Sunday, June 26, 2011
June 2 - Our Serengeti Safari
1:37 pm edt
I rarely watched Animal Kingdom on TV because
it always seemed to be about animals eating its defenseless prey that was usually my favorite animal. I didn’t have
the stomach or curiosity for it. But here we are in the heart of Africa, going on our very own safari.
It is just the two of us and our driver Madeal who will also be our safari guide. It seems odd to have our own personal safari…how
extravagant! We leave Moshi in the morning and drive to Arusha, the third largest city in Tanzania. We stopped at a very touristy
curio shop chock full of wood carved objects. Most of it was beautiful and I might have bought some except it was quite expensive.
The same chair that I saw the men carving in Malawi selling for $70 was $850 in this shop. I didn’t want to look
at another thing, just in case I found something I couldn't live without! Our first stop was at Lake Manyara and Manyara National
Park. Our driver lifted up our roof so we could stand up and watch the monkeys and baboons without any windows between us.
We saw blue monkeys and yellow monkeys. These animals, along with the baboons are so fun to watch. They really do seem like
they are so much more intelligent than any other animal. They are not afraid of our presence at all and sit by the road and
preen and whatever else they are in the mood to do. It was mating season so the female baboons had swollen bright red fleshy
bottoms and the males had blue genitals. Yes, they were literally blue! Interesting how God made nature to make sure they
mate! “Hello, I am over here and don’t you like my color?” There were also some very newly born monkeys
and baboons, just days old. So Cute! At the end of the tour, I went to use the bathroom and disturbed a group of monkeys washing
their seeds and pods in the outdoor sinks in the standing water. When I opened the bathroom door, I could
see they had been rummaging through the trash, knocking over the can. I looked in each of the stalls before I chose one, to
make sure I wouldn’t have a guest while I was using the toilet!
As we climbed up the mountain range we could look out over the lake and see the flurry of pink in
the distance, a group of flamingos. We reached the Highview Hotel on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, just as the sun was
going down. Dinner was delicious and we were later entertained by a group of local singers and dancers. It was delightful,
until they started to relentlessly push their wares on us and it really soured the fun of the evening.
We left the next morning with mist in the air. It only got thicker
as we climbed up to 6000 feet in total fog. I just caught a glimpse of the Ngorongoro crater far below in a slight break in
the fog and then it was gone. What a tease! Once we hit the summit and were on the other side, suddenly the fog dissipated
and we were out of the green lush mountains and in the arid Serengeti. Our beautiful road disappeared and became dirt and
volcanic rocks. What a bumpy road! It was miserable! I was grateful that we were in a land cruiser and not the overland truck.
We signed in at the park entrance, took a break and watched the mice and birds eat the scraps of food left by the picnickers.
Don was lucky enough to see a Servil cat pretty close up, that was about the size of a bob cat. It created quite a stir! I
never did see it. I choose the wrong time to use the restroom. We drove on to our camp that was in the
middle of the Serengeti, slowing to watch elephants, gazelles by the hundreds, and different types of deer and antelope. We
were met by gentlemen with hot washcloths and shown to our tent. What a mansion! It had a rod-iron queen size bed, a desk,
a table in one room and the connecting room was a bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. The shower had a hanging bag outside
that was filled with hot water at night and the morning then was released by a valve on the shower head. What service! They
brought a pitcher of hot water into our bathroom every morning to wash our faces before breakfast. We had a dining room where
we all ate before going on our safari. It was so nice! Our first night’s sleep was interrupted by lions and hyenas making
noises all night. The second night I only heard the hyenas, but they were between two tents next to us so they were really
loud. I did feel safe in these very strong canvas tents and slept very well. We spent two days driving the Serengeti, looking
for animals to watch. We saw the big 5: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and water buffalo. One afternoon Don stayed in camp
and I went out with Madeal, our guide, on a game drive. We stopped on a low bridge in the path of an oncoming elephant herd
that munched their way to our car and went either behind it or in front of it, never touching us. I was a little nervous.
These mothers could get spooked with their young, and one swipe of their truck and our car would be damaged! But Madeal assured
me it was fine, and encouraged me to take lots of photos! I watched a baby elephant stand under her mother’s trunk and
as the mom pulled leaves off the trees and brought the food to her mouth, the baby put her trunk into her mother’s mouth
and stole a portion of it for herself. It was so cute. Another highlight was watching a lion stalking a lone zebra, drinking
water in a pool. The cat had to jump into the water to reach the zebra, which slowed her down enough so that the swat she
gave the zebra did not have the punch it should have and the zebra got away. I was very relieved since zebras are my favorite
wild animal, though I was very fascinated by the chase that was very short lived. That poor zebra must have run a few Km before
she slowed down, galloping a zig zag across the tall grassy plain.
One morning we ate breakfast in the dining tent and watched a steady stream of gazelles on their migration
to greener pastures. The stream never ended. There must have been hundreds of them, maybe even thousands. We saw hundreds
of zebras migrating as well, just not next to our camp. We caught them near a watering hole and watched for close to an hour.
I didn’t realize what skittish animals they are. It took them a full ½ hour to cross the dirt road to the water.
One would lead out, get half way, turn on its heels, kicking many times, and spooking those following it. Then another one
would lead out, get almost to the water, get spooked and return to the grass. They finally got to the water, cautiously drank,
jumping at any anomaly, as if there was a crocodile in the water, which there was, of course. Soon there were 20 to 30 of
them in the water, up to their bellies, filling up on water. This all happened over an hour’s time,
with many frightened galloping sessions from pond to the safety of the grass.
We saw our share of lions as well. We saw several she lions with cubs, or she lions lying around in
the shade. One photo we have is of three she lions in the shade of a tree, just a few yards from a herd of wildebeest and
zebras. The wildebeest seem to ignore the lions and keep going, but the zebras will stand and stare at the lions, then shake
their heads up and down to warn the others of danger, and continue to stare at the lions. It is the oddest thing. Behind them,
the mother zebras are hurrying their young on beyond the lions, not taking any chances.
