Tuesday, January 30, 2007

hotel rwanda

i'm lucky to be standing today. i think i caught my lastest cold. i've been on the brink lately. i was having lunch at a local chinese eatery called the shanghai restaurant (yes, run by a real chinese doctor). i ordered the beef and vegetable sizzler. it was delicious. i digress. at the end of lunch, there was a huge rainstorm. the temperature dropped. i caught a chill. the rest is history. i headed back to the hotel and crashed from 2 PM to 8 AM.

i'm quite anxious. the gorilla tour is tomorrow. you can't track them if you have an illness. gorillas are susceptible to human viruses apparently.

i feel much better today though.

went to the kigali genocide memorial a couple of days ago. a must if you are here. the exhibition itself was very well done. very emotive and shocking displays. the whole thing centred on video clips of survivors talking about their experiences. while walking around town, it's difficult to see how these people were hacking one another with machetes just 13 years ago.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

rwanda, rwanda...

hello my friends,

just a quickie today.

i made it through the war zone (burundi) safely. lots of stories. i took an incredibly warped way to get into burundi but a straightforward way out.

i'm in kigali, rwanda now. safe and sound. in fact it's a really nice place.

i'll be touring town for the next couple of days.

then, i've booked a giant mist filled gorilla tour for wednesday.

i met a nice canadian girl, jennifer, she's thinking of making a brief tour into the heart of darkness, the congo, i might follow her.

be back with photos soon.

take care.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


fubar, my friends. after only 2 months of travel, i look like hell. trust me, i've been getting my 3 meals per day. maybe it's the food... by the way that's downtown kigoma in the background. my fat head is blocking the view of the open sewage line.

i presently here in kigoma, tanzania.

nothing happening to day other than researching burundi a bit and taken care of money probs.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

living amistad 2007...

just got off the MV liemba. talking about a real life version of the film amistad. for four days i was crammed on board the liemba with a whole lotta black folks.

the stories i've got to tell have to wait.

i've got a new phone number for my cell toy.

it's 255784165397. the country code for tanzania is 255 which is smack dab in front of the big long phone no. judging by the huge flood of phone calls and messages with the zambian no., i'll brace myself for a similar barrage.

just chillin' in kigoma at the moment, figuring out how to proceed next.

interesting that everyone here is suggesting that i go through burundi to get to the mountain gorillas of rwanda. that violates a big security rule of mine: do not enter war zones. maybe it's ok now. i figure it out. in the meantime i'm experiencing a cashflow problem that involves USD. you know, that drabby coloured money.

till later. go ahead ring that phone!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

big announcement...welcome to the 21st century...

hello my friends...

first, i'm still in lusaka. except for good internet access here, i find nothing really remarkable about this town (in fact, it's a bit of a shithole -- no insult intended to my zambian brothers). reminds me of nairobi. lots of people, mainly uneducated idiots, are calling me japan or china and making utterances that are suppose to be ramblings in japanese/chinese. i was shopping today with my new friend, jenny, from the netherlands/malaysia. she's chinese. she feels like killing these impersonators.

it's time to move on from this town. i'm breaking a security rule by staying at the bus station tonite in order to catch the 4 AM bus for mpulungma tomorrow. it's going to be a long night. i'll sleep on the bus tomorrow (the trip will take 12+ hours - could be a big +).

second, i've joined, temporarily, the 21st century. i bought a cell phone. for those interested, my zambian number (for the remaining 3 days i'm here) is +2609984472. 26 is the country code for zambia. send me a text message (i dunno how). or, if you're really brave, give me call. i'll be at the said bus station tonite. man, it's gonna be a lonely night...

Monday, January 15, 2007

out of touch...

hello my friends.

haven't posted lately. when that happens, it's either i don't have access to the internet or the cost of hooking up is outrageous.

it's been so long i had to review my last posting.

but to be brief, i did make it to malawi (in fact i'm currently in lusaka, zambia). it took 48 hours to get there, including a hell ride in the back of an open pick up truck. that ride from mocuba, mozambique to milange at the malawian border, took 5 hrs. it was 3 hrs. in the dark of night with rain coming down.

i thought i was in steven spielberg's Amistad, with my 20 other passengers.

from there i headed to cape maclear on the shores of lake malawi.

my immediate impressions of malawi: crowded, lots of coffin builders, seems to be better off than the mozambicans, and, man, they seem to be happy.

there was no internet access in cape maclear. i spent 5 days there just chilling out after the bus ride from hell. it's so beautiful there...

from there i made it to lilongwe, the capital of malawi.

i completely messed up my rendezvous date with the s.s. liemba on lake tanganika (sp). i had to hoof it back to lake malawi for more r&r. i'm not perfect yet, but i'm getting good at chillin'.

just yesterday i made it to lusaka after one of the most convoluted route/transport itineraries i've ever encountered.

there are numerous stories to tell and people to mention.

i'll save those till next time. plus, a big announcement.

but, to keep everyone abreast of the upcoming itinerary. i should be in northern tanzania by the beginning of next week. inshallah, of course...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

bon ano!!!!

well, happy new year to all my loyal readers.

just came back to nampula from the ilha do mozambique.

spent NY's there. the actual NYE was really good. started slow. we, me and my guesthouse mates, didn't book a table at any of the local eateries. so, we were stuck without any dinner. no food, unless you called beer "food".

we made our way to the local movie house where they planned fireworks on the stroke of midnight. there were indian people setting out delicious food out on sidewalk tables. someone asked if the food was for sale. they replied that it was a private party but we could join in.

what a feed! several curries, chow mein like dishes, chicken. mmm... all washed down with fanta orange.

man those folks were nice...

fireworks were awesome.

my stay in ilha do mozambique will be best remembered for the number of ailments i was suffering. my left leg got infected some how. it started to swell horribly. i met a german med student who suggested that i take a course of cipro (antibiotic). within 24 hrs. the swelling had gone down. in the meantime i'd been fighting an upper respiratory infection (cough) with a 16 USD bottle of benylin cough syrup. after beginning the cipro treatment for my leg, the cough subsided as well.

two birds with one stone, eh.

no more infections please.

off to malawi tomorrow via mocuba, milange and blantyre. it's a rather obscure route. wish me luck.

cya on the other side.