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[Doha] Souk Minutes

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The Museum of Islamic Art. Worth spending a couple of hours because of its beautiful collection, and mostly because of its air-conditioning.???????????????????????????????

The Souq Waqif. A traditional market which sells virtually everything Qatari.???????????????????????????????

The insides of the Souq.???????????????????????????????

A falcon hospital.
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Falcons are so precious to the Qataris that they have an entire hospital dedicated to treating their wounded/sick pets.IMG_1442Something familiar – Carrefour!

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[Zanzibar] Somewhere in Paradise

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Confusing local transport to get to Zanzibar Island.???????????????????????????????

On board the bus.???????????????????????????????

Walking through the narrow alleys of the historic Stonetown. ???????????????????????????????

These doors are lavishly decorated to represent the occupation and heritage of its owners (the sharp stuff is to keep imaginary elephants out) ???????????????????????????????

Spice trading is once and still a big part of life for Zanzibaris. A lot of the spices are grown locally.???????????????????????????????

As a major port for slave trading, Stonetown once housed the slaves before they were shipped elsewhere. Up to 50 slaves were enclosed in these cells for days, and the weak ones were left to die.???????????????????????????????

This is a heart-breaking walk back to the inhumane history of slaving.
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Stonetown’s port during sunset.???????????????????????????????

A night market by the beach.???????????????????????????????

Last day of the trip: we were surprised to be able to stay in such a beautiful hotel.???????????????????????????????

My dear friend and room mate Henrique giving two thumbs up.???????????????????????????????

This is paradise.???????????????????????????????

Having a great time snorkelling.???????????????????????????????

Wow, I could just die here.???????????????????????????????

Clear blue waters.
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White sandy beaches.???????????????????????????????

Mesmerizing sunsets.???????????????????????????????

And a birthday party.???????????????????????????????If heaven’s not better than this, I am staying here.

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[Marangu] The Slopes of Kilimanjaro

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The advertisement slogan of the Kilimanjaro beer. I did not get to climb it this time, but I sure gulped down quite some liters of it.???????????????????????????????

The old Lawns Hotel.???????????????????????????????

I wonder if it is haunted? ???????????????????????????????

A baby chameleon we found during our village walk. Can I keep it????????????????????????????????

Barbara telling us how she and her team worked teaching teachers how to teach in the Village Education Project.???????????????????????????????

A visit to the Amani Children’s Center for street kids.???????????????????????????????

My buddy here wants to be a tour guide some day.
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We may have lost the football game, but at least we survived (too many injuries… too many…)984203_10152355317271342_6506841962079666155_n

Our fabulous tour leader Leleh.1937469_10152355314221342_2221928547064484502_n

Mealtime routine. Step 1: Wash your hands using only these three buckets of water.10359318_10152355313556342_1367856605112269529_n

Step 2: After eating, get on with your chores!10527839_10152355313626342_4114539279397309272_nStep 3: Everybody flap your plates! Bonus points if you get creative with your moves.

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[Serengeti] Into The Wild

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The Serengeti is just sheer wilderness. ???????????????????????????????

A big family of hippos having a good time in their mud baths.
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Zebras munching under the bright blue sky.???????????????????????????????

These is awesome.???????????????????????????????

Dusty roads leading to the wild.???????????????????????????????

A male ostrich chasing her mate.
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The female ostrich awaits the male patiently.???????????????????????????????

Hi there, humans!???????????????????????????????

A Maasai man with his cattle with a herd of giraffes in the background.???????????????????????????????

I am floating!???????????????????????????????

The sunset is amazing.

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The king of the savannah trying to do the nasty with his mistress.???????????????????????????????

A young male lion after a feed.???????????????????????????????

Look how close we are to the lion.???????????????????????????????

Speechless.???????????????????????????????

Home-cooked Tanzanian delicacies.???????????????????????????????

A striving artist community.???????????????????????????????

Maasai drawings.???????????????????????????????

