Friday, December 08, 2006

Not A Four-Day Weekend

Tuesday is Independence Day (actually Republic Day, which is
different) so I feel like I should have left town and made it a
four-day weekend. I haven't been to Naivasha or Nakuru yet, and
they're between here and Nairobi so it's any easy straight shot on one
bus and I could see flamingos and rhinos, I haven't been to Mt. Elgon,
maybe there's something cool to do in Eldoret, and I haven't even been
to Jinja or Kampala yet either. So I should totally go somewhere.
But I don't want to. Ugggh. I hate this feeling. But maybe I
shouldn't actually be going and seeing touristy stuff, and just
working on my garden while chatting with our guard Hezborn and walking
around in the shambas behind the house and playing Frisbee and
hoop-and-stick with kids in the office parking lot is plenty. I sure
think so.

Anyways, I have a few questions.

Should I go to the World Social Forum in Nairobi in January, or is it
just going to be a bunch of annoying Dutch anarchists and I'd feel
about as out of place as I would at Burning Man? I like to pretend
that I'm a moderately liberal guy, but I actually like free trade, so
if anti-globalization is the key issue, I'm not so sure I'd enjoy
myself. I mean, I happily voted for John Edwards for Veep, but I
mostly hoped he was just kidding when it came to protectionism.

Also, is there an El Nin(y)o going on this winter? The short rainy
season usually stops here in early November, but it's still going
strong and might have another month left. Is this a crazy global
thing (it's almost as if our burning mass quantities of fossil fuels
is releasing gasses that are collecting in the atmosphere and making
the earth warmer and seriously destabilizing millennia-old weather
patterns or something ridiculous like that) and if so, how will this
effect this year's snowpack in Colorado?

My buddy Marcus is flying over right after Christmas and we're
climbing Kili. What else should we do? I was reading about treks in
the Usambara mountains that seem similar to the Cherangani Hills, but
do you all think I'm crazy for not really caring about the big-game
parks like the Masai Mara and the Serengeti? I've never been, so I
don't know, but I'm guessing they're flat (read: boring), crazy
expensive, and really touristy. Fine, tell me I'm dumb, but remember,
this is coming from the kid that, when considering the Peace Corps,
told them the one place I wouldn't go was some gorgeous tropical
island because it wouldn't have enough mountains and I'd get bored
running laps around the place.


  1. dude, i'd totally hit the forum in january if the opportunity cost is low. i'm all about the experience: it doesn't have to be about finding kindred spirits; sometimes seeing people you think are whacked out can be just as interesting.

    fyi, i thought i wouldn't be able to stand the game parks, but in the end, the expense and the touristyness were overwhelmed by the beauty of the animals. that said, when I traveled north (as you've already done), I saw lots of those beautiful animals without being in a park.

    or while you're in TZ, you could hit zanzibar. I think it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. red colobus monkeys, dolphin families, and much more.

  2. Zanzibar? Intriguing.

  3. my friend ross went to zanzibar and said it was awesome. an extra bonus: it is the birthplace of none other than Freddy Mercury. I hear that they have fat-bottomed girls riding bikes around there or something.

    and yeah there is an El Niño happening. I don't think it affects the eastern Indian Ocean, though.