I sit here staring at my computer screen searching for the right word for how I’ve been feeling since I arrived back in Vegas.  I was really feeling it this morning as I pulled out of my three car garage, drove past all the fairly large houses in my neighborhood, pulled onto the four lane freeway and drove past more businesses than I could count.  Cruising down the Las Vegas Blvd in all its grandiose and over indulgence when only a week before I was in a third world country where  people are really struggling.


I’ve never really thought about how lucky I was to have running water and not have to walk a half a mile or more to get water from a dirty looking pond.  I don’t think I’ll run my washing machine without thinking of the woman washing their clothes in the river, or turn my stove on and not think of the woman gathering sticks so they can cook their food.  In Africa, the woman work and work and then work some more.

Sometimes when I’m watching the news I’m not “really watching” the news.  The injustices that are happening all over the world just seem so far away and I feel so far removed from them.  I think we all sort of feel like that way.  We’re all so busy just living our lives in a sort of isolated cocoon, well at least I feel that way sometimes.

Thank you Africa for broadening my mind, making me more appreciative for all I have and opening my mind to some of the injustices that happen everyday around the world.  I’m not sure how I can help but maybe just spreading the word and starting a conversation is a start.




I couldn’t help but being fascinated by the Maasai people that we saw spread across the many miles we covered in Tanzania. It was amazing to see how this tradition and culture has remained intact even as modern day life swirls beside it.  It almost brought a feeling of how it would be if our Ancestors had been a little kinder to our Native American Indians and their way of life.  But as we continued on our trip I did find out more about some of the practices and beliefs of the Maasai and a few I’m still really struggling with. The lack of women’s rights and safety still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
A Few Facts:

• They can be recognised by the special red cloth they wear which
is called a Shuka.
• Maasai people live a nomadic life, which means they move from
place to place with their animals.
• They rely on their animals for food (including milk, meat and
animal blood) and walk for many miles with their animals to find fresh food and water. They get all the other foods they need by trading (swapping) with other Maasai people.
• Maasai men herd cattle and carry spears to protect their cattle from wild animals such as lions.
• The Maasai women are responsible for cooking, collecting sticks for the fire and building the home.

June 4, 2013

I could taste it in my mouth, feel it on my skin and see it trying to get inside our vehicle as we travelled over eight hundred miles throughout Tanzania.  I was joking around with my other travel companions asking them how many times do you think we’ve opened and closed our windows during our “adventure?” Tanzania did have some paved roads but it seemed like the majority were dirt roads and anytime another vehicle passed a giant dust monster would try to get inside and invade all of our senses.  We almost sounded like an orchestra opening and closing our windows in a rhythmic percussion.

And don’t even get me started on the whole tsetse fly thing! Here I was all worried about the Mosquitos and contracting Malaria, little did I know that these flies would think I had to come to Africa to supply them with some of the finest cuisine America had to offer. These flies are as big as horseflies but with a much bigger bite. They appear in the early morning and evening especially in wooded areas and near water. I had on long pants, long sleeves and bug repellant. Unfortunately I wore short socks and that little bit of skin between my shoes and my pant leg became a feeding frenzy for these mannerless tsetse flies. These bug bites were the itchiest bites I’ve ever had, they would literally wake you up from a sound sleep and no amount of anti-itch cream helped. One of the girls had brought some Benadryl so I took that each night so at least I could sleep and not scratch the skin off my legs. So my advice in a nutshell if you ever go to Africa spend the money on insect repellant clothes, wear long socks and beware of wearing sandals.






June 3, 2013

Waking up was tough this morning! I was so exhausted from the long journey, lack of sleep and not being sure what time zone I was on. Had I even slept at all, I wondered? Our driver Peter had arrived in the lobby downstairs and we were ready to begin our African Safari. We all kind of chose our seats in the vehicle and these would remain our “set places” throughout our journey. Richard, an avid photographer had brought his old camera for me to use on this journey. Last night he gave me a quick lesson on the different modes that would probably work best for taking photos on this trip. I’ve always felt like I had a good eye for photos even though I am very much an amateur. I was excited to chronicle our trip in both photos and as a travel type journal. I love to write and the idea of doing a travel type blog really excited me. At the time I didn’t know that the Internet would be such a problem at all the remote locations we stayed at. I wasn’t able to share the experience with my readers as I was actually living it. But to be honest I was too damn tired at the end of each day to even take pen to paper.


The cast of characters on my travel adventure are:

Peter our driver



Beverly and Barb (sisters)



Richard and Dusty (married)




My mother-in-law Betty (behind the wheel)


And all the animals…








June, 2, 2012

After what seemed like forever our journey to Africa had finally arrived. My mother-in-law Betty was kind enough to allow me to accompany her on this trip. My other travel companions were a married couple Richard and Dusty Namikas along with sisters, Barb and Beverly. Richard had researched meticulously and planned this whole odyssey in which we were about to embark on. My thoughts over the months prior to this journey were how am I going to be able to handle such a long flight, I’m a bit fidgety and go a little crazy sitting for so long. How will I handle over thirty hours of traveling? I was pleasantly surprised that flying internationally seemed almost like traveling first class although the seats were just as cramped as flying domestic. Once we had leveled off the service began by the flight crew passing out hot, moist towels to wipe our hands and add some moisture to our faces, was I at a spa I thought? Each seat had its own tv like monitor in the back of the seat in front of us with an array of movies, television programs, music, games and just about anything else to keep your mind occupied. We were supplied with ear plugs, slippers, warm socks, eye masks, where was I? And this was all free? Why did I ever fly domestic, they never treat you this good. They came through the flight deck passing out little appetizers, all the free alcoholic beverages you wanted, gourmet meals with metal silverware, am I dreaming? And no charge for checked baggage, I felt like a queen! Thirty six hours later and looking a bit frayed and exhausted we had finally arrived in Africa!




I had the best intentions of blogging about my African Safari Experience as it was happening and bringng you all along on the journey. Unfortunately my experience with trying to get and keep an Internet connection has been nearly impossible at all these remote locations. I am keeping notes, taking tons of incredibly awesome photos and will have to work on it when I get back to civilization, Las Vegas NV.



Huambo (hello in Swahili)

After traveling for what seemed like weeks the crew and I “finally” reached our destination, Kilimanjaro, Africa. We definitely looked and felt we were “rode hard and put away wet.” We were tired, sweaty, sticky, uncomfortable, our backs hurt, our necks hurt and we couldn’t sleep. I’ve still been racking my brain with how a shaggy rug had attached itself to our teeth during our 36 hour travel ordeal?

Tomorrow we head out for our first day viewing the animals, it’s hard to contain my excitement.