We got our chance to see the male lions in the Ngorongoro crater. It
was an amazing huge mountain that blew its top millions of years ago and left a crater 22 Km by 19 Km. There are several rivers
and springs bringing in plenty of water and a salt lake in the middle that dries up in the dry season. The animals that are
in the crater do not migrate since it is in a relatively controlled weather area. It usually has a cloud cap over it, keeping
it a comfortable temperature. This is the only place to see rhinos in Tanzania and we saw two of them at a distance. We saw
the usual animals as well, zebras, wildebeest, deer and gazelle. The highlight, besides the rhino, were the male lions. We
saw two of them lying in the sun sleeping. Just as we pulled up, the one male raised his head, yawned a deep yawn, and went
back to sleep. He didn’t care that there were four car loads of people snapping photos of him and his pal! The next
pair we saw were on a ridge just above the picnic area. We had to eat in our cars (I think to make sure we took our trash
with us) but after eating, people were running around, photographing the hippos in the water, using the bathrooms and just
above us, not more than 20 meters away, there sat two male lions, probably amused at our inadequacy as wild beings to protect
ourselves. However, it is not the males who normally hunt, so we were probably safe, but logically, we
could have easily been his dinner.
were coming to the end of our safaris and Madeal asked us if we wanted to go on one more game drive in the Terangire National
Park or go for a hike in the Ngorongoro Conservency. We were pretty tired of sitting or standing in the truck and were excited
about getting some hiking done. Besides, Don was going to be hiking Mt. Kili in just a day or two and had done very little
to prepare for it. We needed a warm up hike. So we left the hotel at 9 am and walked through the maize fields, the brick yard
and past the coffee bushes to get to the gate of the conservancy. Our guide from the hotel was named Stanley and our official
guide was Dr. Mao. He was full of Latin names of plants and trees, as well as their traditional medicinal powers. He found
a cave that the porcupines slept in and pulled out some quills and gave to us. He also picked a variety of plants for us to
smell and a plant for my tsetse fly bites. He also let us take a tooth from a jawbone we found at the elephant caves. What
is an elephant cave? I had never heard of it before today. There are many minerals in the surrounding mountains of the Ngorongoro
Crater and the elephants will dig with their tusks into the soil and eat the dirt to get the salt, magnesium and iron. Eventually
a cave is carved out and the elephant moves to another spot and starts the digging again. It was pretty amazing! We had a
wonderful 5 hours of hiking, exploring and learning about the fauna and flora of the Ngorongoro rain forest. What a wonderful
place! This safari has been better than my wildest dreams. I am so glad that Don booked this trip and that we got to go!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Waiting for DHL in Moshi
4:15 pm edt
Doing business in another country is always
interesting and we were able to personally experience it ourselves in Tanzania. We needed to get two items from the States,
and DHL is the only carrier who comes to Moshi, one of the two cities in Tanzania that are close to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our bank
had discovered that someone in South America, had stolen our credit card number and was buying games on line. Our bank caught
it right away (most 50 plus year olds don’t play video games!). We ordered new cards and we gave them the address of
the hotel that we knew we would be at in 30 days. Just the fact that we had a hotel booked 30 days in advance is, in itself,
a miracle. Since we are planning as we go, we generally have no idea where we are going to be beyond 3
days . We had scheduled a safari and the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb so we did have an arrival date and a location for them to mail
our cards. When we arrived May 31 at the hotel, they did not have the DHL package with our cards. We tried to contact the
bank by calling on our phone but had no service provider. We tried to call them through Google call, a free service to the
States but they couldn’t hear me, even though I heard them fine. The hotel land line did not work so by simple elimination,
we used the hotel Skype line at $2 a minute, to call the Credit card company’s toll free number. It took 20 minutes
and 3 people before I got a manager who could authorize the cards to be sent to the hotel. “It will probably only take
7 days, 10 days at the most” she reassured me. We waited, rather I waited while Don climbed Kilimanjaro but no package
came. So here we are on day 10 and still no DHL package with our cards.
We did get a DHL package two days ago, so we know that they do bring
items to the hotel. It was a document from our roofing contractor in Florida who needed us to sign and notarize authorization
to repair the roof. It arrived in 3 days as promised and we promptly went to the bank to ask who does notaries. “What
is that?” they asked. We explained the process and they sent us to the police station. We were pointed down the street
so we followed the directions, asking twice again before we found it. We stood in line and before we reached the desk a policeman
asked us if we needed help. We explained our situation and he took us into a room that had a man sitting behind a desk, obviously
his superior. He chewed out the policeman for disrupting his work so we walked out and he tried to find another room, empty
this time, and assured us he would help us. All the doors were locked so he told us to wait in the dark hallway while he went
scurrying around to get a stamp for our documents. We struggled to balance the documents on our knees and read the small print
in the dark. The policeman saw our predicament and he took us outside and we used the trunk of a car in the parking lot to
sign our documents. He checked our passports, signed the document, put on the police station’s stamp. We thanked him
profusely, gave his some shillings for his service, that we are sure will not get into the stations cash box! We
asked for the location of the DHL office to mail the document and he told us to wait right there. He disappeared into the
police station and reappeared with his beret and billy club and told us he will walk us there. It is just a few blocks away
but we are grateful to have an escort. People stare at us, trying to figure out who we were, getting this special treatment.
The DHL office was so difficult to find that we would have spent many smiles and stumbling explanations, trying to find it.
We were very grateful he knew where it was! We got the new package addressed, paid the postage (only $60
compared to the small fortune of $122 to get here!) and then thanked our policeman for his kindness again.
We asked him if he knew where the IndoItalian Restaurant was and he told us to follow him. He warned us that it was
an area that was infested with pickpockets so we needed him to take us. We chatted about the politics of Tanzania, the US
and other countries.. We soon ran out of subjects we could discuss but soon we were at the restaurant. Again we thanked him
profusely and we exchanged email addresses. We were glad we had such a helpful policeman to guide us through town and we didn’t
see a single pickpocket. And I think he was glad he got out of the office for a few hours!
Still waiting for those cards to arrive!
Post note: We did have to call our bank again and they informed
us that a “Henry” had signed for our package 3 days ago. “Didn’t we get them?” There is no one
named Henry employed by the hotel, so those cards had to be cancelled! (I think that this is the third set of cards they have
had to send us!) We couldn’t wait another 10 days so we told the bank to mail them to our house in Idyllwild and we
will have Don’s mom mail them to us when we figure out another address. We are learning to have patience and that having
a second credit card with you is sound advice!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Africa: Not too hot, not too cold
12:34 pm edt
We have just bought
two tickets with the bus company we were assured is a LUXURY bus with a good driving record. I am so relieved. Will they have
a toilet? Will there be air conditioning? Will we have large comfortable seats? But alas, this is Africa
and we have learned to lower our expectations. No, there is no toilet, but we can use the “hole-in-the-floor-toilets”
at the roadside restaurants, IF we stop. No, there is no air conditioning, but you can choose a seat that has a window that
opens. The seats: well, the seats look more like chairs out of a dingy 70’s hotel lobby but they aren’t too bad.
