Alisa at Mama na Dada

Alisa has made it to Mama na Dada, the next stop on her volunteering expedition. The journey was taken with 3 different minibuses, and completed on the back of a motorbike. Apparently Alisa rode with the driver, and the food, while her bag went on another motorbike with another volunteer. If any pictures surface of this ride, you can be sure they will be posted.

Here’s a map of Alisa’s approximate location. She says she has a view of the lake from the village, and the village is 80kms west of Kisumu.

She also made friends with another Arsenal supporter, and she says Premier League kits and memoribilla are all around in the resturants and on the steets. Apparently a women’s soccer tournament is being prepared at Mama na Dada, but Alisa leaves before it takes place. I think she will try to see if her departure can be changed, as she missed out on the HIV/AIDS awareness tournament that she was supposed to run at another village before her itinerary changed.

I’m off to Los Angeles this week, so the next update may come at the end of the week. Alisa says she is heading to Kisumu on Satruday to use the internet cafe. Additionally, she has better coverage now, so skyping her should be easier than it has been in the past two weeks. See the top right hand side of our blog’s home page for the number.

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Back to Zimbabwe – The Road to Victoria Falls (Part 1: Bus Ride North)

7 July

This morning involved more packing than I had envisioned and it was good that we had planned to go to the mall for one last wifi session, as that time gave us what we needed to finish packing. We were doing one last ‘tough’ trip, without some of our amenities that we have taken with us around south Africa while we had our vehicle.

Alisa’s new backpack nearly fit everything we were taking until we saw that none of our supplies nor toiletries would fit, and so we repacked with half in the new Adidas soccer bag that I bought for this trip, that I have begun to hate immensely because of the strap not sitting flat on my shoulder and a rip that has formed and is to lengthen along the zippers end. Carrying it while heavy thus becomes an arduous task with the strap burying into my shoulder despite me constantly stopping to adjust it. While Alisa caved and bought a proper backpacking pack, I will unfortunately have to finish with the adidas bag and save up to buy one like Alisa’s before my next venture to Africa.

Once we were packed, Garth gave us a lift to Park Station where traffic made it difficult to get around, but the daylight made the area safer for us to walk through and we got out and walked the block and a half left to the station, with the normal stares from locals who must have wondered where we were going with Alisa carrying two backpacks, one on the front and her new one on her back, and me with a backpack, my duffle, and a Woolworth’s insulated bag with our remaining food.

Once checked in and off to the bus, I could immediately see Alisa doubting her approval of me picking Continue reading

Kimberley and Emo Adams

19 July (written 5 months later)

Today we departed Hurlingham Manor early with Elna to get a ride to Park Station. She had a appointment at Wits University (or Univ of Joburg), so she was kind enough to give us a lift for our morning bus ride to Kimberley. We were going on our fifth week in South Africa and had spent much of our time in Gauteng with Elna. But it was on this ride to the train station we learned the most about her. She had grown up in Mafikeng, a border town with Botswana, where her father worked for the train company. She told us one of her earliest memories about Mafikeng was her out on the traintracks watching black migrant laborers heading to the Rand. One of the passengers had spit out a massive piece of chewing gum. Elna picked it up and chewed it, whereapon her mother found out what she had done when she arrived home and proceeded to wash her mouth out with soap. Elna seemed to make it seem that it wasn’t necessarily picking gum off the ground and eating it, but the fact that an African had been chewing it that was the part that needed cleansing.

It has always been of interest to listen to white South Africans, especially Afrikaners for their memories of the second half of the 20th century. They’re made out to be such vile and racist people, yet they were very similar to white Americans of the same era. Continue reading

How to Get to Vilankulos and the TCO Bus Office (Day 3 – Maputo)

Today started out a tad late as these beds at Fatima’s really do little to recharge you at night, they simply allow you to lie back, close your eyes and wake up just as sore and tired when you went to bed.

We set out to get notaries of our passports as Lonely Planet advised due to police checks. The whole process was about 30 Mts for both Alisa and I and was done on Vladimir Lenin just south of Mao Se Tung where Fatima’s is located.

Continue reading