will preface that if I offend anyone for my ignorance I apologize in advance –

I was doing some business at my bank recently, right around Christmas.   I was sitting in one of those office/cubicles with one of the Bank Associates.  I noticed he had an opened cardboard box with a Menorah picture on the front of it.  I could see his Menorah on the top of his cubicle with all the lights on except one.  So idiot that I am I said, “Gosh, that’s a drag that one of the light bulbs is burned out, I hate when that happens.” He informed me that there is still one day left of Hanukah.  Just call me  I-D-I-O-T!

Dale knows me too well because as soon as I told him one of the lights was burnt out he knew where this story was going.

What Is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui (or Wind and Water) is the practice of arranging your environment so that energy or “chi” flows gently and smoothly through your home or business environment.

Alright, so many years ago someone at work told me about the whole Feng Shui thing. My typical response when I get jazzed up about something new is I research it to death and read everything I can on the subject. There are many dusty books scattered throughout my house on the many “things” I’ve become a bit obsessed with over the years. I knew my new home was in the correct alignment for positive “chi” in our lives. I think we even put coins in red satchels at various “correct” locations throughout our house so the money would flow our way (well, that didn’t work).

Fast forward fourteen years later and my husband is obsessed with always leaving the toilet seat cover down after he uses it. This is the only thing he even vaguely remembers about “Feng Shui” because if you don’t close the toilet seat cover after using it your “Chi” can literally go down the drain. God forbid, who wants their Chi flushed away! I am constantly
yelling at him because our cat likes to drink out of the toilet and he keeps insisting he left the lid up. I secretly videotaped this footage as proof and emailed it to him. I could hear him laughing across the house, “very funny buster”! What can I say we are so easily amused around here.

I can remember the sense of wonder I felt when we encountered our first group of elephants. All the exhaustion I felt from the multiple flights and lack of sleep just flew out the window, I think we all felt that way. I wanted to pinch myself so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. Going on an African Safari was definitely something on my bucket list and I knew this was also true for my mother-in-law Betty aka BiBi (her African name). I posted this elephant video I made on Facebook but I know some of you are not on my Facebook page so here it is again. I’m really enjoying playing around on that damn YouTube making slide shows and posting videos.

This next slideshow I did on my computer in a program called I-Movie and then uploaded it to YouTube, thats why it looks a bit different. I really enjoyed playing photographer on my vacation, I secretly envisioned I was on assignment with National Geographic. This is just a montage of some of the animals I saw and snapped pictures of. The slide show was twice as long originally but I had to whittle it down so you would not get too bored.

(Don’t forget to just hit the (X) if you see any Ads pop up in my videos)

I’m sorry that I have been such a “slacker” with writing and showing more photos of my recent Safari Trip, sometimes that damn thing called “life” just sucks up the hours in a day.

We, my group of six, traveled “forever,” well at times it felt like that. Our flight departed Tampa, Florida to JFK, New York to Istanbul, Turkey to Kilmanjaro, Africa. The total time including layovers was 36 hours, can you even begin to imagine that. My God, we were exhausted. We took a van from Kilmanjaro to a hotel in Arusha, Africa (about an hour and a half drive by car), it was the middle of night and I remember the sky was so dark. I could tell we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

We traveled over 800 miles in our Safari Vehicle, stayed at roughly 4 – 5 different hotels, toured 4 different parks and had some really delicious cuisine. Breakfast at each hotel was buffet style, I really miss those little baby bananas and that fresh squeezed passion fruit juice.

Our main hotels were Sopa Lodges (a chain) which blended so well with the natural surroundings. Most were located in the Parks or very near to them. One of the things that was really fun occurred at dinner each night. The restaurant staff would sing and dance throughout the dining room as we were finishing up dinner. Dale’s Mom Betty was so damn cute clapping her hands with a big grin ear to ear. Bi Bi is a nickname for grandmother and she was called that at every place we stayed. We stayed in a Tented Lodge on our last night in Tanzania. It was very rustic but we actually did have electricity. Our tent made me feel like I was on the set of the old TV show Mash, any moment I kept expecting to see Hawkeye or Klinger.

I tried to add some of the music from the CD I brought home from the Sopa Lodge but YouTube wouldn’t let me add it (that whole damn copyright thing). So this is as close as I could find within YouTube’s library, just try to ignore the ad’s (that’s why it’s free to users). Just click on the (X) when you see an Ad pop up.

This video just shows some of the places we stayed. Enjoy…

I’ve finally received all of our combined pictures that we took in Tanzania, so I guess I better get busy blogging.

I’m pretty new at trying to maneuver around on Youtube so bear with me.  Here is my first slide show that I’ve created showing all the beautiful sunsets we saw.  I’m still trying to figure out how to put some of the African Music that I brought home on CD to future slide shows.  What can I say? I’m a work in progress




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, 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.