Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tragic Thursday

Horrible tragedy.  Unbelievable loss.  Shock and mourning remain.

Prayers for all.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Thank you readers!

I discovered this morning a pleasant surprise.  I have passed 3,400 page views for the blog.  Here's how it breaks down by country:

United States
United Arab Emirates

Thank you Switzerland.  I have no idea who you are, but thank you for putting me over the top.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Closing thoughts: Learning to Fly

This is what I learned from my trip to Africa.  There was great, there was good and there was the heartbreaking.  But I'm learning to fly.  I'm earning my wings. 

Thanks for taking the ride with me.  LG 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers live from Bonnaroo 2006

Learning to Fly

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol' days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I've started out for God knows where
I guess I'll know when I get there

I'm learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Monday, May 11, 2015

A taste of heaven from East Africa

Now that I have found a good recipe for my favorite breakfast food from my trip to East Africa, I am going to become the lady on the street selling mandazi in Greenwood.

Mandazi Recipe

My Nose! My Nose!

I am leaving Nairobi on May 20th.  Nine days from today.  The reality is beginning to sink in and I realize I don't know where this last year has gone or why it is gone so fast.  I have been blessed beyond belief with so many new friends and new experiences.  In the coming weeks I will introduce you to my new friends.  I've decided to keep this blog alive because I may go on other adventures, but for the time being, it will focus on trying to more adequately discuss this adventure.

I am sad about leaving Nairobi because it is a truly fun town.  It has a rhythm, a beat much like that of Atlanta.  You hear music everywhere, mostly Bob Marley.  I like that there is music everywhere.  The people are very helpful.  If they see you looking lost, they offer to help you.  And the vast majority of them do not expect money for helping you.  Love, love, love the nightlife!  I have been to some of the most fun clubs and bars.  When I get back home, I will tell you more about the bars.  Incredible, incredible night life.

I will not, however, miss the smell of Nairobi.  For reasons that I cannot fathom, people keep livestock in the city.  I'm not talking a rooster or chicken or two.  I'm talking herds of cattle and passels of pigs.  At the end of the day I scrub my feet like Lady MacBeth before going to bed.  I want to bleach them everyday not only because of the incredible amount of feces everywhere, but also there is a large amount of rotting garbage everywhere.  The stench of all of this, plus an inadequate sewer system makes for a smell that has a life of its own.

Nairobi is a city that grew much, much faster than its infrastructure did.  Consequently, there are problems with garbage and sewer handling and traffic.  The traffic is always horrible, but not because the drivers are insane like they were in Uganda, but because there are so many cars and matatus to be served.  I live about 6 miles from town.  On a good day with light traffic it takes over an hour to travel those 6 miles.  During rush hour, it takes 3 to 4 hours.  And there are many people who spend 6-8 hours 6 days a week going to a job there.  And the standard work day here is 10+ hours per day.  So much for family life.  I don't know how they do it.

But despite the smell, the traffic and the poverty, I love this city.  I discover something new almost everyday.  Yesterday, I discovered a blooming rose bush at a clinic near where I live.  Imagine that!  One of the sweetest smelling roses I ever smelled blooming in the middle of Africa.  And I had no idea you could grow roses in Africa.  While the Masters was going on back home an hour away from my house, an azalea-like bush that grows everywhere here was at its peak of blossoming.  It's just another of the many serendipities of Africa, like the pergola that I discovered a few weeks ago.

It goes to show me that even in the most unappealing of circumstances that if I keep my eyes opened and my heart ready for the unexpected and beautiful, it is there.  I learn and relearn this lesson every day of my life.  Thank you Africa for teaching me this lesson.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Packing for East Africa (Part 1 of several)

1Here's my list of things you should bring with you on your trip to Africa, in no particular order:

  Frye Artisan Fold Over Cross Body Bag:

Without a doubt, the best decision I ever made when packing for Africa.  Okay so maybe there is some order to this list.  This is very, very good if you will be spending any time in a large city.  The style is understated and the leather is luxurious and durable.  My Jenny cross body will make many more trips around Africa and the globe with me.  Worth.Every.Penny.

Available at: or The Frye Company

L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil & L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion

Fabulous for the skin.  Smells soft and sweet, but not "loud".  In a pinch I have also used this light lubricant on a few sticky locks since I can't find a can of WD-40. Expensive, yes, but multipurpose.  Works well with Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion.

Available from:

Simply the best after bath lotion that stands up to African dry heat.  I've tried cheaper, but none works better than this at keeping dry skin away.  L'Occitane also makes very good hand and foot creams as well.  Again, expensive, but darned well worth it.

Available from:

  Austrailian Sun Block


During my time in Uganda, my friends Carolyn and Phillip from Sydney visited.  At that time, I was burned to a crisp by the sun, so I asked her to bring me sunblock.  This sunblock is the best I have ever used.  I know, I know -- I'm saying that about everything in this post, but, hey, when the stuff works like it advertises, you can't help bug brag about it.

Available from:  Carolyn and Phillip, Sydney, Austrailia

   LL Bean backpack


   A truly wonderful backpack at a good price.  Rugged as hell.  Ergonomic too.

     Available from:  L.L. Bean

     More posts later about great stuff to pack for your trip to Africa.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Eye Candy for Readers

This is George building a house.

Shower to clean off the mud:  $0.10
Shirt to keep your friends from drooling a river: $50
Trip to Africa to meet him:  $4,000

Waking up next to George every day for the rest of your life: Priceless.

Ladies, he's looking for a 2nd wife.  Applications with photos are accepted.  Contact author for details.