Much better than the jump seats we sat in for 12 hours on yesterday’s bus ride. (My back muscles
still have not recovered!) The bus sounds like (it keeps dying in neutral) and looks like (hand spray painted over the original
peeling paint) that it should have been taken off the road twenty years ago. How old IS this bus, anyway? I
check out the tires and am pleasantly surprised that the tread is close to an 1/8th of an inch deep of so we hop
on feeling fairly confident we will reach our destination. We climb up the steep stairs into the bus. Someone is in our seat,
right next to the open window and she is not going to move! Humm. The other option is the seat in front with all the leg room,
but no sliding window. Window=moving a person and giving up leg room. Humm, think we will take the seat in front and see how
it goes. Then enters the holder of one of the seats we just took. He is not giving up his seat and neither is the person in
ours. Great! A potential scene before we have even departed! I take the seat behind with the open window
and let Don keep the leg room and everyone is happy. Not long after the bus rumbles out of town, Don catches a movement on
the wood panels in front of his seat. There are cockroaches on this ride, and I bet they didn’t pay the tourist rates!
We knew that there were cockroaches in the luggage compartment under the bus. When Don had put in his suitcase minutes after
me, he saw a 3 inch cockroach crawling across my suitcase and a chicken (Yes, also in the luggage compartment), was pecking
away at it. Lovely, a feeding frenzy going on under our floorboards, on top of our luggage! Hope that chicken got it and all
the others as well! Where is that chicken now? I didn’t really want to watch cockroaches clean up the last group’s
trash for the next 8 hours! It will all be over soon! What seemed like more than an 8 hour trip, we arrived at our destination.
We took the friendliest taxi driver we could find (Please don’t beg me to use your services!) and sighed a sigh of relief
when we saw the neon Hotel sign. We were shown to our room. It didn’t take me 2 seconds to strip off those possibly
cockroach infested clothes and jump into the hot shower. Wait, there is no steam! No, not another pleasantly warm shower.
I need a HOT shower. And then again, I readjust my expectations. This is Africa. Be grateful that it is WARM!
It is a typical hot day, but not
too hot, just hot enough to need one of those ice cold Coca Colas that are advertised on the side of the many little shops
along the road. The bus stops and the vendors carrying their wares in baskets on their heads descend on
the captive audience. There is an exchange of money through the bus window and the snack is sent up. The bottle of Coca Cola
looks chilled, sweating beads of moisture, causing us to drool. Ah, a cold soda! But alas, it is just cool,
not ice cold, as we have grown accustomed to it in the States. Just cool enough to sweat and then absorb the outdoor heat.
Oh well, it could be worse and not be cool at all. Besides, if it really was COLD, I would be tempted to buy several bottles
of soda. Then to my horror, I would desperately need a restroom a few miles down the road. Since there
are no toilets on the buses in Africa, using the great outdoors is the only option between rest stops. Mmm, I don’t
think I am going to drink ANY soda on this bouncy 8 hour drive!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
May 27 Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania
12:12 pm edt
It was raining hard by
the time we got to Dar Es Salaam. There were people every square inch of the road and the dirt walkways. The puddles were
becoming deeper, and the outdoor shops were finding any plastic they could find to cover their goods. The furniture shops
that set their finished beds, couches and chairs on the dirt in front of the shop were quick to cover them. My first impression
of Dar es Salaam was not a good one. For that matter, neither was my second one, a few days later, though better since it
was no longer raining. We paid a visit to the bank and money changers, had a Subway sandwich (we have seen Subway in EVERY
country so far, along with KFC) and headed to our campground. We took a ferry from Dar to an island just a five minute ride
across the narrow bay. The ferry was crammed with cars, bikes, carts, tuktuks, and motorbikes, mingled in with the passengers.
There was little or no order on loading and the same was true for unloading. It was a matter of who was the pushiest. The
way of Dar! We drove a short distance and arrived at our campground. Secure behind a gate guarded by a Masai draped in red
plaid cloth, it was obvious that there were problems outside our gates. Behind the bathroom door was a sign “ In the
campground = safe, Outside the campground = unsafe. This is not a joke!” The white beach was beautiful and the water
was knee deep a 100 yards from shore. There were not many people at the campground and less in the water. It was like our
own private beach. That illusion was broken that night when the lot next to us had a party from the time we went to bed until
5 A M. Luckily I was tired and didn’t lose that much sleep.
We said our Good Byes to Henry, our truck driver, and thanked him for
our safe travels and our Overland trip came to an end. We got into our tuktuk, with our luggage piled all around us, and rode
down to the ferry to cross over to Dar es Salaam. We got in line for the ferry to Zanzibar, a 2 ½ hour ride. Again,
it was who ever shoved the hardest got to the front of the line. Ugh! Boarding was chaotic at best. Our luggage was piled
on the bow of the boat which made it hard to give it to them. Luckily they did cover it with a plastic sheeting before leaving.
We sat on the top deck where it was open to the air but shaded from the hot sun. Don did have to find an open deck on the
bottom floor since it was a bit too rocky for his equilibrium. We were excited to see what Zanzibar would look like. It was
so different from anything we have seen in Africa. We felt like we were back in the middle east. For the
first time on our trip, there were more mosques than Christian churches. There was a definite Arab flavor in the building
architecture. Zanzibar had once been ruled by an Omen sultan, hence the Arab flavor. Our hotel was in the maze of the old
city and the streets were winding passages between buildings where no car could go. It was delightful and I wanted to snap
photos but there were so many Muslims, who do not allow photos, that I just gave up trying to sneak a photo. I am just not
good at being sneaky! We went with a guide and had a traditional lunch ($2.50), went to Livingstone’s church, saw a
slave holding tank, and visited a spice farm. It was great seeing a cinnamon tree, vanilla vines growing around their host
tree, smelling clove leaves, ginger, turmeric and a slew of other spices. My most memorable moment was tasting a fruit that
smelled like dirty diapers, but was tasty and smooth like custard. That is where my adventurous spirit
starts and ends! I will try any food! Our local guide showed us how he climbs a palm tree to get the coconuts
down. It was pretty amazing. He takes the leaves of a palm frond, makes a circular rope that he twists into an eight. He places
a foot in each loop and hops up the tree with this rope on his feet and his two arms, no straps or ropes for protections.
It is amazing! One of the athletic guys in our group gave it a try and didn’t do too badly for a
Swiss. Or an American, for that fact.
We returned back to our hotel and Don wasn’t feeling well at all. Montezuma’s revenge
or was it Sultan’s Payback? While everyone went on to drink a beer to the Zanzibar sunset, Don and I stayed at the hotel
to rest. Sounds like we are the old people……. which we are! I thought some baked bread would be a good dinner
for an upset stomach, so I went to the hotel desk and asked if someone could walk with me to the bakery. It was dark by now
and didn’t think it wise to wander by myself. The clerk asked an elderly man to walk with me to get some bread so I
followed him out the door. The man took off at the brisk walk and was hard to keep up with. There are no lights on these walkways
so I was busy watching where I was walking and keeping this man in my sights. We finally wound our way out of the maze of
buildings into an open market and there he found an woman sitting on the ground, frying up bread on a metal plate over a fire.
Her clothes were covered with flour and her bare feet out in front of her were filthy. I took assessment of the situation.
I figured that the bread was fresh and thoroughly cooked so how bad could it be. She made four round flat
breads for me and I handed her 30 cents. My guide whipped around and headed back into the maze, with me hurrying to keep up
with him. He easily got me back to the hotel and went on his merry way. I would have been totally lost without his help. (He
has been the only person since our stay in Zanzibar who helped us and did not have his hand out!) Don loved
the hot fresh bread and did completely recover from his bug by the next morning.
One thing that really bugs us here is the pushing, shoving
and cutting in lines, no matter who you are or how old you are. It is everyone for themselves. We are standing in line to
get our passport stamped at the border, and people shove in ahead of you even though it is obvious we are in line. I
thought that since I am now 55 I should have some privileges but no, not here! I will interpret their rudeness as assuming
that I am much younger!
We have seen that when a country has low employment and low wages, people get very creative to earn the much needed
money. Some of it is more socially acceptable to the western way of thinking and other methods are just down right offensive.
In most countries, locals try to cater to tourists because they create jobs and income. In Tanzania, they are so poor
that they literally hustled us at every turn, so much so that it made us want to leave and never return. If we didn’t
buy their product they were angry at us. If we asked directions, they would help us find our way , and then demand money for
their good deed. Or grab us a cab at an inflated price so they get a kick back. Anything they did for us had a price tag attached.
I realize that our paths, as tourists, crossed with the men who are hustling tourists to make a living and I am sure that
there are many wonderful Tanzanians who do not harrass foreigners for the sake of getting their money. It is so exhausting
fending off salesmen, taxi drivers and negotiating children and adults. On the one hand, we want to shout “Leave us
alone so we can make our own decisions, PLEASE!” On the other hand, we want to give them all the money we have in our
pockets, but we know we can’t give to everyone. Dealing with the guilt we feel because we know we have so much more
money that they will probably never be able to earn in their life, also pulls at our hearts. Ah, the hazards of world travel.
And do I have any reason to complain. I truly think not!
May 22 Hike to Livingstonia, Malawi
11:12 am edt
We had made a decision in Livingstone to skip
one more day there and spend an extra day in Malawi and climb a mountain. Henry, our driver, said he knew of one and so we
set off to Malawi, a day early. We camped at Kande Beach for two days, then on to another location on Lake Malawi. To get
to Chitimba Beach we had to cross a range of low mountains. The road was good, but pretty narrow. We met trucks coming up
the mountain road, two that were broken down. One truck had gone off the road and got his rear tire into the water drain system
putting his truck at a dangerous tilt. He was hard at work digging it out. The views were fabulous of the valley and lake,
once we reached the other side of the pass. It was so green with two rivers running through it. It was the first real crops
that we had seen growing as a collective.
Our night at Chitimba Beach was quiet. It was warm and Don and I slept in our misquito repellant knit
sacks. We woke at 5 am, ate breakfast and Dixon, our local guide, led us out the front gate by 6 am. We
walked through town and turned off on a dirt road with a sign that read “Livingstonia 15 Km”. Don and I did the
conversion and realized that we had signed up for a 20 mile hike. OK! The road was either dirt or rocks and was only paved
on the hairpin curves. It was hot, the sun beating down on us, even though it was only 7 am. We kept watching the dark clouds
above the mountains, hoping they would keep coming our way and cool us down with a little rain. It never did rain, but once
the clouds covered the sun, it was pleasantly warm, instead of sticky hot. We stopped at a few viewpoints, seeing the valley
on the side of the lake as well as the valley between two mountains. We could hear water and knew that we were near the waterfall.
We finally reached the outskirts of the town of Livingstonia and found the entrance to the waterfall. We were on the opposite
side of the waterfall so we couldn’t get close but the view was wonderful. It dropped a good 150 feet. What impressed
me the most was the two houses who were within 100 feet of the top of the waterfall. They were two simple mud huts, with large
gardens around their homes, overlooking the valleys and the lake below. And all within earshot of the waterfall. It looked
We left the
waterfall lookout and walked farther up the stream to a swimming hole. The water rushed through large rocks
before dropping down to the second waterfall. There was a nice huge rock to have lunch on so we all pulled out our lunches.
Our guide, Dixon, had only brought a small bottle of water and cigarettes but no lunch so I made him a peanut butter sandwich
that he ate slowly. (I forgot the honey that would have made the sandwich much more palatable.) Dixon is a pretty amazing
and probably typical Malawian. Both his parents had died from Malaria 4 years ago so he was raising his two younger siblings.
He had been going to school when they passed away, but had to quit school and get a job to support the family. He hopes that
when they graduate, he will be able to return to school. His little sister is still in elementary school, so it will be a
long time before he gets the opportunity. Being a guide on this hike is his only job and he made only $25 that was split between
3 other guides. He might not get another job for several more days. The people here have to made so many sacrifices just to
get their basic needs met!
lunch, a swim and naps, we set off once again to see the mission that Livingstone founded in the 1800s. We walked through
more little villages and finally reached the mission. Livingstonia boasts of a secondary school, a hospital, a university
and a church that looks like it was straight out of Europe. We climbed the bell tower in the church. It was probably three
floors high and some of the wood on the floors and stairs must have been the original wood. Some of it had been replaced with
new wood, but there were two broken stairs and several others that had rotted. I wasn’t too confident climbing those
stairs. But they held up and from the roof of the bell tower we could see the whole mission as well as Lake Malawi. The view
was pretty good considering it was a humid day and a bit hazy.
