7 Links Award

                                                                                                                                                                                                           AwardThe 7 Links Award. WoooHooo. Thanks Lu!!! This is an award sifting through the internet that was awarded to me by The Unwitting Traveller, Lu. Now, even though Lu hasn’t hired me yet for a position in and around Bamako, I still have high hopes of being on top of a short list of prospective employees, but even so, I want to thank her profusely for the award and am quite honored to even be considered (for the award, not the job that is, but I do work for cheap. Cheap-cheap :)).

    To quickly explain, the 7 links award is passed on from person to person and is really a good way for me to take a good look at my blog and see what has worked, what has not. What I like, what others like and how I can possibly improve on my writing and posting. An award, but also a good way for me to evaluate my own work. Quite a fun lesson in learning really. Seven questions and pass it on. I like it. Some of the questions were  a bit hard to answer, for me at least, but I tried my best.

     Ok, so I’ll try to let my answers do most of the work (unlike I do when hired for a position in, say, Mali or around). If you agree, disagree, hate me or love me, let me know: Continue reading


Questions Answered


OK, I’ve amassed quite a good amount of unanswered questions in the last six months that I’ll try to take care of here, or at least take care of some of the more interesting ones, grouped by subject when possible. Honestly, this post is a good study on human thinking when read as a whole. Take a look, there are some good one’s, bad one’s, one’s that make you think and one’s that make you just say “huh” …and every single one was actually asked. Figured I had to take care of them at some point, so why not now, right?: Continue reading

Chasing the Sun


It’s fun, chasing the sun. …a bit expensive, but oh so colorful.

Post #100. …figured I would go back to something I’m good at – photography.
…ok, not necessarily good, just more gooder than writing that is. It’s all relative.

A few from the past 100 and a few that will be in the next 100…

From top to bottom, left to right: Axum, Ethiopia // Yankari National Park, Nigeria // Lake Lagdo, Cameroon // Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal // Dahab, Egypt // Bagan, Myanmar // Mt. Nebo, Jordan // Kabul, Afghanistan // Dahab, Egypt // Halong Bay, Vietnam // Northern Sudan // Lake Tana, Ethiopia // Bagan, Myanmar // Simien Mountains, Ethiopia // Axum, Ethiopia // Bagan, Myanmar // Northern Sudan // Black Desert, Egypt // Black Desert, Egypt // Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal // Bagan, Myanmar.

I think it’s gonna be a lifetime pursuit…

Stupidity of the Day – Gas Prices

Gas Prices.

     …and I could probably just stop right there and leave it at that …but I won’t.

     Do people realize that the price of gas is simply a speculation of imaginary circumstances as thought up by investors in world stock market oil futures? That the price of oil has nothing to do with anything really tangible.

     Yes, you could argue the whole Middle East/North Africa thing going on, but do people realize how little oil the world gets from Libya? That most of the price increase is speculation in imaginary coups, protests and government failures that haven’t happened, but might happen, but may not, but could, but probably won’t. There is no more or less oil or gas (or petrol) in the world today than there was a week ago, a month ago, or before the Egyptian debacle happened – I know, except was used in that time, but you know what I’m saying.

     It’s idiotic, in my opinion, or just the world we live in today where speculation is worth more than reality. Interesting. So, what if a guy with a lot of money and a vivid imagination steps in (and I’m talking A LOT of money)?  …oh yeah, almost forgot – I was reading this today.

The Bucket List

     I see these things everywhere. A new fad I guess. Everyone has a “Bucket List”. Everyone wants to do this, that or the other thing. Most of the time I would say, well, stop making lists and start doing these things. A bucket list gets you no further in completing the list other than wasting some more time writing it down so other people know what you haven’t done and will probably never do. But. Yes, always a but. I figured what the heck, may as well join the crowd this one time in my life, so here is mine – and don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting ones out there and I do have to admit, I read a lot of them and many seem very well thought out. Not dissing the list, just putting my unasked for and probably unwanted thoughts out there, and joining the crowd in my own criticism. OK, here it is:

√   1) Join the crowd at least once in my life
√   2) Go to Afghanistan
√   3) See the Pyramids of Egypt
√   4) Travel from Kathmandu to Timbuktu
√   5) Taj Mahal
√   6) Angkor
√   7) Travel through Burma
     8) Buy a Chinese Junk and live on it
     9) Become a pirate (well, you know, not the Somalia type, but it
         goes along with the Chinese Junk)
     10) Free a slave …had the opportunity but missed the chance,
√   11) Petra
√   12) Pretend I’m Indiana Jones in some far off land exploring bone
           ridden caves and dodging deadly animals and the whole
           Indiana Jones thing – YES!!!. Caves, check, human bones,
           check, deadly animals
(scorpions, barking dogs, possibility of
           poisonous snakes – I’ll take it), check, little passageways

