I once read an article about us selfish westerners traipsing all over the world with our ‘do good’ intentions merely to parachute into a destitute area, offer up some colonial style assistance, grab that all important selfie of us saving the world yet again, and jet home feeling like a modern day hero. Whether those that are left behind have … Read More
I am a heathen. I haven’t done the church thing since the days when my mom would haul my brother and I off to Sunday school so she could get a reprieve from lego wars and tinker toy battles. I’m not opposed to church going – I mean, who doesn’t love a good sing along while sitting on excruciatingly painful … Read More
Close your eyes for a second, and picture Ethiopia. What did you see?
I bet you three bucks you’re wrong. I’m willing to wage such high stakes given all the people that scrunched up their faces and went “Really, why would you want to go there?” as if I had blurted out that I wanted to visit downtown Baghdad. And I get it, I really had no idea what Ethiopia was either. I had the Bob Geldof songs in my head from the Live Aid efforts in the 80s, I’d seen the heartbreaking charity commercials that make you uncomfortably change channels. Dry, dusty, dismal.
Despite my impression of Ethiopia, I was still desperately curious and inexplicably smitten. Ethiopia had been whispering my name for years. I can’t explain it – my travel cravings have always been based on a gut feeling colliding with my insatiable curiosity. I just knew I had to see it.
A few months ago I got elephant snot on my arm. Normally, any sort of mucus in my general vicinity is quite appalling. I can’t even stand to be around myself when I have a little sniffle. But in this case, I was pretty impressed about it all. An elephant, in all her majestic elephant glory, had just chosen me to … Read More
I was doomed from the very first moment I saw him. So, I know. I’ve heard it plenty of times, from plenty of worried aunties and concerned friends. “You’ll end up in a snuff video” they say. “We’re going to read about you in the news, and not in a good way,” they plead. But some things can’t be helped, … Read More
“I’m going to murder you in your sleep,” growled Rhonda. Normally, my travelling sidekick is a rather nice girl. Kind even. Apparently I had crossed a line. “Oh come on, it’ll be fun! What could possibly go wrong?” She peered over the edge of the 100m high cliff, the bottom of the gorge shrouded in a mist of spray, and … Read More
When approaching Lake Nakuru, Kenya your eyes become confused. You can’t quite tell the where the surface of the lake is, nor can you grasp the foggy blend of pink and white. And if your attention span is anything like mine, you are suddenly distracted by a passing zebra, gazelle or worn looking water buffalo. The lake sneaks up on … Read More
Anyone who has sat next to me for more than four minutes knows that this is one of my favourite places on the planet. Mtae is a teeny village high up in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. I can’t quite explain what it is about Mtae that captures me, but I suspect it’s a combination of things rather than one … Read More
I can’t explain it – I simply fell in love with this kid. Generally kids make me uneasy for I fear I will break them, or devastate them with the truth about Santa, or worse yet they might expect me to be a responsible adult. I was swarmed by kids as I traveled through Africa and I promise you, they … Read More
Mouddy, my trusty Tanzanian mountain guide, had just proclaimed his love for me. I, of course, debated this with him. Love at first sight, it seems the stuff of fairy tales. Prince Charming catches your eye from across a crowded room, and suddenly both lives become inextricably combined, tied together with passion, joy and “where have you been all my … Read More