Happy New Year’s

A wonderful new way to start 2008- in Eastern Africa. A year filled with adventure, spontanaity and the unknown!

 I had a good new year’s eve spending the day in Boma visiting the Kilimanjaro Joy Children’s Foundation orphangage. I’d been 3 times before where I spent the night) and it was great to see the smiling faces of the children. They ran to greet us. So happy to have a surprise and something different in their day. There isn’t any structure in their day except for meals, which I find incredible the kids continue to entertain themselves day in day out. The creativity the children come with in toys is amazing.  How can children at home have all the toys you can imagine, video games, bikes etc. and say their bored??? Meanwhile, these children are happy to have a soccer ball to play with or a round wire to roll and chase! It’s all in what you have. The more you have the less you know what to do with yourself. It’s also problematic in North America we’ve become so disconnected with nature that a walk in the park or finding bugs and getting dirty is a lost form of entertainment. A shame.

I had a nice Indian dinner and then went to the local outdoor bar, Glacier,  where most locals and muzungos hang out on the weekends. It was packed. It’s a big outdoor area with a cool tree house and make shift swings and recently renovated bar and stage for live bands to perform. The band was playing covers but mostly reggae. I got a little dance in, I was happy!

I was jumping out of my  skin the moment we arrived since they were launching fireworks. Yes, fireworks in Moshi, Tanzania. I enjoy fireworks but not when they’re directly above me and being launched only 200 feet away. SCARY! Yes, fireworks in Moshi, Tanzania. I didn’t expect them but apparently a Dutch guy who lives here sponsored the display.  I was terrified everytime one went off as they were too close for comfort and they were not being launched very far into the sky. My friend, Hila and I, seemed to be the only ones concerned. Either all the locals are used to it, didn’t realize the potential danger or were already plastered. There was one firecracker that lit up the entire sky directly above us. I felt I was in an action movie-running for my life without anyone else seeming concerned.

I’ve been craving adventure and am ready to leave Moshi!  I met a girl, currently climbing Kili, interested in exploring the Rift valley in Kenya before she goes home. Iwas excited to have a buddy until I realized how unsafe Kenya is at the moment. They had their election Dec 27 and the country has remained peaceful until the election. It was a close call between Kibabki, current presisent and Raila Odinga. Odgina seemed to be the favorite. It took 2.5 days to announce the winner and riots and destruction has only increased upon announcement that Kibaki has won. It’s been suggested the election was rigged. I wouldn’t be surprised.  Hopefully it will calm down, but I imagine I’ll stay in Tanzania- exlplore Serengeti and Ngorogoro crater and possibly, Gombe National Stream and then head to Kenya.

I visited Uru waterfall with Neil the day before and was happy to be off exploring. Silly me, assumed that after our 30 minute dala dala ride( the most uncomfortable by far, sandwiched ina  cramped position, with the horrific smell of BO in the air and without any air flow in the van. When I saw my chance for the front, I took it. WHAT a difference!) it would be a 20 minute walk to a waterfall you could swim in. HA! I should know better. The guy setting next to me in the dala dala became our guide, though he barely spoke English. After walking up hills and elevation not on my side, another African guy joined us who spoke excellent English. We had too guides taking us to the waterfall, which was good and not too expensive. It took us and hour and half to get to the waterfall! absolutly incredible but I really don’t enjoy steep hills. Another reminder that I wouldn’t enjoy Kili, not to mention I pulled my darn groin muscle, again! hmmm!   Neil took a swim and I was leisurely about it until and then I heard a loud explosion-like a gunshot. I ran out of the water assuming someone didn’t want us there. Turns out kids (9-14) who saw us heading down to the waterfall, while they were climbing vertically up the hillside to the top of the waterfall, thoughtit would be fun to through rocks into the water. GREAT! We had started walking away when our guide realized it ws kids throwing rocks. I know they knew we were there but they denied it saying they thought we had left… If a rock had landed on me, I’d be dead! Maybe they wanted to see what a dead muzungu looks like??? who knows! It was a fun day, nevertheless.

Photos are coming soon!

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