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Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

Honolulu, Hawaii
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Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

Promise not to hit copy and paste twice this time.

About 1 ½ year ago I bought the Pimsleur Language program. They promise to teach you any language in a few weeks. I downloaded the CDs to my iPad, computer and listen to them in my car, at work, any time I have a chance, there are 24 lessons. Figure about 90% goes in one ear and out the other 10% stick. Maybe even keep me from Alzheimer’s for a while longer. Don’t get surprised when you get there and everyone wants to practice his or her English. Do learn a few words of Kiswahili; everyone will bend over backwards to help you with a big beautiful smile.

Favorite Park: Serengeti

The year before, 2012 our first visit to Tanzania, I preferred Tarengire. The first park we went to, the first wild animals I saw and all those elephants. So overwhelming to this city girl who grew up (and still loves actually) the inner city and its concrete.

However something happened this time that I have a hard time explaining. Not so much to do with animal watching. More unfathomable* a liberating sense of space going on indefinitely.

At one point with no other cars around and not a tree in sight I asked Joseph to stop the car and everyone to shut up for a few minutes. I just sat there and had an incredible moment of neema. Imagining that this must be what believers might feel when they go to church. Please no judgments! *found word in thesaurus think it fits pretty well.

Most bizarre incident

Driving in the Crater we see what look like a train of at least 100 Land Cruisers. Everyone jumps up “must be Rhino”, well it was. Joseph proves how good a driver he is by weaving in and out until we get at least close enough to get a good look. All the cars were pretty stuck since there was no road left to turn around. So we saw the Big 5 once more, never even counting.

The big Hunt: Also in the Crater

Followed from beginning to end, the whole chase lasted an hour and a half and took us around several trails, again proving what a great driver Joseph is. No other cars around.

5 I believe lions, well first, 1 saw 7 cape buffalos. The lion alerted 4 more lions for reinforcement (no idea how they do that) and started their long dance moving in and out. Much later the lead Simba finally did his pounce. The buffaloes’ charged forwards and escaped. Bravo I was cheering for them all the time.

Well enough about the safari. Many more interesting and fun things happened. But everyone writes about things like this. Need to go on the next chapter. Please hang in there.

From the Crater we took daughter and hubby right to the airport to fly back to DC on Ethiopian Air. And we moved our luggage to Arusha Hotel where we planned to stay after a 5-day visit to Victoria Falls.

I had spent days making all the arrangement over the Internet myself. The hang-up: trying to avoid going through Johanesbourg SA. We were all set up with hotel tour etc.

Next morning left for JRO at 3AM for 8AM plane to Nairobi. We got on the Precision plane started rolling down the tarmac.

I am not making this up, just smugly padded myself on the back saying “ you rock old girl” when the captain came on saying “we have words from Nairobi that the airport is on fire so we are turning back. Maybe leaving later.

Spent half a day in the airport with a bunch of equally miserable stranded travelers until Achmed sent a cab to take us back to Arusha hotel. Lucky that’s where we were staying, nice room with TV so we could follow the developments in Nairobi and walk to precision air office several times a day.

When things didn’t get better in 3 days we gave up on Victoria fall.

Well they say, when you get lemon make lemonade. No way, not me, when you can make lemon meringue pie why not.

We had a little over a week until our trip home on Ethiopian Air and they were very busy days. First we became part of the daily scene within ½ mile radius of the Clock tower. Everyone knew us and talked to us.

One of the first days sitting in the lobby of the hotel having coffee, a young lady spoke to me about a shuka I was wearing. It was cold the whole time we were there. Pretty soon we had a conversation going. She and her husband are missionaries living permanently in Arusha . But dig this: Surprise Surprise they are from Honolulu, her husband went to the same High school as one of my daughters. Of course we jumped up and down, a wonder we didn’t got put out of the hotel.

Tracy and Mike have started a church for Maasais in the mountains above Arusha.

The next day was Sunday and she asked if we would like to attend their church. My SO looked at me with those eyes that I know to mean absolutely NO, (we are not church goers) I totally ignored him, no way was I going to let that opportunity slip away.

Next morning they picked us up in their car along with several people living in town, including an adorable Maasai baby that completely stole my heart. Their church can hardly be called a building, a corrugated roof on many poles and kind of a plastic roof over the alter part. We had been told to wear all our cloth as the Sunday before it was so cold they could see their breath. But let me tell you that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. There were 3 choirs, one a children’s choir and we all participated in Maasai dances and singing like our life depended on it. We were treated like guests of honor and had to speak to the congregation. The whole church thing lasted until 2oclock in the afternoon. Here is, at least to me, the biggest surprise: they never asked us for a penny for their mission. I know they do good work, they were waiting for a container to come in from the US filled with wheelchairs. In fact I was present when they offered some of them to Shanga.

After church they inviter us to dinner with another couple at a place called Family and Friends

Mike and Tracy have become lifelong friends. We love them to pieces and are planning to spend a lot of time with them when we go back next year. In fact they have invited us to stay at their house in Arusha.

This report is getting way out of hand, as I knew it would. Feel like I left half out. Will spare you my tips. HaHa

South Riding VA
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11. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

I loved your report. It left me wanting more -- what tips? I'm planning my first "trip of the lifetime" and could use all the tips you have. Thanks-chris

Coquitlam, Canada
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12. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

Thank you for the second installment. I couldn't believe it when you missed Vic Falls, then what came out of it seems even more unbelievable! It's wonderful that good things came out of a missed opportunity.

Look forward to more.

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13. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

So enjoyed reading this and look forward to your pictures.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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14. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

I GET where you're coming from! Spiritual even for the most dedicated non-spiritualist, meaningful, personally deep and emotional IF you let the spirit of Tanzania and her people permeate. Most people go there to become a tourist and they miss the most important thing...but you GOT IT! Tanzania is all that and more. I went there for the first time a decade ago and have been back 9 times because I went for the love of nature, but fell in love with the people! Going back in March and can't wait! Yes, I live in the U.S. but Tanzania is where my heart lives!

Honolulu, Hawaii
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15. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

I am overwhelmed by all the feedback from the trip report and by how many people read it. Qmamma you put into words my feeling in the Serengeti better than me,thank you. Still thinking about writing a little more plus some tips. Thanks and much Aloha to all.

Isle of Man, United...
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16. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

And some photos when you have time? Some of us are suffering.

San Francisco...
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17. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

Looking forward to your tips, aloha! But I'm leaving in mid-January! Lol

(still worried about that flight on Precision from Mwanza to Kigali and a squishable duffel!)

Melbourne, Australia
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18. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

That word SERENGETI!!!

There,s no place on earth quite like it!!!

Many years back and long before my 2010

African adventure i asked a well traveled

guy his favorite place in Africa and his

reply --NGORONGORO--that was 1977

So that was part of my safari ,actualy

after Serengeti but once that place

took hold of all my sense the crater

which is brilliant took 2nd prize

Been travlin a bit since ,74 but the

Serengeti is my favorie--there i,ve

said it

19. Re: Do I have a love affair with Africa-you bet #2

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