A little over a year ago, my wife and I traveled to Africa for our honeymoon and wedding (and a lot of sight seeting--more on that over the next few weeks). Part of that time was spent in Tanzania and part of it was in Kenya. This was during the craziest part of the 2008 presidential primary race when Hillary Clinton had the perceived lead over Barak Obama and every other would-be democratic nominee.
What was surprising to us is how aware of Obama and the primary process the average folks in Kenya appeared to be. We were asked on many occasions if Obama was going to be President of the United States of America. Even back then, over a year ago when he was in second place, there was an undeniable interest, hope, and genuine excitement about his prospects.
Given the post-election turmoil that erupted in Kenya near the end of our trip, it's no surprise that Kenyans were celebrating his election and inauguration a few days ago. If anyone needed hope for change and a promising future after political unrest, it was the people of Kenya.
When is the last time that a presidential election had such a far-reaching affect on ordinary people?
While there is much to write about our recent African Safari (we got back safely--thanks to everyone who asked!), one particular thing that really stands out is the African Beef we ate during our weeks in Kenya and Tanzania.
You see, nearly every place we stayed had a nice big buffet dinner (don't ask about the diet) that featured excellently prepared African Beef. In every case the beef was incredibly tender, lean, and very tasty. It was hands-down better than the vast majority of beef we've had in the United States.
After a few days of this, I got to thinking about why the beef was so good. Here's my thinking on it. The beef we had in Africa was often very fresh. They don't transport it in from nearly as far away as we often do in the United States. And the cows aren't fed the sort of unnatural diets that they are here too. Most of them are out grazing the countryside, eating whatever grass and other greens catch their eye. In other words, they're left in their natural environment rather than being cooped up in some industrialized beef manufacturing system.
The locals I talked with seemed to agree. The combination of locally raised cows eating what they're supposed to eat really makes from some excellent eating.
If you're planning to visit Kenya or Tanzania, plan to enjoy some amazing beef. It's a real treat. :-)
The end of our big Africa trip is nearly here. The travel through Kenya went well despite the reported violence, demonstrations, and so on. We've been in Zanzibar for the last several days for a little beach time and even a wedding. :-)
On January 8th, 2008 we were married on the beach during a breezy and sunny day. It was a great ceremony in an excellent location and I'll surely write a lot more about it (and the rest of the trip) later. But we need to start our day of travel back to the USA and the harsh reality of not living on a beach resort.
We'll be heading back via Nairobi, London, and finally San Francisco. In the meantime, here are a few more wedding pictures. We'll upload more in a few days--not to mention billions of safari pictures.
See you all in a few days, and thanks for all the good wishes!
We made it to Africa on Monday after hour half-day layover in chilly London but had a few mishaps along the way--namely delayed luggage (we finally have 2 of our 3 checked bags from SFO as of Friday), a cell phone that doesn't work internationally as it should have, and other stupid stuff.
The good news is that the trip has been otherwise fantastic so far. We have a great guide (just him and the two of us in a Land Cruiser) that's helped us to see *lots* of amazing animals and scenery. It's going to take a long time to go through the thousands of pictures we're taking and dozens of short video clips.
We have just another two days in Tanzania before we had back to Kenya for our Safari there. The lodges we've been staying at are better than either of us had expected. They have great food, amazing views, and very friendly people--not to mention gift shops where we've been able to buy a few of the essentials that were trapped in our checked bags.
We'll write more when we get a chance...
Things will be fairly quiet here for next couple of weeks. Not only are the end of year holidays a good time to unplug (a bit) and focus on other stuff, we're going to be traveling a bit and likely won't have much in the way of Internet access starting on Sunday the 23rd.
You may remember late July when I announced that I'm Engaged. Well, this trip will be a combination of Honeymoon and Wedding (in that order) for me and Kathleen. And I couldn't be happier about it. :-)
We're going to be on an African Safari in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar.
When we return in mid-January, I'll have a lot to write about and many, many pictures to share. In the meantime, put the mouse away for a bit and enjoy some time off with friends and family.
If we get a chance, I'll try to post a photo and a quick update from overseas, but I'm not expecting much of a chance to do that.
Enjoy the holidays!