Mar 17, 2007

The Beautiful People Who's Paths We Crossed

During our travels we encountered many tribal people. Watching and learning their traditions and daily life regiment was enlightening. It is a true reminder that we really do not need much to conduct daily life. Their favorite saying is, "No problem" and there is no accurate time frame, very easy paced lifestyle.
Here's Sandy, our guide from Adventure Associates, ,trying to come up with a fair price on beaded neck wear. The woman showed Sandy how to wear it and dance with it on. This was a bead stand that was set up to raise money for the women of the tribe. The tribe was along the way out to the Tarangire.

A tribal woman watching the transaction and neck wear lesson Sandy is receiving.

Tribal women we encountered on the way to Lake Eyasi while waiting for two buses that were stuck in the mud to be pulled free so we could continue on to the lake. Our vans did not get stuck because we had very skilled drivers...........Nixon (our driver) rocks!!! He got us through some rugged and muddy terrain throughout the trip. Good thing they don't run radar in Tanzania 'cause he's got a lead foot. You wanted him behind the wheel when that unexpected bathroom emergency kicked in! Okay here's a picture of Nixon............
Not only could Nixon drive well, he was our interpreter and he helped us get the best prices at the markets and liquor I said..........Nixon rocks!!!!

Datanga tribe warrior. Once they receive warrior status they can wear their hair any way they wish. If you notice he is missing a couple of his bottom teeth. All tribal members have a couple of their bottom teeth pulled when they are young so in case they got lock jaw they would still be able to be fed. Lock jaw is caused by tetanus.

While visiting Lake Eyasi area, we stopped at Mamoya's house where a "men's" meeting was being conducted. They invited us in and let us take photographs while Mamoya showed us his house and introduced us to his family.

The bike is the major source of transportation for all tribes we experienced in Tanzania. I also was struck by how tall this gentleman is.

We visited with two classes at a primary school in the Datanga village. Here is the class of the younger children we visited. The girls are in the blue dresses and the boys are in the green shorts. We brought both classes school supplies. They are very limited to what they have to use there and were anxious to receive the gifts. These children sang the national anthem for us before we left them to visit the class next door. There are 800 children at this school. All the children that attend school throughout Tanzania were wearing school uniforms.
This is the other class we visited with. They are the older kids that will move on to secondary school after this year. They sang a song about Tanzania for us before we finished our visit with them. School boy watching us in the school yard from out of his classroom window. One of the gals in our group was out in the school yard blowing bubbles for the kids. They were very curious about the bubbles and were chasing them down. It was a lot of fun to watch them break out of the studious mode and have fun. I was taking pictures of the children and showing them their picture on the LCD screen on my camera. They would just giggle and laugh. I loved it!! Most who know me know that a child's giggle is my most favorite thing in the world, and it is so infectious!!! I'm smiling thinking about it....
Here is the building that held the two classrooms we visited. The younger children were on the left and the older on the right. They have one teacher for both classes.
We visited with a Bush tribe, who are a click speaking tribe. They live off the land and reside in grass huts unless it is the rainy season, then they will reside in caves. The women and the men congregate around camp separately. The men do the hunting and the women do the gathering. The Bush tribe women. They were making beaded jewelry while we were there. One of the women took us out to hunt for tubers, the root they gather and use for food.

Bush tribe men cooking their game they caught that morning. Yes, that is a baboon skin on the bushman on the left and on the one reaching into the fire on the right. They eat what ever it is that they can catch and they utilize every bit of the animal.

Bush tribe young female.

The elder Bush Woman of the tribe. It was said that she is in her 40's.

The Bush tribe leader, "chief". The beaded bracelet that is hanging off his necklace is now being worn by one of my nieces.

Bush woman hunting for tubers, a root they hunt for food.

Young bush man warrior. He was sent out with us, the women, to protect us while the bush woman showed us how she hunted for tubers. He took his responsibility very serious.

The Bush Men showing off their bow marksmanship to us. The bow strings are made of animal tendon, they have a lot of tension to them. They let us try them out, I had to put a lot behind it to get that arrow pulled back and balanced just so. I did hit the target on a skip.....
Datanga Tribal woman, one of the wives of the tribes elder male.

A Datanga tribal woman. The tattoos around the eyes are made by pricking with a needle tipped with charcoal.

School children singing to our group as we visited with their class. :)

Feb 24, 2007

The Safari - The Animals

This is one of our safari vehicles. We had two of these 1988 Toyota vans for our group with drivers named Nixon (our van's driver) and a guy I called "T-Man" (I could never remember how to say his name so that is why I called him T-Man, it began with a "T" and I never rode in that van to get to know him) driving the other van. The roof pops up so when we were out on the safari we could stand up and get a good view of the animals. It provided shade while letting a lot of air in because it was usually pretty hot there. I'd say high 80's to mid 90's unless it was dumping rain.

A male Impala
A Bachelor Elephant


Leopard napping in a tree above us
Female Lion resting in the shade
Male Lion in the Ngorongoro Creator

Wildebeest in the great migration
Zebra feeding her young with wildebeest in background in the Ngoronoro Creator
Banded Mongoose
Vervet Monkey
Kudu ( I think it is anyway)
Black Rhino

Redbilled Hornbilled


These are most of the animals we saw on the Safari. I will continue to add pictures of the people and the flora from the adventure so please, check back in about a week for additional posts.

Feb 19, 2007

The climb

Kilimanjaro from the "super highway" (which only denotes it's not a dirt road) out of Arusha. The first glimpse of our goal for week one. This was the clearest day we had once the climb began. We had every element of weather that mother nature could throw at us after this day until the ascent. Therefore, there are not a whole lot of photos to share from the climb itself. I was able to take a few here and there when it would clear up or the trail allowed.

Here is an example of the loads the porters carried to each camp. These fellows carried these enormous loads, on their heads, up this mountain with such ease. The clothing and footwear they wore was next to nothing, totally incredible. We saw one guy up higher on the mountain wearing sandals with no heel strap and no socks gracefully navigating the trail. They truly are amazing people.

This is what we called home during the climb. The porters had everything set up for us prior to our arrival at each camp. We slept two to a tent and ate in the green "mess hall" tent for all of our meals except lunch on the trail. The food was fairly good all though I'm not sure I'm ready for another bowl of pourage yet.....

This is how we were served our lunch on the trail.

We got a glimpse of the summit through a "sucker hole" ( a brief appearance of the sun) at Barranco camp.

The summit at Uhuru Peak, 19,340 feet. The summit bid began at 11:30 pm on February 1, 2007 (Africa date and time) and ended at Uhuru Peak at about 8:30 am on February 2, 2007. It snowed, which is unusual for this time of year here because it is their summer, from the time we left our tents until we reached the summit. It made for a longer and more intense ascent. At around 17,000 feet I started to feel the effects of altitude sickness, headache and nausea, and didn't think I would make it beyond Stella Point, but my guide and trip leader pushed me on. I'm glad they did because the summit cleared and the view was spectacular.

A view from the "Roof of Africa". Here is one of the glaciers or "ice fields" at the summit. What a spectacular view! We began our descent and entered high camp at about 1:30 pm on February 2, 2007.

All of our team's porters and guides the morning after the summit at the "Millionaires Camp". We woke to a beautiful sunrise with the mountain appearing in the background. It was warm and we all felt rested after the long day before. Having the sun shine on us for the final day on the mountain was glorious. The porters and guides sang a Kilimanjaro song for us to say their goodbyes. It was quite beautiful. They all were so sweet and they took excellent care of us.