Saturday, February 13, 2016

Guess Where I Am (Round Two!)

I'm no longer in Rwanda. Can you guess where I am?

In my new location, it would be offensive to take recognizable pictures of people, which means it's also hard to take pictures of, well, anything, except in more isolated areas. So, before I get to the pictures, I'll start by saying that I might have taken a picture of the guy who cut open a coconut for us to drink. I might have taken a picture of cars driving on the left, through narrow, sunny streets. I might have taken a picture of a small, beautiful mosque, surrounded by cows that each had a distinctive hump behind its neck.

In this location, I cover my shoulders and upper legs when I'm in public, out of respect. The population is mostly Muslim and many men wear a fez. People keep trying to match Dave up with me or Stephanie, assuming one of us must be his wife; it doesn't occur to them that we are simply three traveling friends, maybe even with significant others at home. A cheerful man asked me yesterday, when I was wandering around with Dave, "Where are your babies?" Ha!

In this location, it is HOT HOT HOT, but the spot we've chosen is deliciously windy. Yesterday I went swimming in water as warm as a bath.

Ready for the pictures?

On  the way to this location, we had a layover in Nairobi, where we were handed raincoats
before walking across the tarmac in the pouring rain. Some travelers at our gate, however, had come prepared.

This lovely light fixture was in our hotel the first night.

And these flowers at our location thereafter.

Moored along the beach...

Requisite shoreline picture...

The women in these pictures...

...are harvesting seaweed. (Click any picture to embiggen.)

Good place to store the tools.

The tides here are extreme. Here's this tree at low tide...

...and at high.

Sand crabs scuttle past now and then.

When I mentioned offhandedly, to a person native to this place, that
my legs were sore, she asked, "Did you climb the mountain?"

Does it help to play the license plate game again? It's tricky though, because this time, the letter doesn't stand for a nation!


Next, let's get a closer look at that boat....

Did you guess that I'm on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar?
:o) :o) :o) 

Oops re: gorilla post

Note to anyone who was recently looking for my gorilla post and couldn't find it: I accidentally deleted it today. Now it's back, with a different URL:

This lifesaver of a blogpost helped me retrieve my otherwise irretrievable post. In case you're ever in a place with terrible wi-fi and discover, after spending hours uploading and organizing pictures, that you've deleted all your work, go here:

Another Adventure in Rwanda

First we climbed to the volcano.

Jerome and Julie were our guides.

Julie found a chameleon and told us it meant good luck for our adventure.

Then, we entered...

...the jungle.

What's that?



Then we climbed back down.

It would be safe to say we were very happy.

Thank you, mountain gorillas of Rwanda, for this wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Butaro to Musanze: Views!

The views while driving around Rwanda are extraordinary.

Stephanie stopped the car so I could get out. Dave took a picture of me taking a picture (the picture above) :o).

We drove to Butaro, in Burera District in the north, where Stephanie works as a doctor.
This is an out-of-the-way part of Rwanda we're lucky to get to see, generally not a tourist destination.
This is one of the Partners in Health residences, where we got to stay...

...with views.

I woke up at sunrise to take some pictures. Dave was already up.

I worked on my revision outside...

with a view.

We walked to the hospital for a visit...

...with views on the way.

Then, we drove to Musanze.

The drive is along dusty, windy dirt roads built into the edges of the mountains,
and the views of Lake Burera are spectacular.

Look closely; there's a volcano in this picture. Rwanda's got lots of volcanoes.

Stephanie is an intrepid driver, IMO. To the left, beyond those trees, is basically a sheer drop.

One more lake view...

And finally, in Musanze, we reached the Hotel Muhabura, where Dian Fossey used to like to stay.
Consider this picture a hint of what my next post is going to be about :o)