Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my 2009 in review

2009: survived the boston winter; had a fabulous, sexy haircut; went a week without showering; brought a guy home to my parents; moved to tanzania; cough cough; became great friends with lier; saw lion king live; had a crazy, bad fight with mother; made up with mother and became closer; unburdened myself from past secrets; became great friends with tamika; broke up, got back together, and broke up again with the same guy; went to vegas; ate fried chicken, mmm; started the year with a kiss; bought blue mac eye shadow; went to nyc!; bought orange shoes; bought purple shoes; went to navajo nation; slept in serengeti; became a gbv expert; fell in love; got into more debt; went to big bend; fell deeper in love with texas; been on tanzanian television; been in tanzanian newspapers; saw hippos; bought a great bcbg dress on sale!; took great photos; in the end became more comfortable with myself; someone made me heart shaped cookies; gained weight (really i did); made a nasty cheesecake; got the flu; had a birthday surprise; saw the sun rise; sold my car; danced with maasai women; ate cheesy enchiladas; saw the sun set; didn't make it to india; ate a ton of free heller pizza; learned to scavenge for free food at heller; left boston; went to houston; went to cape cod; had an in and out burger, delicious; got a job offer; started a solar project in tanzania; started a blog; saw dear bunker; had my heart broken; became even more critical of others and myself (new years resolution CUT DOWN on the nasty virgo trait); fell in love with being a virgo; got a permit without paying a bribe!; drank alot of water (and other substances); went to oklahoma; deepened my friendship with maggie; gave presentations on vaw; continued my great friendships with bhavik and monica; spoke up to my advisor; got a practicum; ate jerk chicken, mmm; lost myself; had fun; laughed; cried; fell more in love with me : )

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'll be a full moon

(i cheat, the fireworks are from 4th of july, hehehe)

I'm no Baby!

No malaria! WOOHOO! This is the second time I've gotten tested at the hospital right next to the labor and delivery room. This time the outpatient room was packed! I'm quite proud of myself for navigating the medical system alone. So no malaria means I have a cold/flu. But after sleeping all day yesterday and all last night, I broke my fever so I'm on my way to recovery! I haven't been able to sleep the past few days, but last night learned the trick....hugging a pillow, hehehe.

Other than a pounding headache, I'm feeling better today and I'm gonna work on my thesis since I've been asked not to come to work and infect everyone. Oh yeah the title refers to my response to my brother. Whenever I get sick he tells me to stop being a baby cause I tend to get a little dramatic and go on and on about how I'm going to die...hehe

Reflection of 2009 to come soon...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trip of a Lifetime

sunrise over the crater

I've experienced SO MUCH in the last few weeks that I don't know where to begin sharing. My mom was here for just under 2 weeks. I took her around in Dar, she came to the UNIFEM office and met my bosses, then we went to Moshi and did a day hike in Kilimanjaro National Park, followed by a trip to Arusha then off to Manyara National Park (we decided this was the best park out of the 3 we visited), followed by 2 nights in Serengeti, 2 nights in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and lastly ended with 3 days on the island of Zanzibar (will blog about later). We went to all the typical tourist hot spots, but I was surprised because it didn't feel touristy most of the time, except in Ngorongoro crater.

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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I'm back in Dar and would love to have another vacay to recover from my official vacay. Boy I'm beat. I've got over 900 photos, yes I'm crazy. I will slowly recount my travels and share some photos, but it will take some time. I've got to work on that damn thesis too! ahhhhhhhh In the meantime here are some photos that I love from the day hike up Kilimanjaro. My favorite part was my mother claiming the hike was not a vacation but work and she was gonna die going up the mountain...hehehe she did make it after some pushing. : ) I loved the way the light was illuminating nature...had tons of fun taking photos. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The day is shaping up nicely!


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!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Youth Say NO!

I'm too lazy to write much about the latest 16 days event I attended on Sunday. It was a concert targeting youth involvment in eradicating violence against women. It was hosted by the United Nations Association, remember those Model UN clubs back in high school, those guys. I never once thought about joining Model UN and now look where I'm sitting. hehe It was right on the public beach, over 1000 signatures were collected, Obama was present on more than 1 shirt, there was singing by popular local artists, and dances from International Youth Fellowship. They even did a number for Jingle Bell Rock, santa hat and all. Oh and a wodnerful play depicting violence in a bf/gf relationship. All and all a great time. Here are some captures...


Thats my field advisor dancing!

Christmas on the Beach...and yes thats Nicole Kidman.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Feeling sleepy...rather would be playing like these guys (or watching is more like it...I failed miserably during the one season I tried to play when I was 10)