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).Read 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

Highland Games and a Military Tattoo in Scotland

We never really planned on coming to Scotland, it kind of just happened. One morning in mid-April, I was scrolling through my favorite cheap flight booking sites and found a $69 promotional fare from cities on the East Coast to Edinburgh. I looked at Colburn and said, “What do you think of starting off in Scotland?” He thought that it was a grand idea! Besides, it is much easier to get flights to Africa from the UK than it isRead more

Walking 96 Miles – The West Highland Way of Scotland

As a family, we really like to walk.  We have trekked in Colca Canyon and the Inca Trail in Peru, Torres del Paine in Chile, the Mustang and Annapurna Regions of Nepal and the Routeburn of New Zealand.  Each trek was a physical challenge as well as a mental one.  Colca Canyon had a knee-crushing continuous 3,000 foot descent on day one and similar oxygen-sapping ascent on day three.  The Inca Trail taught us to be wary of steps, especiallyRead more