These are refugees from Mozambique showing refined wood craftsmanship.???????????????????????????????

Young students of the Mto Wa Mbu elementary school.10300873_10152278682335248_732798821339743742_nMy family. Papa and mama on the right, three lovely sisters in between.

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[Masai Mara] The Blood Warriors

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These are our trustworthy tents for the whole safari trip. After a few days, I became experts in assembling them.???????????????????????????????

The Maasai chief and his brother, son and friend.???????????????????????????????

The Maasai people still live in traditional mud houses.
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Maasai women having a great time looking at their pictures.???????????????????????????????

Let’s join hands in a Maasai dance.???????????????????????????????

Following the footsteps of his big brother.???????????????????????????????

Young males aged 17-25 are designated warriors. During this period, they usually camp near the village, hunt for animals and protect the villagers. This is a honorable duty they have to complete before attaining adulthood.???????????????????????????????

Stories by the campfire.???????????????????????????????

A Maasai warrior showing us how comfortable his bed of leaves are.???????????????????????????????

The Maasai warriors challenge each other to a jumping contest. The higher you jump, the more likely you’ll get a good wife. (I’m doing quite well huh?)???????????????????????????????

My new found friend.???????????????????????????????

A herd of elephants roaming around us.

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Beauty is everywhere.???????????????????????????????

A lioness taking a siesta.???????????????????????????????

Candelabra trees look eerie to me.IMG_3077

Wildebeest migration.???????????????????????????????

An elephant having dinner.???????????????????????????????

Zebra crossing (No pun intended)???????????????????????????????

These birds are freaks! They look scary.
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[Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha] There is Green In Africa

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Days spent in the monstrous Intrepid “truck”. (Don’t you dare call it a bus!)???????????????????????????????

Started our journey with a visit to the New Hope Children’s Center. I think they are doing a good job giving these children a safe home and education.???????????????????????????????

Lake Nakuru NP. Close encounters with the buffaloes.
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Local women selling cute handwoven souvenirs.???????????????????????????????

Columbus monkeys lurking around the branches.???????????????????????????????

One thing I’ve learned during the safari is… Hippos may look cute but they actually extremely dangerous!

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Biking excursion into Hellsgate NP. The roads can be very dusty and rocky at times but definitely worth the trip.???????????????????????????????

See how close I can get to my dear Zebra friend.???????????????????????????????

The beautiful gorge which served as a filming set for Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie.???????????????????????????????

Taking a boat ride in Lake Naivasha.???????????????????????????????A pair of fish eagles.

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[Kawangware] Football and Dreams

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Thanks to Martin and Heather, I had the chance to visit another slum in Nairobi, named Kawangware. Situated just a wall away from the sophisticated affluent neighborhood of Lavington Estate, I witness first hand how humans are segregated according to their wealth.???????????????????????????????

The main road in Kawangware. People whom normally go on with their usual daily business stopped to look at me, someone way out of their norm. It is almost impossible to see foreigners walking around here.

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My dear friend Martin, who was kind enough to show me his hometown and shared a great deal about how he struggled whilst growing up. This is a nice local lunch served in a market.

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How precious is Sara! She just melts my heart. I had so much fun with her, looking at her books and trying to understand her Swahili-English conversation.???????????????????????????????

Martin is currently leading a kids’ football team in Kawangware, trying to give the children a more positive outlook in life. Here’s the small but cozy team’s office.

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A walk through the local market. All those fresh produce!

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The local kids are always excited when you have a camera in hand. They would go screaming “Pikka pikcha! (Take a picture!)” and “Hello Mzungu (Hello white person)”.
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These children are lucky to be involved in a after-school sports team rather than in drugs and gangs. This field is just a short walk away from illegal breweries and backstreets where drugs were sold. Notice their footballs and team jerseys. All clothes and shoes were donated and shared amongst the teammates. The footballs were so worn out they now look naked.???????????????????????????????Martin prep-talking to the team. Always an inspiration, I believe his positive outlook in life will bring out the best in these young boys.