I’m nearing the halfway point of my trip. When I take the time to reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve done in four short months, it’s baffling. Sure I’m a little over budget, well maybe more than a little, but purely by choice. Some of the countries I’ve been to I’m certain I’ll revisit, while others on this trip may be my only chance to explore and discover what they have to offer. I’m not about to miss out!
So, what did I do in month 4 you ask?
- Volunteered in Monkey Bay, Malawi at the Back to School Foundation. An excellent organization sponsoring orphans to go to secondary school and providing free tutoring for the community.
- Took the Ilala Ferry on Lake Malawi for 36 long hours. The most miserable transport to date, I was fortunate to find some really great friends aboard that made up for the seasickness (post coming soon!)
- Spent a week of paradise on Likoma and Chizumulu Islands, Lake Malawi, witnessing one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets and mingling with some of the friendliest people in the world.
- Was hit by a motorcycle on Likoma Island. Ouch!
- Sent a package home from Lilongwe and didn’t realize that the U.S. does not accept sea mail. Try sending 30 lbs. home via air mail. It will rob you! But when I show you what I sent home, you’ll see that it was worth it!
- Visited the pounding waters of Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia.
- Caught a ride with NY Times journalists and went bush camping with them in Botswana (ie I camped next to a family of elephants).
- Took a river cruise in Chobe National Park, Botswana. I saw hippos lying out of the water, which is rare during the day. I also got to see elephants cross the river.
- Took a magical overnight mokoro trip in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Definitely one of my favorite travel experiences.
I have less than one month left in Africa. It’s bittersweet. My desire to travel more on this continent stemmed from a trip to East Africa in 2008. I didn’t think it could get much better but Southern Africa has been full of new experiences. Never having stepped foot in Asia, it will be a great change of pace when I arrive there in August… it’s just difficult to look forward to something when you’re already enjoying yourself here and now!
So, what’s in store for my last month in Africa?
- Hoping to make it to Swakopmund in time for my birthday on July 11th for a little birthday present to myself (yes, I’m keeping the details to myself for now, but check back soon to read about it).
- Heading on a six-day safari to Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei to see the sand dunes.
- Although I can’t afford a trip to Fish River Canyon, and hitchhiking isn’t all that reliable to get to this more remote place, I’m determined to go! How I will get there, I have no idea but one way or another, I’m going to spend an evening overlooking this beautiful canyon.
- Then it’s off to Cape Town for about five days of sight seeing in what’s rumored to be a great city!
Tomorrow I am leaving Botswana for Namibia, a country that’s been on my bucket list for a while now. Most likely I will be hitchhiking which sounds crazy but should be yet another adventure. I have had to put running on hold since my motorcycle incident, as my ribs are pretty severely bruised. Sitting up is quite a task, so running will probably not be happening for awhile. Regardless, Sole Purpose is still going strong, and I hope you can help me to continue to spread the word to support education.