Showing posts from February, 2010

Not that I'm complaining

First things first, I went back and added pictures to the last few posts, so check those out.

It's been a busy few weeks of lounging on the beach and I wish I could say it's all been perfect. It takes a lot to shake me these days, most anything I can just laugh off. I had been thinking lately that I don't seem to have interesting "overcoming adversity" travel stories anymore, and that everything just goes ok all the time. Then I thought about it and it's not that I'm not having issues, it's just that I'm not really impressed by them anymore.

If anything I just expect them. There is one thing however that still gives me problems, and being a child of the rains of Oregon it is embarrassing to admit. I am getting my ass kicked by the rains. At every turn I just get completely slapped in the face and kicked when I'm down by this damn weather. There are two important considerations to keep in mind:

1) this is no normal everyday drizzle. Rain in Africa…

Periodic Updates from the Lost One

(Actually Lake Kivu, stolen from the facebook page of a certain tall German)
Let's see, I got this one Sunday morning not too long ago: Sitting in a bar on the beach drinking kuche kuche beer and listening to a rasta with a fiddle sing sweet songs about fishing and hiv. And a few days later, right as I was getting home from work:
Camping on the beach, sunrise over the water. Would be perfect except there's a damn monsoon and my tent is about as 'waterproof' as a silk hankie. It reminds me of when I was in college in Vermont and my other brother would call me in February to tell me that he was biking to work because it was supposed to hit seventy that day in Santa Barbara.

Dispatch from nowhere

Posting is becoming a bit of a struggle these days, though I'm doing my best to outfox this Malawian infrastructure. I won't be able to post any pictures for a while unfortunately, but as soon as I can I will.

I am still working my way down the lake one beach at a time, living the dream to the best of my abilities. This country is kind of a strange can of worms so far. It's incredibly poor, noticeably much more so than Uganda or anywhere else I've been- I think I heard that it's the 8th poorest country in Africa (so one would assume it must be up there on the list worldwide). There is almost no infrastructure, towns are tiny collections of shops with little inside, and people are just kind of ragged. On the other hand, it is somehow incredibly touristy and expensive. Mzungu price is in full force here and people seem offended when I try and tell them I won't pay 4x the real price. Everywhere I go there are a hundred local kids and men chasing me to try and sell…

Our Lost Little Lamb

in zanzibar kickin around eating coconuts and lobster claws on the beach. tell mom and dad i'm ok. if not back soon avenge deathSince I now live vicariously through Luke's posts as much as any one else, if not more, I have been taking the lack of updates pretty hard. Well, lucky for you, me and the whole wide internets, I'm gonna step in and help the little fella, who's having some internet connection issues. Don't get confused though, people. I am not back in Afrika, however much I would rather to be. The internet in Malawi is awful. This is the third town I've stopped at and the first with any internet at all. No cell reception outside of towns either. This country is the VILLAGE. Lake Malawi is amazing though, bathwater with waves and golden beaches.That's about all he gave me to work with. So to round this thing out, I'll just include a hil-arious joke that some mysterious person forwarded me about the pending/considered/whatever homosexuality law in…

Inland beach bumming

I am now in Malawi, the train in Tanzania was utterly problem free (unfortunately?). Malawi is a nice place, pretty similar to Uganda really. It's very green like Uganda with subsistence crops everywhere, everyone speaks at least basic English like in Uganda, and most importantly people are unbelievably friendly like in Uganda. Had I only been to these two places I'd probably generalize that Africa is just like this, but it's not always the case. Kenya was surprisingly devoid of subsistence farming, and Tanzanians neither spoke much English or were overly interested in me. Not that it's a bad place, but it just didn't have the same welcoming feeling.

Malawi so far is an interesting place. It's really undeveloped, no Internet cafes or even cell phone reception outside of reasonable sized towns- at least in the north where I am so far. On the other hand there are amazing backpackers campsites everywhere, much nicer and more common than in most of East Africa. This…

Another week, another amazing trip.

I just arrived back on the mainland from a week or so beach getaway in Zanzibar with Caitlin. It was amazing: turquoise water, white sand, deadly hot African sun. It was everything a beach vacation is supposed to be, and not much else- which obviously is a great thing. We sat on the beach, we snorkeled a bit and we ate a lot of very fresh very cheap seafood. Anytime you can buy lobster claws from street vendors, you know you're doing something right. Aside from a brief bout with as sick-as-I've-ever-been food poisoning (Streetfood Special), it was perfect. That only lasted about 8 hours, so it was fine. Very ok.

It has been strange to be in such extreme tourist central areas, very very unlike being in "real" Africa. It's odd because everyone is so used to crappy, rude white tourists that everyone who deals with tourists just kind of ignores or preys on you and it becomes kind of just like every other tourist place. It's unfortunate because the majority of peo…