Our return trip down the mountain was the best part of the hike. We took trails through the villages
and crops, following the dried streams. My feet were killing me but the views were so wonderful it almost distracted me from
my discomfort. There were children along the way that were interested in our presence but didn’t shout “hello”
as the children on the roads. They seemed sadder. It is hard to see children not happy in life. The children asked for money,
a pen, or our water bottles. It bothers me that the children only see us as people to beg from but then, we do have more than
they would ever ask for. It is a cruel part of life. Makes me very grateful to have been born in the States and given so many
Our trail finally
met up with the dirt road and we finished our 32 KM hike on the main road. We took another short cut through more crops and
ended up at our gate. I headed straight to the dinner table, ate the delicious soup Henry had prepared for us and crawled
into our tent and went to sleep. I didn’t care that it was only 7:30 pm and that I hadn’t brushed my teeth. They
can wait until tomorrow morning!
woke up at 3:15 am to the shouts of men and the beating of drums. What was going on? I couldn’t tell if they were happy
shouts or angry shouts. What were they saying? Another person in our group was woken up as well. I heard him ask the security
guard what was going on. The fishermen had had a great night of fishing and they were coming home celebrating. Wow, it must
have been a great fishing night. I fell back to sleep and when I woke up 2 hours later, they were still chanting, singing,
and beating on their drums. Glad THEY had a good night!
We are leaving Malawi today. I will be very sad. Of all the African countries, this one is my favorite.
Good bye Malawi!
May 19 Malawi, the heart of Africa
5:35 am edt
As the countries get poorer, the salesmen
become more persistent. We crossed the Malawi border with some difficulty. Luckily, it wasn’t us this time. Don
and I had enough money to cross, but Christof, the Swiss with us, needed a Visa from the Zambia capitol, Lusaka, that we had
passed through several hours ago. He had been reassured that he did not need a visa so he did not get one when we were there.
Luckily, after much conversation with immigration, they allowed him to enter as long as he promised to get a visa in Lilongwe,
the capital city of Malawi. It took them 1 ½ hours to get the visa, so we had plenty of time to shop for our dinner
and get lunch. Don and I were cooking dinner for all that night so we chose a typical American meal; fried chicken, yams,
green beans and French bread. It was delicious, though the yams turned out to be sweet potatoes.
We rode at least 600 km, bouncing around in the back of the
truck, reaching our destination just before dark. Malawi is another beautiful African country. It has many green mountains,
covered with trees and grass. There are many streams that flow past villages near the road we travelled. The villages did
look a little more poor, yet there seemed to be more personal gardens of food and larger crops for selling. The children run
out, wave and yell “How are you?” “Hello!”. The women also wave to us and the men give us a thumbs
up or an admonition for not stopping at their shop. The villages on the road had shops a short distance from the highway,
lining our route. The name of a lot of the shops were followed by “Investments”. Not sure what that meant! There
were a few villages that were large enough to have a open market, with all sorts of items hanging of the frame of the hut:
meat, clothes, cloth (learned that the wrap-around skirts are called Shalong and are the proper wear for women.) They looked
rather fun to go to and explore but then again, we would stick out being the only white person in the market. I don’t
think we would have been able to have done any shopping, just lots of talking!
Our first stop was Kande Beach, a camping “resort” that quickly filled up with GAP kids
from the UK and Australia. I think that the camp site ended up with 6 trucks full of kids ranging from 18 to 19 years of age,
filling in time before settling into another 4 years of higher learning. A great idea, that wouldn’t be a bad option
for kids in the US. We made dinner, ate and fell asleep. Don and I have been going to bed not long after the sun sets. We
don’t have internet, most of the time, and there is definitely no TV.The others on our truck enjoy drinking after dinner,
so we generally join them for a short while. We have played cards, darts and pool but that is about all the entertainment
we have for ourselves.
I woke up
early, with the sun just rising, and thought to myself “Ah, a walk on the beach by myself would be so refreshing!”
so I headed out. I didn’t get but a few steps from the “resort” before I got several visitors. First Jonathan,
who really was nice, then another guy called Mr. T, then another joined called James and the list goes on. Yes, the young
men were very nice, but the end of the conversation was always about what I should buy from them. Ugh! After three days here,
I am so tired of being “befriended” so that I will spend my money with them. Don has a harder time resisting their
wooing. He bought a wood carved globe (it is very cool), a key chain, a printed shirt, paid Sweet Banana to canoe him to the
island 800 meters from shore, and I don’t know what else. Just out of exhaustion, I did not buy anything because I was
just tired of being harassed. I know that they are poor, which is the reason why Don spends money, and that they are so much
more desperate to make a salw. A days wages is about $1-$2 a day.
Today is Sunday and James, a villager who cooked our pig for last night’s dinner, offered to
take us to his church. He said he would come get us at 9:30. When we got to the gate, there was James, still smelling of the
spiked punch that he had over consumed the night before. He had remembered! We walked with him to his church just a short
10 minutes from our campground. The church had only 6 benches (no backs!), and no windows, with a quote on the platform wall.
There was a song leader who also preached, a reader of the scripture, who also preached and then a woman, who also preached.
They had a wonderful choir who sang from the congregation and they shuffled their feet and swung their arms to the rhythm.
Wonderful music, and songs we had never heard of before. Evidently, when Livingstone came to Africa, he brought the Presbyterian
Church with him. However, the original church in Scotland no longer recognizes them as their church, so there are several
African Presbyterian churches throughout the Eastern African region. They took up an offering for the church as well as for
refugees and poor people coming into their town that needed help. We put in an offering, and true to Don’s very soft
and generous heart, he gave everything in his pocket to the pastor when we left. I was so glad that we were able to worship
with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And it was so nice to be with the Malawi people just as they are, and not trying
to sell us something.
