Yes, I say this every time but IT REALLY has been too long since my last blog. So where to start……. I’ll start with weekend stuff and follow-up with work next. Work deserves its own blog. The people and progress at work are too important to share space with weekend frivolity.
Let’s start with the hike yesterday. Dr. Shama and Jacob from reception, organized a group for a 22 kilometer hike through the jungle to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Or, as I lovingly call it “the death march”. One of our guides carried a rifle to scare off – not kill – any aggressive animals. It was not needed. The elephants and monkeys were busy with their daily tasks and barely noticed us. We encountered some leopard poop on the trail but our guide Emma said “they are shy and will not come out”. It was not an easy hike!
As I was the oldest by 20 years, I heard more than once “if grandma can do this you can”. I got lots of support from Jeorge, whose grandmother is my age. When it was steep and slippery he took my hand.
And Emma would say to the group “we are almost half way” (a six hour hike). And then he would whisper to me “only two hours left”.
We all gathered at Happy Days for a celebratory dinner and were joined by Dr. Mike’s Neuro team. They are here from U Penn for a month doing neurology clinics both here and in villages. This is a specialty not easily found here so the lines of people to be seen are impressive.
Last weekend my friend Caroline parked her two little ones with the nanny and we headed off to Moshi. There we met up with my friend Melora who is working there with a women’s NGO for 3 months. I’d had a bit of a stress meltdown, so the 3 of us eating out, sampling the cocktails and playing gin rummy was everything I needed. Oh and Moshi sits at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro so the view was not bad!
The weekend before I settled in here and got some time with Dr. Shama. We did the walk to Karatu for the Lilac Café Greek salad – yes greens. And we polished off a couple of bottles of wine in the evenings. Shama is an infectious disease doctor with the CDC. With her I have developed germaphobia! I could give you so many examples, but one this morning put me over the top. Over coffee she and Dr. Masya showed me a worm from a patient. They said you can get it from walking barefoot. Yikes I do that all the time……. If she wasn’t such a great adventure side kick I would run the other way when I see her. Oh yah, she said last night “check for ticks”. Ugh……….
And the weekend before that my friend Melora and I met for a walking safari in Arusha National Park at the base of Mount Meru. We stayed at the beautiful River Trees resort with great food, wine and nightly gin rummy. The safari delivered a giraffe trifecta. They came out in droves along the ridge line and right next to us on our walk.
I think that pretty much gets us caught up on weekend adventures. Next weekend my friend Annie is back from her safari in Chad and we are going to the Plantation for the weekend for some R&R. It’s a beautiful place. The following Saturday I catch my flight home. Can it really be 3 months already?
Next blog will be the faces and work at FAME!