Happy New Year Friends! I hope 2010 brings a job, money and love, but if nothing else at least it'll be an adventure! : )
look up at the sky tomorrow...it'll be a full moon
(i cheat, the fireworks are from 4th of july, hehehe)
I experienced amazing eco-friendly tents and lodges, saw an amazing array of wildlife, went to a local spice farm in Zanzibar, and met a Masaai family who invited us into their hut. The best moment was watching the sunset with a glass of wine from our tent, overlooking the wildebeest migration with background music provided by hippos. The wildebeest migration was breathtaking. Endless plains filled with wildebeest and zebra. I quickly learned that this annual phenomenon is one of nature's remaining wonders. I didn't see a kill or a birth but this site quickly made up for it. I'm still amazed how they just know when to start moving and where to move towards to get water. The beauty of nature.
I also saw a just born Thomson Gazelle running around in circles, lions eyeing zebras but never making the kill, beautiful birds, the endangered (and highly protected) black rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, hyenas, and so much more. I've decided that zebras are the most photogenic animals and lions are lazy and rather boring : )
Though the lodges and tents blended in with the environment, allowed animals to pass by without any harm, and ran primarily on solar, I still couldn't help but feel a little negative about seeing the number of jeeps running around the lands. The animals are used to seeing them, but still ran away when a jeep came, EXCEPT in Ngorongoro where they are so used to seeing jeeps they don't move when one tries to pass. Ngorongoro remains a conservation area not a national park meaning Masaai families can build their huts and graze their cattle within the area and sadly in moments of danger wildlife are often killed by the Masaai. Scientists are trying to ban Masaais from grazing their cattle alongside the wildlife because of the obvious risks of spreading diseases from domesticated animals. We learned from our guide that they would eventually like to turn Ngorongoro into a National Park allowing for more conservation and protection. But like always, politics rears its ugly head and the politicians don't want to loose their votes and thus, continue to allow Masaai pastoralists to occupy the land.
All and all it was a trip of lifetime and highly recommended. Here are my top 5 shots of the wild life.
I GOT MY PERMIT WITHOUT PAYING A SINGLE BRIBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I played clean and won a 3 month battle with immigration and even got them to admit they made a mistake. *phew* now I can breathe.
Am rushing off to the aiport to attend a summit with VAW survivors, will be moving to say the least.
A 2 week vacay with my mom. I'm really fortunate to have her come here. I'll be back near Christmas with photos of hippos, giraffes, lions, zebra, birds of all kinds and so much more (at least I hope).
I got positive feedback on my latest thesis submission. "rich conclusions" hehehe Things are looking brighter, for the moment. Knock on wood.
Peace out everyone!