Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tanzania no regrets 2010

The next day we got to sleep late we slept to eight, we had an amazing breakfast cooked by an old student who is a volunteer, and then I played a little basketball. Then at about ten we learned a dance and they taught us to sing it in Swahili it was impossible and after 7 tries we were all tired. Then at after lunch we had to perform in front of UAACC and the other dancers dressed us up and I had to run around the crowd and scare people with a mask I was wearing. That night we watched a Panther in Africa which is a documentary about Pete and it was awesome because we were able to ask all those tough hard burning questions.

The second to last day we had a photo lesson in the morning and after lunch we had a question and answer session, were we asked many tough questions about America and Tanzania. That night we presented our photos and on assignment projects. The kids from UAACC also made a video and after the projects were complete we had a dance party.

Today is the last day I am really going to miss Tanzania, all the people I have been lucky enough to become friends with, and last but not least the children. I have decided that Tanzania is a great place and unless you go to the villages, walk the streets meet new people, experience being followed by street craft dealers, and of course the respect that everyone that everyone has here. The Tanzanians live tough and simple lives but I really enjoy the simplicity of it all and the common sense reality check that I received living here. Many good friends I will have to leave the hospitality and the simplicity. My final analysis is that no documentary, no nice safari, or staying a hotel can describe Africa you must experience Africa by yourself, you cannot explain on a blog, in person, or by pictures. You must live like the villagers learn to understand them because Tanzania is so much different than anything I have ever seen or come to know. Asante Sana Tanzania you have been amazing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

new post

So the next day was very interesting after a long day I was uploading pictures in the back of the house outside and I was the last person to come in and as I walked around the corner I see car lights, which was very unusual because it was 10:30 at night and so as I looked to see where the light was coming from I see 15 men with AK-47s in street clothing. Which was not cool and I went inside to tell the leaders and they told us to get inside get our passports and after a little yelling and a couple of calls they went away. They also were “Police”.

The next day we went to the big city Arusha where we went shopping and before we even got off the bus we were all swarmed by street people asking for money and trying to sell us stuff. The market was crazy but they really didn’t mess with me because I was big ( they called me biggie, big, bodyguard, and all types of stuff but as long as they didn’t mess with me I was ok. That night we went to Greek place in Tanzania and the world cup analysis was on until the power went out and it was completely dark after the candles were lighted the lights came back on and we ordered pizza, but after three hours and most people were served I was told that they were out of dough. Well another hour later I got my food.

The next day we went to a different market to go buy goats. It was crazy from cows running everywhere to being swarmed by people begging. After we bought two live goats we loaded them into the trunk of the bus and while we stopped to get gas and the goats busted open the trunk and made a break for it and almost made it to the highway before we pounced on them. Then we headed to a waterfall and our bus could not make it up certain spots of the hill, so we all got out the guys and some girls pushed and once we got it going the driver would like drive a mile up the road as we climbed the mountain . At one point we could not climb anymore and we went on a hard walk up the mountain. Once we reached the waterfall I was relieved it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. After that we walked down the mountain and were heading to home when our bus flipped into the bank of a mountain and broke part of my laptop as people went flying and we ended up on the side of a hill with dirt and plants coming through the window.

The next day we packed our things and started to get ready for a party for the village council. For the dinner we had to slaughter two goats, I held them down as they were killed and from then on we helped cooked dinner. After dinner we sang “Deep in The Heart of Texas” for our guests. After all the guest’s had gone home we went and chilled by the camp fire talking about our fondest memories and scared the new teachers before we left for Safari.

R stove. Then we headed off on a long like 8 hour drive to a small rock outcropping. While on the way we saw a freshly killed wildebeest killed by a cheetah and we then took some of the meat and ate it for dinner (p.s. wildebeest is really good meat).

The next day we climbed a huge mountain which was challenge because not only was it straight up, it was very rocky, the wind was gusting in the forties, and the climbing was really crazy. Then we went and found a dead cape buffalo and took pictures then packed went to bed.

The next day packed up and drove for hours to a Masai boma where we arrived in the late evening. Then a goat arrived and I held it down while a Masai held its nose to suffocate it. The reason we suffocated it instead of slitting the goats throat and then they drained the blood and I actually drank the blood.

Also we camp out every night. The next day we packed up yet again and headed to a national park. It was amazing that evening we saw hundreds of Elephants, Cape buffalo up close and personal. We even saw two leopards which is very rare from what I am told sometimes people go on safaris for 15 days and not see a leopard. After the leopard spotting we headed towards camp and to go meet Massimo our National Geographic professional photographer, but on our way we got a flat tire on the MAN truck. Which was bad news because not only did I have to help change the tire during the sunset in a lion infested national park, I also missed the sunset.

The next day we got up at 5:45 in the morning to head out to another national park and search for animals we had no trouble finding animals. Everywhere we went we saw Zebras and elephants the best part about seeing the elephants was they had personalities which made them very photogenic.

