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10 Things We Will Never Again Take for Granted

As we complete our travels in Southern Africa and cross the border into Tanzania today, here, in no particular order, are 10 things that we have resolved to never again take for granted:

1. Indoor heating in wintertime.

2. Feeling under the weather without a fear of having contracted malaria.1

An ominous warning in our lodge’s “important information” book: Presume you have malaria until proven otherwise.

3. A constant supply of electricity and running water.

4. Reliable high-speed internet access.2

5. Having more than five clothing options in your wardrobe backpack.

6. En suite bathrooms in hotel rooms. See also hot showers.

7. ATMs that unquestionably accept your debit card and are stocked with cash.

Another day, another ATM fail.

8. The assurance of livestock-free public transportation.3

9. Used bookstores that are not dominated by Danielle Steele novels or books in Afrikaans.

10. The ready availability of things like Thai food and non-instant coffee.

1 Spoiler alert: the malaria test I had done on Monday came back negative.
2 No, really. Even this simple, two-picture post took forever to upload.
3 Remind us never to complain about the MTA ever again.

10 Things We’ve Learned After Three Months on the Road

Today marks the third month that we have been on the road! Here, in no particular order, are 10 things that we have learned thus far:

Our home for most of last month.

1. How to set up and take down a tent in record time.

2. Toast prepared over a campfire is far superior to toast prepared in a toaster.

3. Fall in Southern Africa is much, much colder than you would ever expect.

4. An American accent sounds like chewing (or, at least, it does according to our waitress at Joe’s Beer House in Windhoek).

5. Vervet monkeys are surprisingly nimble grapefruit thieves.

6. Even though you might think the honey badger is a worldwide sensation, it is not. (Your enthusiasm for the honey badger is generally appreciated, even if not fully understood.)

7. If you visit Victoria Falls during early June, when the water is close to its highest point, you will not just get wet, you will get SOAKED.

8. How to make s’mores using a fork, pink marshmallows, and dark chocolate-dipped biscuits.

9. A group of giraffes is called a tower, and a group of warthogs is called a sound.

10. In Zimbabwe, US$2 bills are alive and well, if not of a very tired appearance that would quickly cause them to be put out of their misery and taken out of circulation in the United States.

15 Things We’ve Learned During Our First Month in Africa

It’s our one-month travelversary!  Here are 15 random things that we’ve learned thus far after a month on the ground in Africa:

1. We probably brought too much stuff.  And, yet, I neglected to bring a single pair of shorts or a t-shirt.

2. How to drive on the left-hand side of the road.  (Otherwise known as the wrong side of the road.)

3. How to tell the difference between a white rhinoceros and a black rhinoceros.  It’s all in the shape of the mouth.

These are white rhinos.

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