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

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

Waves of Leaving

We have begun this leg of our adventure in waves – waves of organization, waves of leaving, waves of good-byes, and alternating waves of excitement and melancholy. After more than a solid six months of planning and preparation, Colburn, the kids, and Fig all left Reno in late July to drive east and see his family.  Our truck, now nicknamed Olaf,  has everything we will use over the next year – a four person roof-top tent, camping gear, two jerry cans,Read more

A New Chapter, A New Adventure 

It’s been two years since we returned to the US and posted about our adventures. We settled back in to our old life – our old house, the kids at their old school, my old work – and yet everything was different, not in a tangible way, but more like a rub in your shoe that you can only feel after many miles.  It was a subtle but constant irritation.  A whole year passed waiting for the feeling to eitherRead more

Morocco – 52 Days from Timbuktu

“Fifty-two days” responded Mohammed, our Berber guide, when queried how long it would take to get to Timbuktu.  “By camel” he added when noticing our quizzical facial expressions.  My first though it that fifty-two days on a camel would be torturous, but the idea of fifty-two days on a camel through the Sahara seems down right impossible.  We were only on the camels three days and had enough.  Fifty-two days seems unfathomable.  The salt traders were a heartier folk thanRead more

And On to Kenya!

When we were first planning our trip we offered an open invitation for anyone who wanted to join us to choose where or when they wanted to meet us and we would do our best to arrange our schedule accordingly. Not surprisingly, it ends up that Africa was the big winner for folks being willing to pack up and travel halfway across the world to come join us.  After four weeks with the Lowell’s (Deb’s brother and his family), weRead more