Thursday, January 17, 2008

Travel Update

First of all, yes, I'm alive and rather well. :) Perhaps the biggestproblem is that I've been Net-deprived for about a month.

Thanks to all the people who have sent me worried email about the Kenya situation; all was ok for me, and please accept my appologies for not replying in time.

Here's a short list of what has happened. I promise to ellaborate infuture posts.

  • Jinja, Uganda: some of the best rafting in the world, due to thetruly unique features of the White Nile.
  • Semuliki Valley, Uganda: avoid the Ebola outbreak, visit the pigmies, see geysers, travel with 20-something people and 3 chicken on the back of a pick-up truck
  • Christmas, Ugandan style in Kasese
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda: get mock-charged by a lion, break personal speed record for running 100m, calm down and go on jeep and boat safaris
  • Sipi Falls, Uganda: get disgusted by Ugandan tourism industry, get arrested and exercise negotiation skills
  • return to Western Kenya from Christmas break. Unknowingly wonder why buildings have been burned and there's nobody on the streets.
  • hear horror stories from town (5-7 dead per night while we were there) and evacuation stories from Kisumu. Experience living withKikuiu refugees, no supplies, and 6 liters of gas between 4 cars.
  • bribe a priest to convince bar owners to get out of their basements and sell me all beer they had. I cleaned the village, and got 27 bottles of beer (for 15 people), making for a great New Year's party.
  • evacuate to Uganda. Soon thereafter, the farm was attacked due to the Kikuiu refugees there. I'm now facing several weeks of forced vacation -- a very weird feeling.
  • find our way across Uganda to Tanzania, in the middle of an economic collapse (no supplies passing from Kenya).
  • cross Lake Victoria on ferry. A boat is never ever sold out in Africa; the question is the bribe needed to get on.
  • meet an American drug dealer, vacationing in Africa. See him get arrested while he's trying to buy something for own consumption, and hear how he talked his way out in 4 hours.
  • climb Mt Kilimanjaro! Be the first on top that morning, only to see your guide start to struggle with headaches and dizziness. Then go into hypothermic shock yourself; spend some time shivering on the bottom ofa cave, as you remark that you have lost all sensation and control in your arms. Fortunately all ended up well.
  • for the rest of the forced vacation, I am in Zanzibar, where everything is peaceful and touristy. The Indian Ocean is a fabulous underwater experience.

Well alright, everything is almost peaceful. I collided with a Sea Urchin, and about 2 dozen needles penetrated my foot and broke in there. It made for some pain and a numb leg for a day.

Not to waste the time here, I decided to go back to school, in particular scuba-diving school. The dives are truly wonderful.

No comments: