Killimanjaro International Airport. Landing at Killi, we were whisked off on an absolutely incredible safari through Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Zebras in the Ngorongoro Crater

The highlight of the safari came on our last day, in the Ngorongoro Crater. We'd stopped to check out a small group of lions lazing about 50 meters from the road. Gradually, each lion got up, walking in different directions. Slowly we realised that lions were approaching from all directions.
Holy crap you're a lion, get away from me! (I must say, when this big fella camped out beside the car and started chewing on the bumper, i got a little scared. Lions can jump through the open roofs of Landrovers, right?)

They circled in, trapping a hippo in a small ditch. You can be sure that later that night, that hippo was done like dinner.
That hippo's gonna get it for sure

And Yet! More! Animals!
And a Tree.
And Masai tribesmen.
And a very colourful bird.

In addition to the amazing wildlife, we also thoroughly enjoyed the places we stayed. Let me tell you, when The Parents are footing the bill, the accomodation moves up a notch. Kusini Camp, the 'luxury tented camp' in the remote south of the Serengeti was "somethin' else", as the old folks say. In the middle of nowhere, isolated from the other hotels and human activity, the drab green tents feature absolute luxury inside and elephants giving birth (or being killed, hard to say) outside. Quite somethin.

Then off we were to Zanzibar. We wandered around Stone Town for a couple days, where i took a bazillion pictures of the awesome carved Zanzibari doors. Then off for a few days on the beach! My mom likes the beach!:
Mom likes beaches (My dad likes beaches too, but from more of a distance.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

i re-goat you re-goat we all re-goat

I went to the Royal Ascot Goat Races again. I've been here long enough that I've been to annual events twice. Krazee. I haven't had time to upload my own photos or to formulate opinions distinct from last year's opinions (click the post title to read last year's entry), so why don't you just read what the folks over at Kampala Live have to say. (That's the website I guest-edited a few weeks back.)

I must admit, this entry is a bit of 'filler'. I haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately - mainly because I just don't have a whole lot to say. Don't have much to say now, either. However, I feel it is important to give my Loyal Readers an update on my health: I have moved on from Evil African Illnesses, and on to self-inflicted health issues. I consider this to be a significant improvement! I've burned my finger on the oven, i've walked my right arm and chest-area in the direction of someone who was holding a very full kettle of boiling water, and I've boxing lesson-ed my way into a couple of scabby, bruise-y knuckles. My hand-and-arm modelling career is over for sure, but other than that, every thing will be a-ok.

Oh yes, I'm taking boxing lessons. Three of my friends, all working with Right to Play, had started taking lessons at the ghetto fabulous 'National Boxing Federation' and talked about what a great workout it was and how satisfying it felt, and convinced me to join them. I almost crapped out when I found out that they all share one pair of boxing gloves - like I mean the entire boxing federation shares one pair. So even though it is absolutely revolting to stick your hands inside gloves that are completely soaked with someone else's sweat, it seems a bit inappropriate to complain about it, when the country's national boxing champion thinks it's fine. (Purell Purell Purell)

Alright, also: my parents are coming to uganda this saturday! I've been stressing out about booking all of our activities, since everything needs to be paid for in cash, and ATMs have those dang daily withdrawal limits. (I don't do any of my banking locally; it's complicated.) But as long as that gets resolved, and my parents can make peace with the bumpy roads and often only superficially competent restaurant service and enforced flexibility (Eater:"But! I ordered 'blah blah blah' This isn't 'blah blah blah'" Waiter:"Oh, we call that blah blah blah" "But that's not what it is" "But we call it that" "Fine [sigh/shrug/eyeroll choice]") then I think everything will be okay!

I guess, when i actually sit my fingers down on top of a keyboard, I magically do have things to write about. Who knew?