This afternoon and evening we went on a village tour of Kande. We first stopped at the chief’s house and sat
in their stark living room. The walls hadn’t been painted in years and were black from smoke. Some of the furniture
cushions no longer had cloth around them. However, there was an iron and a TV in one corner. His son told us about the Tonga
tribe’s traditions and marriage rites. A bride’s worth is 3 cows, or $900 and a young man must have this if he
wants to marry. The chief is chosen from either the men or the women, whoever proves to be a good citizen, and does not smoke
or drink. Interesting! The chief’s son took us to the clinic and then to the school where, of course, they asked for
donations. Both places had electricity, but they did not turn on their lights even though it was getting dark. Everywhere
we walked, children flocked us and we held hands with them. The kids are charming!!! The government provides the Malawi people
with free medical care and free education. However, the medical care for the town of Kande is a clinic with a doctor coming
just once a month. If anyone needs surgery, or has an emergency, they have to wait for the ambulance that services 100 towns,
or have someone take them to the highway and pay for public transportation to take them to the hospital 70 KM away. The people
do not have the money for the public transportation so many times they will go to the witch doctor that is nearby. The government
requires that all expectant mothers in their last month stay at the clinic so that they will deliver in the hospital. We were
able to visit three new mothers and their babies who were staying in a room with 6 beds and depending on their families to
take care of them. The clinic sees approximately 300 patients a day!
Education is free, however, the students must buy their own uniform and their
own school supplies…paper, pencil, etc. This school had about 1000 students with at least 100 students in a class,
a room the size of any US elementary school classroom. There are no desks so the students sit on the floor. It just didn’t
seem like that would be a place children would want to be but they love school.
After the school tour, we returned to the chief’s house and had
a typical dinner of sweet potato soup, kidney beans, boiled eggs and stewed tomatoes, rice, and spinach. YUMM! When we finished
eating, the children sang for us in their loud voices! I love how African children sing!! We returned home that night feeling
pretty good, in our tummies and in our hearts.
May 11 On to Victoria Falls and two more countries
5:12 am edt
We got up at our usual 6:30 am, made breakfast,
cleaned up camp (we left the hair from Dan, NOT Don, getting his head shaved last night) and pulled out at 8 am. We only traveled
a short distance and we were at the Botswana/Zambia border, the Chobe River .It is at its maximum and the river is over its
banks. We drive past the 3 km line of trucks waiting to cross and go to the front of the line. There is one advantage to being
a tourist; we get priority crossing. These trucks can wait up to two weeks before their turn to cross comes up. The problem
is that the river has to be crossed on a ferry. They have 4 ferries but only 2 are operating so the wait is incredible. We
stood by the shore and waited for our truck’s turn. I talked to the border police and asked him what he looks for. They
have problems with illegals coming across the border from Zambia to look for work. “No passport, no entry” he
tells me. The ferry is nothing more than two motors on a flat barge with room for 2 cars and an 18 wheeler, and space on the
sides for the passengers to stand. It has a ramp on either end so it could be lowered, if it worked, but it did not so when
they approached the beach he just gunned the engines and the ramp would slam into the river bank. A person would kick some
dirt to even out the difference in height and off the vehicles would roll. As we were waiting, a pickup pulled up to the docking
area, three women jumped out and started unloading the truck; TVs, sound systems, blankets, clothes, food and on and on. There
was a huge pile of goods. Soon these women were joined by close to 20 other people and they started dividing up the items
into smaller, carryable groupings. The women tied items into large pieces of cloth and tied it around their backs. The blankets
were taken out of their packages and shoved into plastic gunny sacks. Clothes were shoved inside of the blankets hoping not
to be discovered. Our truck’s turn came and the people crossed the river with us. Once we reached the other side of
the river, we were in Zambia and we walked to the customs and then immigration offices. We paid our $50 visa fee, had our
passport stamped and went to our truck to sit and wait for Eddy, our driver, to finish his more complicated paperwork. As
we are sitting in the truck, a young man approached our windows and asked if we want to buy some money. He sold our group
money that is no longer in Zimbabwe but we thought the money would be fun for our coin collection and we were glad to get
rid of our Botswana pulas. Can you imagine a 50,000,000,000 Zimbabwe Dollar bill actually being used? It
was only worth a few dollars at one time. Some of the bills were only good for a six month period. That’s inflation
While waiting, we got
to watch a Zambian avoid paying the customs’ tax. Two men were carrying a heavy bundle from the ferry boat. They turned
left towards a waterway instead of heading to the customs office. A mokoro suddenly appeared from the reeds,
quickly poled up to the docking area, the men ran from the dock with the bundle, wrapped in none other than a bright yellow
plastic sheeting, and threw it into the mokoro and the poler quickly disappeared back into the reeds. With very few guards
and our truck blocking their view, we had ring side seats to watch smuggling at its best!
Our first night in Zambia was spent at The Grotto, run by a man
called Grubby, a pot smoking longhaired white local. There was a large house that was used for the office and bar, a huge
lawn in front of the house, a pool and a large gravel parking lot for our truck. All this was enclosed in a high wall and
a 24 hour guard at the gate. There was also a bus and truck belonging to Bookbus.com. We pitched our tents, and had a short
intro what Livingstone offered. We listened and did our signing up for the various tours. The next few
days were going to be busy. Don and others in our group flew on a micro-light over Victoria Falls and the more adventurous
did bungie jumping, rope swinging and zipline off the bridge, over the gorge where the Zambizi River flows. They are truly
either very brave or just plain crazy! I watched from the bridge, enjoying watching the “boiling pot” and the
mist rising from the Victoria falls. The Zamibizi River was at maximum. An Amazing amount of water flows down that huge waterfall!
So much mist was coming up that I couldn’t see but a few feet of the top of the waterfalls. While the group was doing
their jumping, etc. Don and I decided to go to Zimbabwe, officially. The Zambizi River is the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe
and there is a line down the middle of the bridge as the border, but we wanted a stamp and visa from Zimbabwe. It was only
a $30 visa fee to enter Zimbabwe, but a $50 to re-enter Zambia. After exiting Zambia and as we were walking
toward the Zimbabwe border, Don checked his money pouch to discover that he did not have enough money for us to re-enter Zambia.
