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KJ’s Travel Diary

Monday, 10 Oct 2011

Location: Home, sweet home, Canada

MapWell, I made it through the long journey home and have experienced two of three Thanksgiving meals... am I ever thankful! :) At 6 am I was wide awake, but I guess that will come in handy when I start work again tomorrow.
Some final thoughts about my adventure....
Africa is a wonderful place (the parts I saw were). It didn't quite get into my heart the same way that Haiti did, but some of the people may have. The varied landscapes and people were beautiful and though it was a challenge to deal with an enormous lack of infrastructure, the local people handle it with calm strength and many strive to improve what they can. I tried to do the same.
It was awesome to be able to tag-along with Brenda and see the end-result of all the work of many people over the last couple of years. I was humbled by their great generosity and happy to play a small part in balancing the scales of wealth. We will never really know the impact and long-term effects of the huge amount of donations that were given, but the potential for hope is amazing. I was also left feeling like it will never be enough, but any travel to developing countries usually makes me feel that way and giving in to that feeling is pointless. We have to keep trying to share what we have.

Here are a few of the "bests" of my trip:
Best overall experience: seeing wild elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons and hippos etc. (especially the baby ones).
Best meal: a real salad on the last day ... that I didn't get food poisoning from. The roasted goat at Dr. Subi's deserves honourable mention.
Weirdest meal: spagetti bolognese with banana-slices, as garnish
Best feel-good moment: Winning over the shyness of a little boy sitting at the back of the bus with us and teaching him the basics of printing his name and the alphabet.
Weirdest thing I am thankful for about coming home: the stairs in my house to a second floor... and my bed and the toilet (with handy toilet paper).
Best souvenir: a meal thermos - like an airtight, insulated casserole dish to keep things hot for 4-6 hours. cool.
Best phrase in Swahili: "Lala salama" - "Sleep peacefully"
Most valuable lesson: don't bring white shirts to Africa, if you are travelling by bus and have no access to bleach.

There were many great experiences and other valuable lessons and I think I have a few good photos, out of the 1100 that I took. I will attempt to get them organized soon and will be happy to share just a few of them with you and hear about how the last four weeks have gone for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!