The next day we woke at 5 in the morning to drive to the caldera which is the N Crater but the fact is it isn’t a crater. As we drive down into the caldera we found tons of animals. We saw cape buffalo from 10 feet, we saw cheetahs, and the icing on the cake a lion chasing a herd of animals and ending up with a zebra it was a madhouse there were cars everywhere trying to get a glimpse of the lion eating a zebra it was amazing. In the end after a long wait our car made it up to the lion and we were less than 5 yards away simply amazing.

The next day we head to the O’Neal’s who are Black Panthers from the 60’s and seventies. They have started a school and are a big part in the community they are very nice people. They left the United States to evade charges, but they are awesome the kids are great and their hospitality is greatly appreciated. It is amazing how little things go a long way in this country. We finally have hot showers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At the lab

So people like us some people don't, today i saw my first Ak-47 which is so cool. We all are haveing a blast today we are visiting the Leprosy clinic for support today I am excited and a little afraid at the same time. Tommorrow we are going to Arusha to go to the market and I will be picking up some gifts. The Dollar goes along way here in Tanzania which is sweet and a example of this is the coke's I have had are less than 50 cents and are very large. So I leave you now my computer time is up I love everyone miss yall Shelby, Mom, Buddy, Slinke ,DAD, and everyone but now I really have to go bye.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

so much to say the trip so far

First off I would like to apoligize the internet the computers will not take any of are junk drives i have written pages of my stay in Africa and I will post it when i get home because this may be the only time i get to type. O it just worked yes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So the airport was just like any other airport, it was very lucky that we had a TV in the seat I enjoyed watching Modern family, 30 Rock, and The Office. (Wow) I almost had a heart attack at the Amsterdam airport as I was busy having a conversation I realized I had forgotten my carry on FULL OF ALL MY CAMERA GEAR and as I tried to regain access to the airplane I was stopped by a locked door and after the longest ten minutes of my life my bag was found. I slept the next flight and went through a thorough 30 second passport check I entered The Republic of Tanzania. The temperature was in the low 50s and felt amazing. After a great dinner cooked by the Mama’s (which is Swahili for an elder woman) and I was impressed by the fresh food. We were all on an African high so we stayed up way too late. I woke up in the middle of the night and that is when I realized during the middle of the night that my mosquito net was all the way across the room and that’s when I realized I was covered in mosquito bites so ya the first night sucked.So Sunday we went to a church that was supposedly 10 minutes away, it was an hour as we made our way through a maze of corn and huge sunflowers. Well we arrived into a old brick building with no windows and as I sat down I was grabbed by the arm of a member of the church and was brought to the pastor and as I came face to face with the head of the church I was barraged with Swahili and told to sit (remember everyone else is sitting out in the benches not in front of the congregation). It is then when a National Geographic leader asked how I got up there and I told him I have no earthly idea (I was later told they thought I was the leader because I was taller than everyone which comes into play latter). They sang in Swahili as I tried to follow and then all of us stood in front and sang amazing grace. I forgot to mention that there was a person who was using keyboard beats run by an electric generator outside (even during the prayers). Towards the end of the service they still believed I was a leader so they found a translator from the village and had me speak IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE church (but thank goodness I was not afraid to speak in front of large audiences and in a foreign country). Also my phone didn’t work in Amsterdam or anywhere for that matter. I have managed to find diet cokes, yes dad even in Tanzania. I had the best coke of my life today it took two days but I finally found one. Today we went up into the hills to help build irrigation ditches. We worked alongside ten foot tall stocks of corn the soil is the most fertile soil I have ever seen. Today I had a very interesting story from a drunk guy who followed me for miles and did karate moves and then posed for the camera which was amazing. The people in Tanzania are very nice and keep calling me father because I am one of the largest people around which I am told is (Mad respect which I love) While digging trenches the villagers kept calling me the strong one because I was the best at pulling up a heavy black pipe . The day ended with us uploading photos and a great dinner prepared by the Mamas.Today we went back to work on the trench the community was very appreciative I talked to a man who said he used to be a Ambassador he told me that he was happy for us coming and told me that the people were peaceful people, that he loved Americans, and to tell Obama the people of Tanzania are peaceful (no comment). We also had African drummers come and perform and sing they were amazing. We also met some kids from the UAACC a charter school and they are helping us speak Swahili and we help them speak English they love photography.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Thank you

I would like to thank the following people for making this trip possible both my grandparents Don and Bunny Carlton and Dee and Bob Skeete for supporting me and i would also like to thank my parents for spending the time and money to make this trip possible. This is a trip of a lifetime and words can not describe how appreciative i am for the support i have received from everyone. I have always wanted to go to Africa and now my dream is coming true, it just blows my mind i am getting to incorporate my love for the outdoors with photography. I am also excited to have a book published with my photos after i have completed my trip.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010