I did not have any cash but had some Travelers Checks we hoped they would take. We begged them at the border to take our Traveler’s
Checks and like everyone else, they didn’t want them. A kind Zambian woman said she would drive us to Victoria Falls
and there would be a bank in town to cash our TCs or an ATM to withdraw cash. We got a lift from her to town, just a short
distance and she told us that she would be returning to Zambia at 3 pm if we still needed help. She is the owner of “The
Spot” restaurant in Livingstone. We went into the bank and they told us that they do not accept Travelers checks! Don
had his ATM card so we tried that and sure enough, it was rejected, as usual. I just happened to have my credit card and we
gave it a try and I got CASH!!! We were so relieved. We weren’t sure what we were going to do if we couldn’t get
cash. We went and had a traditional Zimbabwe lunch, spinach, maize, dried meat in hot sauce and beef with brown gravy. The
meat tasted very gamey so I just ate the maize, spinach and gravy. Oh, yes, and a glass of mango juice. Yumm!
We walked back to the border, and went to the
entrance of the Victoria Falls. It was $30 each. It seemed like a lot since the Zambian side it was only $20 so we decided
to not goin. I later learned that the Zimbabwe side was much better than the Zambian side. Oh Well, can’t win them all.
Don had flown over it so he didn’t care that he didn’t go into the park. And I did get to go in the park that
night to view the lunar rainbow and walked in the water of the Zambizi above the falls.
The following day, we went with the book bus to a community school out
in the “bush”. The roads were red dirt and full of ruts, tempting the books to fall off their shelves. The book
bus has 3 volunteers who PAY to spend their weeks with the bus, sleeping in tents and working from 8:30 to 1 at village schools.
It is sponsored by a publisher in the UK. We drove through villages that were very poor, mud huts, people selling a few apples
or coal. Most of the kids waved and called out Kelly’s name, the only paid employee in charge of the book bus who has
been there for three years in a row (she spends 8 months at a time.) We arrived at the school, a community of only 15 families
but serves several other communities similar to theirs. The school was made of cement block with a flag pole in the middle.
The children hung out of the doors and windows, then shyly came up to the bus. This was the second time the book bus had come
to their school. The volunteers set up mats under the trees behind the school and took 25 students and taught their lesson.
I didn’t feel needed there so I asked the Principal, Emmanual, what I could do, and he suggested reading for the 5th
grade class who had no teacher that day. The school has two shifts, providing classroom space for the older kids in the morning
and younger kids in the afternoon. I ran to the bus to find an appropriate book…that was a task! These children don’t
have electricity, therefore no TV nor computers so their world is what they see and experience around them. It is a very small
world compared to ours! I did chose “Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type….I had to explain what a typewriter was,
and electric blankets, but they listened quietly. Since they were 5th graders I assumed they could read and I had
a child come up to read the “notes” that the cows typed. Only one child could read every word, at about a second
grade level. These children are so far behind in our standards but not that far behind the government schools.
These are the children who can not go to the government school because they don’t have the money to buy the uniform,
shoes, and school supplies. Since they live out of town, they also do not have transportation to school.
The children wore ragged clothes, some from the YMCA in Florida or somewhere else. Some wore old uniforms, ripped and too
large or too small for them but it was clothes that covered their body. I read stories for three hours until my throat was
dry. I was so touched by their wonder of stories, their determination to be at school even if their teachers didn’t
show up! The principal and his brother started the school and church for the community and are volunteering their time, a
full time job. Amazing men with a wonderful vision to better their community. We hope that we can help them somehow, someway.We met our new truck driver, Henry and said
goodbye to our old, Eddy. Wednesday we got up, exchanged our trucks, packed our bags in the new truck and set out by noon.
As we were packing, I noticed my glass frames had broken and that my camera was missing. I am so sad!! I left my address with
the secretary (was she a she or a he?) and hoped that it would be found! Tonight we unpack our bags and gave it one more good
look before I buy another camera. Where will I ever find a town big enough to have a camera store? Cities in Africa are not
easy to find!
May 9 Overland trucks from South Africa to Botswana
4:29 am edt
I am not one to go on tours, or so I thought
but we have done two tours this trip and they have been the highlight of our travels so far. The first was Galapagos Islands
and we are on our second, an overland trek from South Africa to Tanzania. So far, we have travelled a little over 1000 km
and it has been great. I would highly recommend not only African Trails but overland trekking through Africa. We are riding
in a truck that is a flat bed that carries 28 people. There are seats down both sides and there are clear vinyl roll up windows
and a hard top roof. There is plenty of room to walk around and sleep or watch the scenery go by. The roads have been two
lane roads and are in good shape. The only real danger is the domestic animals that graze by the side of the highway.(There
was a stretch of highway in South Africa that had a sign stating “This was a highjack area Do not drive at night”)
We are not talking about a few animals but groups of 5 or more every kilometer. We will be speeding along at 80 kph and the
driver, will slow down, then suddenly slam on the brakes. The donkey is taking his time crossing the road. Donkeys are not
the only animal: goats, horses, cows. The animals graze on these highways and when the owner needs meat, he will go find them.
I hear that driving at night is like playing Russian Roulette with the animals.
Our trip started in Johannesburg, Monday morning at 6 am. The camp ground
was very damp from the night’s dew. We climbed into the truck with our luggage and he pulled up the floor near the front
and revealed a compartment to store our suitcases. Once we had put the luggage in, he put the board back
over the hole in the floor. Then he pulled up one of the seats and there was another compartment for our day packs, shoes
and snacks. Slowly, 5 more people appeared from the tents nearby and we were all introduced. Chris from New Zealand, Christof
from Switzerland, Buffy, Dan and Brian from the UK. Buffy and Dan, 18 and 19, who had met on the overland, were already a
couple by the time we joined them, but the rest were single guys out for an adventure between work or holidays
.We were very excited about what our trip. We drove 400 km the first day until we reached Palapye,
Botswana. We pulled into a campground and parked. We watched Eddie cook dinner of hamburger with spaghetti. We set up our
tents and Don and I crawled into our sleeping bags and fell asleep at 9 pm while the rest of the group drank beers in the
bar. We were exhausted from our overnight trip in the bus from Cape Town the night before. It was surprisingly cold in the
middle of the night. Don and I had zipped our new sleeping bags together thinking how romantic, but it only gave us both a
very fitful night. We woke up at 6 am exhausted! That was the last night we slept in the same bag. So
much for that romantic notion!
and off for another 600 km truck ride to the Sedia Hotel in Maun. We arrived early evening and while Eddie cooked dinner we
set up our tents. We asked for another tent since ours did not zip up well. Everyone went to bed early and Don and I went
to the bar area to get on the internet. However, the internet was down and so we downloaded photos and charged our computer
batteries. This night we slept very well in our separate sleeping bags.
