Monday, May 16, 2011

Look! A Giraffe and Zebra. Oh no...that's one hungry looking lion.

I must admit, my initial reasons for writing this blog are quite selfish, to not only highlight the next three months of my travels, but also to serve as a guide to understanding and addressing many of the problems that continue to plaque Africa today.   In doing so, I hope to gain greater understanding while visiting many of Africa’s underdeveloped countries.  So…sit back and enjoy the ride!

3 months after booking my ticket and starting my fundraising efforts for an all girl’s school in East Africa, I have finally arrived.  The plane ride as usual seemed to take no time at all.  Movies and food…I think the airlines know just exactly how to keep my attention.  One of the biggest things I look forward to apart from actually arriving in Africa is the airline food.  I don’t know if it is because I am cruising at 33,000ft and glued to the television for the first time in months or that the food is just that good, but let me tell you-the chicken and eggplant with a reduced cream sauce that I had should be served in a restaurant somewhere.  And that’s not even the best part, the moment my fork ends its journey uncovering the many different levels of flavor immersed in this simplest of dishes, it just as quickly makes its way along the foothills of chocolate moose. Ah…airplane food.

Stepping off the plane to one of Africa’s busiest airports, one would expect the air to have an aroma consistent with the running zebra and acacia that seem to fill the horizon in every direction.  Off in the distance the seasonal rains give way to contrasting hues of amber and orange, where the setting sun serves as a welcoming to a place I have grown to call home.  A place where the simplest of gestures, can have a resounding effect on a person’s life.  You see, Africa I have learned has a way of humbling a person, breaking them down to the very basic elements from which they were created.   Where the truth of a person’s words, can sometimes mean life or death. 

The past couple of days I have spent my time catching up with friends in a small community just outside of Nairobi called, Buru Buru.  Here I have managed to collect some long overdue reading material, supplies for the next two and a half months, and food…lots and lots of food.  The bulk of my supplies consist of a phone and minutes, necessary toiletries, and important contact information for my journey ahead.  Nairobi as usual is an expansive place.  With a population of over 4 million, there is an endless supply of vendors and always something to do.  Tomorrow, I will begin my trip to Moshi, Tanzania.  Moshi is a city located in a neighboring country southeast of Kenya.  This trip will begin with securing transportation around 7am and then taking an eight-hour bus ride to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 


  1. Alan,

    Great start to a great journey! I look forward to following your exploits. Here is a link to my story and video about your trip:

  2. Hi! I'm Steve, an old rabblerouser in weed control. I hope you'll get to Bungoma and see what Salim Shaban is doing there with water hyacinth. New progress was announced today on digesting WH to methane. Godspeed and good luck.

  3. Hi again! I just thought you might be interested in research done in India that showed that ultrasound improves biogas production.

  4. Hi Steve! Thanks for the information! Hopefully I will in fact be able to make it to Bungoma and I will check out that article about ultrasound improving biogas productions, quite amazing!