September came and went so quickly. As it seems always to happen to us, we found our stride the week or so before departing Rwanda. We ran out of time to do everything on our Rwanda list, but we will return and accomplish it all some day.
Our visit to Kenya was short. We had heard mixed reviews about Nairobi and decided not to spend too much time there our first time around. Four days was just enough for us to see a few things and get a small taste of the traffic riddled city. Not sure if we will return to Nairobi anytime soon, but we are open to exploring more of Kenya.
Currently, we are in Zanzibar, and it is much different than we expected. Admittedly, we both arrived knowing little more than about the beaches, diving and wood carved doors in Stone Town. We came in ready to love Zanzibar but will be leaving with mixed feelings.
Rwanda: Kinigi, Musanze, Gisenyi, Kigali
Tanzania: Moshi, Kilimanjaro National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park
Zanzibar: Bwejuu, Paje, Stone Town
Photo Street Walk with Jack in Kigali, Rwanda. We really can’t stop talking about our photo walk with Jack.
My cousin, Beth, joined us for two weeks throughout Nairobi and Tanzania. It was her 1st time to Africa. She completed her scuba certification before the trip, so she could scuba dive with us in Zanzibar. We had a wonderful time having her with us and look forward to her joining us again next year!
At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi a baby elephant singled me out and nosed my face, arms and chest with his dirty, wet trunk. It left me teary eyed and in absolute bliss. One of the keepers, Mishak, later told me that meant the elephant liked me and wanted to play. Talk about feeling special!
Our 4-day camping safari with Materuni Tours through Tarangire & Serengeti National Parks and Ngorongoro Conservation area was unforgettable. We saw all the Big 5 plus a ton more. We even saw three rhinoceroses in one day! We are working on your posts about this adventure and should have them up in then next couple of weeks.
Swimming with dolphins off of Mnemba Island in Zanzibar. So fun!
We have met some new super fun & uber inspiring people while in Rwanda & Kenya (Elle, Laura, TWB ladies, Yakubu, Josephine, Discover staff, EDD gymnastic/dance coaches, John & Jessica–Yes, we are talking about Y’all). We are looking forward to keeping in touch & meeting up with you again.
The Not So Great
We were supposed to be in a wedding, but the foreign groom was not able to arrive into Rwanda due to visa issues. The wedding was postponed for a week, but we had already departed for Kenya. Disappointed we weren’t able to participate.
Not being able to afford climbing to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Watching everyone prepare and depart for their full trek was bittersweet – inspiring to watch but frustrating we weren’t summiting.
My cousin Beth sprained her ankle toward the end of her trip. Luckily, it was at the end instead of the beginning. Still sucked since she wasn’t able to do much during the last four days. Her ankle did seem to be getting a bit better on her last day but still so swollen and bruised. She will be visiting the doctor’s office once she arrives back home.
Blowing my right eardrum during our 2nd scuba dive in Zanzibar. I was recovering from a head cold and knew I may have troubles clearing my ears. The 1st dive was painful but tolerable, but the 2nd dive caused it to burst so hard I was screaming into my regulator. With every day, it is getting better, and we are avoiding flying for another few days.
Saying “goodbye for now” to our friends in Rwanda. Some of our friends are family to us, & it’s hard on all sides to watch us depart for a 3rd time (feeling all weepy just thinking about it).
We continue to miss our kids, Hobee, and Soma, so much.
Still working on finding a balance between work and play. We seem to have improved from the previous four months but still feel pretty behind.
The pregnant cat situation in Zanzibar is overwhelming. There are so many pregnant stray cats in Stone Town. The locals seem to treat the strays fine and most look fed, but there are more cats here than in Istanbul.
We have both lost some weight and inches, and our clothes are starting to fall off of us. We are going to either need to find paying jobs to budget for some new clothes or get back to Rwanda to have Josephine’s Tailoring make us some new clothes.
The Oops!, WTF?, LOLs – Lessons learned, head scratchers & hilarities
Oops! Let’s not do that again lessons
Early in the month we let stress and fatigue get the better of us, and we found ourselves major crab appling (a nice way to say being an a**hole) at each other. I, in particular, need to do a better job at scheduling solitary time for myself so that I can recharge. As an introvert, I sometimes hit a wall and just need to pop in my ear buds and be left alone with my music. Matt needs to find a way to focus on the task at hand and organize better.
WTF? Did that really just happen?
While eating lunch on the Ngorongoro crater rim, a Kite swooped down and stole Matt’s chicken leg straight from his hands. Our guide had warned us the birds were aggressive thieves, but we had no idea it would happen in seconds. They wait until your guard is down, and you look away for a second and then BAM! Whatever food you had is gone. Matt tried to reenact the situation but instead a sly stork foiled his plan.
The old man who thought if he wore his headphones no one else could hear or smell his fart! We and our friends (Willy, Elle & Linda) were relaxing at a table at Discover Hostel when a jerk sat down next to us, put his headphones on & within a few minutes proceeded to fart so loud that we all stared at each other wondering if we really heard what we heard. Within seconds, we were all gagging and had to move to the other room because this man was so foul! Seriously?! Who in the world does that?!
LOL’s Our laugh out loud hilarious moments
Learning how to eat sugarcane with Elle and Eric.
While in Gisenyi, Rwanda two young men joined our walk around town. They were both well educated and quite entertaining. As we walked, we all entertained ourselves with Disney movie songs. As we broke out with Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book one of the guys, Emm, stops us and starts the song over along with the dancing the Baloo shoulder shrug dance. It was one of those perfectly silly happy moments as we all cracked up and sang along with him.
LocalGrapher included us on their 19 Couples Who Travel Together post
We had a few photos featured on the following Instagram accounts
- Sending Rwandan Kids to their National Parks
- Tree of Life
- Road Tripping: Ireland Part 1
- Isambaza Fisherman
- How to Stay in Touch While Traveling
- Prepping for our Mt. Kilimanjaro hike and Safari
- Street Photography with Yakubu via Vayando Travel
- Rite of Passage
Our Ears and Eyes – What we are reading and listening to
- “The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes and other surprising true stories of zoo vets and their patients” edited by Lucy H. Spelman, DVM, and Ted. Mashima, DVM
- “Dreams from my Father, A story of race and inheritance” by Barack Obama
- “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
- “Stories of Ingenious Crime and Inspired Detection in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- “A Tap on the Window” by Linwood Barclay
- “The Fold” by Peter Clines
- Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed
- The Adam Carolla Show
We finally decided! We are heading to Lilongwe, Malawi next. We head to the mainland, Dar Es Salaam, on Friday from Zanzibar. Stay in the city for a few days with the hopes we have working internet (please keep your fingers crossed for us). Once we find reliable wi-fi, we will also start the process to research Malawi and decide on what we should do while there. Any thoughts or suggestions, please let us know!
We are always looking for suggestions and recommendations. Please let us know if you have some good info!