           through dangerous (possibly) villages in a foreign land,
check.   Sweet…
     13) Do the Karakoram Highway …all the way.
           …along with the NWFP.
√   14) The Himalayas
√   15) The Himalayas again
     16) Bhutan …looks awesome, gonna have to bite the bullet and
           just go.
     17) The Trans-Himalaya Trail in Nepal …the whole thing in one
           shot. None of this section crap. I see a lot of people saying it
           can’t be done and you would have to run it, blah, blah, blah.
           Thats BS. I could do it easily, just need the time and the
           proper paperwork. No doubt about it. It’ll take months, I know,
           so what.
√   18) The Nile …did it …all the way …three months. Awesome trip.
√   19) The Sahara
√   20) The Sahara again
     21) The Sahara one more time (at least)
√   22) The Niger to Timbuktu
     23) The Niger even further – from Mopti to Gao, than into Niger to
     24) Agadez, The Aïr Mountains and Woodabe
     25) The Amazon River
     26) The Congo and DRC from Kinshasa to Kinsangani …now
           there’s a trip.
     27) The Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia
     28) Be able to walk out of my house with everything I own in my
           Kelty 2650 pack …and not look back, worry, or have to go
           back for anything else. In other word – Nomad. I gotta tell ya,
           I’m really close to this, and possibly there. I have a lot of
           books that I’d be like, damn, and a lot of pictures, sentimental
           crap and stuff like that, but I think I could almost do this. Have
           to sell the car but no big deal…
     29) The Kalahari …although no big deal if I don’t see it, but why
           not, always wanted to be able to say I was there
     30) Southern Africa ex-South Africa …this would be easy if I would
           just stop going to the Sahara
     31) Stop smoking …my God, this is actually #1 on the list and an
           ongoing process
√   32) Morocco, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Cambodia, Thailand, China,
           Japan, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Sudan,
           Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali,
           Senegal, India, Nepal,
Vietnam, Myanmar, Afghanistan,
           New York, Seattle, Vancouver, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Saigon,
Bangkok, Yangon, Sana’a, Casablanca, Marrakech,
           Timbuktu, Kathmandu, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur,J
aisalmer, Jodhpur,
           Udaipur, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid, Venice, Cairo,
Omdurman, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Douala, Bamako,
           Dakar, Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dialasso, Lome,
           Damascus, Amman, Istanbul, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai 
…many having no desire to go back at all. Having survived all
           of them once is a feat in itself.
√   33) Try to understand why the more money people have the more
           they worry and complain about money.
           …think I got this one, as much as I will ever understand, so
           I’m checkin it off.
√   34) Never make a bucket list again …I think I got this one down
     35) Be Happy

Hmmm, kind of like my list. Maybe not such a bad thing after all.

     36) Somalia
     37) Go back to Bangkok …unless I live there, this will always
           remain on my list. The greatest city in the world. I’ve been
           there 5 or 6 times and always try to make it back if I’m in the
     38) Live in a foreign, non-western, country for at least a year
     39) The South Pacific. Tahiti, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Samoa,
           Kiribati, Fiji …too many to name.

     Another thing with the Bucket List, thinking about an older post. Sometimes you don’t know you want to see or do something …until you actually see or do it. Most of the things I’ve done or seen have been spur of the moment types. The Bucket List becomes oxy-moronic in this sense, especially in regards to travel and adventure. Travel and adventure for me is spontaneous, spur of the moment and definitely not planned. Putting together a list is planning. Blah. I would never put “Swim with Hippos” on my list, but heck, one of the most adventurous, exciting, as well as stupid things I’ve ever done. Wouldn’t take that back for anything. Watching slaves be marched in, bought and sold …Bucket List moment, absolutely not, but my God I’m glad I saw that and am aware of it now. Staring down pirates, holding an empty AK …bucket list, no. Awesome, gotta say, yes. Child soldiers. Glad I met them and talked to them. Wish it wasn’t so, but it is. Bucket List. Heck no.

…so maybe:

√     40) Enjoy the ride and realize I can’t list what I don’t know is out
             there. …check that one.

     So, a little tougher to make than I thought, and kind of enjoyable actually. Definitely an interesting exercise in wants and goals too. … and if anyone wants to invest, these Junk Boats are expensive – send me an email. 🙂

A few last minute additions:

     41) Papua New Guinea
     42) Walk the Gobi

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Remember that game?

     I gotta say, it is much funner when playing it “life-size”… 🙂 Albeit, a bit more hairy, in more ways than one. Just replace the marbles with carrots and heads of cabbage and lettuce …and watch your hands. Taken “behind the scenes” at the Philadelphia Zoo. 
 Taken a long time ago…