The Pearl of Africa: Uganda

We really enjoyed Uganda.  I’m not sure why it surprised me, but it did.  After nearly constant stress, frustration, and disappointment in Kenya, Uganda was a welcoming and gentle place.  Leaving Kenya we were harassed by two of the most obnoxious fixers to date.  Despite politely declining their services with increasing firmness, they men harangued us until I finally told one guy what an ass he was.  He responded with both racist and misogynistic antagonisms quite literally until we droveRead more

Volunteering in Kenya

When we made the decision to return to traveling, we knew that we didn’t want to move as quickly as we had during our first trip.  Moving through 39 countries in 24 months was much too fast.  Also, when we were first discussing the possibilities of what we would do while traveling, Mac had brought up a desire to give back to the communities through which we travel rather than simply consuming what they have to offer.  These two aspectsRead more


Wow, was this an adventure! When we originally came to Africa in 2014, our first stop was a guided safari in the Serengeti and Ngorogoro region of Tanzania. We were traveling with my brother and his family in two Land Cruisers, driven by professional guides and staying in lodges and tented camps. It was very comfortable as everything was taken care of for us; airport pick-up, permits, driving, gas refueling, meals, hot showers, etc. were all arranged by our safariRead more

Heading North: Malawi and Tanzania

Leaving Tofo Mozambique was difficult for us. As Lucia noted, we spent longer settled in Tofo than any other location outside of our home in Nevada. We had made new friends, learned new skills, and became familiar with the community. It was a wonderful experience which we were sad to see end. However, the definition of traveling is moving from place to place, so we embarked on a road trip north through Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. Driving away from DurbanRead more

Underwater in Africa!

After more than a year of planning, we finally arrived at our first volunteering experience – Underwater Africa, a marine research and conservation program in Paria de Tofo, Mozambique.  As we explored options for volunteering during our 10 months in Africa, I had come across this program which combines scuba diving with marine research and local conservation efforts.  Although we are not die-hard diving folks, Colburn and I really do enjoy scuba diving.  The kids had a taste of itRead more

A Map, an App and a Portuguese Phrase Book: Getting to Mozambique

Leaving Madagascar, our life was impacted by three biblical events – a plague, a flood and a tempest – within 24 hours. After braving two hours of traffic in Antananarivo, we arrived at the airport only to be told that our flight had been cancelled because of a suspected case in the Seychelles had been traced back to Madagascar’s outbreak so they were no longer allowing entry from Mada. This meant that we were to be rerouted directly to Durban,Read more

Bashing Through Madagascar: An Epic Road Odyssey

Even after almost three weeks in Madagascar, the land remains an enigma. I am torn between loving it and being incredibly frustrated by it. The landscapes range from dusty desert-like open expanses with little but scrub and short dried grasses to thickly wooded rain and cloud forests, to the spiney forest of the south, perhaps the most bizarre environment I have ever witnessed (imagine 8-10 foot tall desiccated branching cacti bushes covered in three inch spines and red dust). EverywhereRead more

Fortune Favors the Brave: Malagasy Kids and Farmers

My father loved gadgets. When I was a kid, he had a Polaroid camera that was almost as big as a shoe box, but he would take it with us to family gatherings and events so that we could have pictures printed on the spot making the memories tangible.  I recall the snapping sound of the film being pulled out of the camera, impatiently waiting three minutes until you could remove the developing cover off of the image and theRead more