A few weeks ago Michael had an ultramarathon race on Bald Head Island so we headed south to North Carolina’s Cape. I’ve never been to Bald Head Island before even though I’ve lived in North Carolina for over thirty years. It was extremely quaint. You can only access the island by ferry via the Cape Fear river. The Atlantic ocean is on the other side of the island and houses the state’s oldest light house.
Since I am gearing up to travel to Africa this week I am starting to blog here again to get back into the habit of sharing my journey. Speaking of writing, I have a new piece up on the Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists: Women Helping Women in Johannesburg’s Townships. This is a story I’ve been meaning to tell since I was in South Africa last year. Better later than never!
Hope you enjoy the photos!
Saturday will mark my fifth time going to Africa and, of course, I am ridiculously happy about it. I will be in Ethiopia for nearly a month planning a two-week itinerary for a global health fellowship program that starts in June. The last time I was in Ethiopia I visited Addis and Hawassa. This time I will be all over Ethiopia by car and by plane so the prospect of seeing much more of the country is bigger this time around.
Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa behind Nigeria. With over 93 million people, covering one million square miles, with over 80 ethnic groups there is a lot to see and people to meet. With such a short stay I will only just begin to scratch the surface of all there is to see and learn in Ethiopia.
I fly out on Saturday!
A few photos from my last visit to Ethiopia. You can see my full photo album on G+.
We don’t get a heavy snowstorm here in the North Carolina piedmont very often, so when we do it is a big occasion. It began snowing heavily on Wednesday and continued snowing through Thursday afternoon halting traffic and causing everything to close down except gas stations and a few neighborhood stores. On Thursday morning there had to be at least six inches of snow on the ground. We went out with our girls to play in it because we had the streets to ourselves! We walked through the snow that had been hardened by a top layer of ice. We even saw cars that got stuck on our downtown streets and needed a little manpower to get them going again.
And then, puff, just like that, the snow was gone! By Friday the temperatures climbed into the low 60s and the snow quickly melted and turned into sludge. Now there are only a few patches of snow in front lawns and piled high in parking lots where the snow had been plowed. Even though the snow didn’t last long, it was a nice change of pace. Last winter was quite warm and if my memory serves correctly we had just a tiny bit of snow. Looking out of the window and seeing snow everywhere helps you remember that, yes, North Carolina still has a true winter even if we only experience it every other year or so.
Have you ever gone through photo folders on your computer and come across some that you can’t even remember taking and definitely don’t know when or why you took the photos? That just happened to me as I was going through some old photos. Luckily because everything is so smart now there are dates embedded in them. Now I just had to figure out where I was.
Here are the photos that puzzled me this morning.
Where in the world was I to take this photo and why haven’t I shared it before? You know how I love planes!
Again – where in the world was this?
Oh, I was in Lusaka. I still don’t remember taking this photo, though.
I do remember getting there! This was such a great trip! Washington – Addis – Lusaka.
A few weeks ago on a wintry, rainy day I went for a walk and simply took photos. It was a nice meditation for me as the year first got underway. Getting out and enjoying my surroundings and playing with my camera’s settings was a nice change from sitting behind my laptop and typing away.
The weather has been nice here lately even though it was supposed to snow yesterday. The weather is quite blustery, but very sunny with blue skies. I do, however, love a cold, rainy day especially when it’s dark and cloudy. I think in the winter those are my favorite days because they are so rare in North Carolina.
In the next few months I will be traveling quite a lot so I am preparing mentally for that. I traveled frequently last year and it did take some time for me to recover – longer than usual. I’m excited, though, about traveling internationally again. I’m ready to dust off the passport.
I’ve said before that I am a real fan of beer. I especially love trying new-to-me beer in every country I visit. These are some of the beers I was able to try last year in Ethiopia (in transit to Zambia), Tanzania, South Africa, and Zambia. If you’re ever in east Africa be sure to try Serengeti based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I liked that one the best. You should also try Mosi, Mosi Gold, Castle, Kilimanjaro, and Windhoek. If I remember correctly Castle also has a dark lager. If you like dark beers search for that especially if you’re in South Africa.
One of my absolute favorite places I visited this year was Tanzania. In particular I loved spending time in nature with the Maasai and international NGO Oikos. Alhtough the terrain is terribly arid due to human fault and probably global warming, the landscape was still utterly breathtaking to me. Granted I don’t live there and don’t have to deal with the problems that perpetually arise from not getting enough rain. Selfishly, I simply loved sleeping in a tent under the full expanse of the night sky that was filled with millions of stars and then waking up on a beautiful, sunny morning to snap photos of native birds and flora.