Up again at 6 am, packed our day packs for the next two days, locked up the truck and we set off in
a jeep. We reached the Okavongo Delta by 8 am and met our polers for the mokoros that would take us across the delta to the
island that we were going to stay on for the next two nights. Mokoros are boats (used to be hand carved out of the Great Feverberry
tree) that are only 18 inches high, flat bottomed so that it will glide over the shallow waters of the delta. These boats
only carry two people and the poler, the person who uses a long wooden pole to push the boat through the shallow waters. We
shoved off the beach and quietly glided through the lily-pad water. There was grass, reeds, white lilies, thorn bushe,s cattails
and lots of spiders and little bugs. I was in the front seat and Don behind me with Dutchman as our poler. It was a very quiet
ride, floating through the channels of water. We heard our poler call to the other polers and we changed
directions. He had heard an elephant and we were on our way to see if we could find it. We saw a tree shaking on an island
just 50 yards away. Then we heard a tree crack and he appeared, with the tree underfoot. How do they do that? At first he
didn’t see us then he turned and stared at us. More mokoros on the delta heard the elephant and were joining our group.
We had close to 20 mokoros and 60 people watching this elephant watch us. Then he shook his head, fanned out his ears, stomped
foot, and trumpeted. Dust poured off of him. Our poler slowly backed up the mokoro and told us to not make
a sound or movement. I have to admit I was rather afraid! The other boats that had joined us had senior citizens in them and
one of the ladies was very hard of hearing and had not heard to be quiet. With a loud voice, she shouted “Come on down
to the water, Mr. Elephant”. Everyone was trying to shush her but she couldn’t hear us! I wondered how brave this
woman really would be if the elephant charged us. He watched us a full 5 minutes, decided we were no threat and turned and
walked away. We all breathed a sigh of relief but were thrilled to have watched an elephant so close up.
Our campsite is on an island in the delta that snakes through
miles and miles of land. This water is not from Botswana, but from countries north of it. National Geographic did an article
about it and I painted my water lilies from one of their photos. I am so happy to be in this delta, seeing and experiencing
this water shed that I painted and never dreamed I would ever be here myself! The land is very flat and the rain water takes
several months to travel to the Okavagno Delta where it settles in the flat lands. The water is here for several months before
it evaporates and/or is absorbed into the ground. The locals tell us that is the highest the water has been in 40 years. Good
year to come. By the time we arrived the two women who had poled our supplies to the island, had already set up all of our
tents. We put our gear in the tents and the leader announced that we were going on a 1 ½ hour hike. We followed him
just a ways from our tents and we gathered for quick instructions. As soon as he said, “If we run into animals, you
run from Hippos but you must stand still and stare at the lion until he goes away” I knew that I was not going to go
for that hike! I think everyone felt the same way as me but decided to risk it anyway. I wish I had that kind of bravery,
but alas, I do not!! And they did return safely and they did not see a single animal!
We cooked dinner and sat around the fire late into the night.
We heard hippos walking through the water and roaring his throaty roars, probably scaring us instead of the animals in the
delta. The guide assured us that they were a long distance away. I wished I could believe him! I stayed
around the fire until I thought I was exhausted enough and would go asleep and not wake up. We left the fire and went to our
tent, but couldn’t stop listening to the hippos roar, imagining all the wild creatures roaming around, afraid they would
come to our camp. Don and I played a few hands of Canasta until we were totally tired and I fell into a deep sleep, not waking
up until the morning. Don however, had a terrible night’s sleep, waking up to all the noises of the Delta. We had agreed
that night that if it was a bad scary night, we would just go back to the truck; However, I felt pretty good in the morning
and even went on the three hour hike across the island. We didn’t see or hear any animals, much to my relief. We did
see a lot of birds and found some huge elephant bones, bleached in the sun. We made lunch and some went swimming( they said
it was refreshing but didn’t like the leaches, Ugh!) We asked Beauty, one of the polers, if she would
teach us how to make a palm leaf basket and Andrew, another poler and guide, would show Don how to make a miniature makoro
out of wood. Beauty made a beautiful basket, I helped a little, and she must have worked 5 hours to finish it for us that
day. Don carved a wonderful, floating mokoro in miniature that even foated. We enjoyed our quiet afternoon and later took
another mokoro ride to the island where the hippos have a water hole. They were not there, however, a herd of zebras and their
foals were there and they seemed as interested in us as we were in them. I would much rather encounter a herd of zebras than
a group of hippos any day. We watched until the sun set and we poled our way back to the island. We made dinner again, a huge
pot of pasta and shared it with the Botswanians. We sat around the fire telling riddles that they were very good at it. They
had more riddles than we did, the result of sitting around fires at night, since they had no electricity much lessTV or internet
in the mud huts! Then they sang us some wonderful local songs. Our favorite was the frog song where they hopped around the
campfire, pulling us in with them. We had so much fun. We sang to them “Row, row, row your boat” the best thing
we could think of. We had a good nights sleep, only hearing the hippos in the distance, the far distance this time.
When morning came, we went for another short
hike, seeing no animals again, but lots of tracks of the animals. I am growing rather attached to our little island. We got
back to camp, packed up our gear and headed back to the jeeps. Chris and Christof showed off their new found skills and poled
the mokoros back to the jeeps.
at the campground, we took showers, washed all of our clothes, drying them in the hot sun, got in about 15 minutes of computer
time and then hit the road again. We saw so many elephants from the truck, some crossing the road, others just meandering
through the brush, searching for food to feed those huge bodies. We saw warthogs and oryx along with the usual amount of cattle,
goats and donkeys. One thing I love seeing is a cart full of people being pulled by 2 to 6 donkeys
Most of the houses in the villages are round
huts with thatched roofs. The villages are small and as neat as a pin. Some have gardens with stick fences around it. The
children run out and shout “Hello” to us and are happy and healthy looking. Not what I had expected. It is nice
to see families who are happy in spite of how little that they do have. We might be the richer nation, but they are blessed
with contentment! We have a lot to learn from them.
Welcome to the website
It all started here, a little gallery in Idyllwild, no better place on earth. Or so I
think. My husband Don and I are on our way around the world this year. Watch my website for new drawings, sketches,
watercolor washes of places we visit.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know what
you think or if you would like to purchase an ink drawing fresh out of the sketchbook.