Toronto, Day 1

We arrived safely in Buffalo, although our flight was a little late. Our friends Tim and BJ offered to have us share their hotel room for the night so that we could avoid driving up to Toronto so late at night. We decided to just push on through, and we went to pick up our car at the rental counter and picked up an upgrade to a soccer-mom Toyota mini-van and three guys trying to make their way up to Toronto as well. Turns out, I knew one of the guys, and we all have a bunch of friends in common.

It was a pretty simple drive, and definately was painless crossing the border. We stopped at Tim Horton’s, which is a scary chain that is found everywhere on both sides of the border, for soup, sandwiches, yogurt and berries, and donuts. Oh, and the peach passion drink that almost was forced on Emily and Zephyr (one of the three guys) by the lady at the counter who looked like she was going to start bouncing up and down with excitement when they asked her if the drink was any good.

Continue reading Toronto, Day 1

On the plane

It’s Wednesday night, and I’m sitting on the plane next to a sleeping sister Emily, and oddly enough, directly behind two sets of friends who boarded our plane when we stopped in Vegas a few hours ago (Tim H. and the elder Klink from the northern part of the state, for those of you who run in similar circles). We’re all headed the same place, and I’m guessing that a majority of the plane is headed to Buffalo en route to Toronto, ’cause we’re saving hundreds of dollars avoiding Toronto as our plane’s destination city ‘ I’m sure others followed the same path.

On a dumb ass note, I forgot my registration badge and information for the conference I’m attending in Toronto. Something tells me it won’t be a problem to replace ($15, little sister tells me), but I was hoping I wouldn’t have to sit in any lines due to brainless mistakes. On the flipside, the registration and an extra pair of contacts are the only things I forgot, and my sister-in-law is next-daying a couple of extra pairs of contacts to my friend Betsy’s house in New York where I’m staying for 24 hours Sunday-Monday.

I have my passport, moolah, yellow fever vaccination card, a huge epinephrine shot (should I go into anaphalaxic shock from the yellow fever shot – lol), and underoos. What else do I need’ Everything is packed. I’m looking forward to arriving in Toronto, getting a little bit settled, sleeping for a spell, and then rising for a nice morning run tomorrow before heading into the conference. My legs are sore from sitting in this damn seat all afternoon, and my body just feels out of sorts because of all of the crazy running around I’ve been doing for the last few days.

Something tells me I’ll have internet access for the next four or five days, so y’all can expect to see posts/emails between now and then. I’ll spare you the boring day-to-day shit (like this email) and will just hit you up with the few large email/photo blasts. I hope everyone’s well.

One of the best days imaginable

My day has spun backwards and forwards, been full of confusion, tears, laughter, love, and friendship. It seems like everyone has called today – but it’s been a very peaceful day as well, where everything has just fallen into place and each leaving-the-country-tomorrow type of crisis has been met and dealt with quite quickly and easily. It’s such an amazing thing. Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to send your thoughts and prayers and to all you who made it a point to hang out in the last couple of days – I don’t know if I can explain how much it means to me….

In the right place, to be sure

Late yesterday, I discovered that my first investigation into the required immunizations and innoculations was missing an important piece of information: if you enter directly into Tanzania, you don’t need a yellow fever vaccination card, but if you are entering multiple Sub-Saharan African nations, it is required.

So, I’m sitting in the back of a cab in the mid-wilshire district en route to go get some injections (I’d be on the red line, but there was a gas leak at MacArthur Park).

In any case, my morning was spent on the Gold Line next to a lady named Jewel who spent part of her late teens in Kenya and Uganda. Her parents were in the foreign service. Apparently her father was a teacher who worked in conjunction with the education systems in those respective countries. I guess they actually entertained Idi Amin before his rise to power, when he was just a guy with ideas…not a mass-murdering f$#%head. Much how my dad’s aunt entertained Saddam Hussein in the late 60’s when he was just a wealthy business man looking into trade and economic partnerships with the nation which would one day bring him down – maybe Ruth cooked him a bad meal. Ha, what if?

Continue reading In the right place, to be sure

Tayari? Ehhh, hapana. Not yet.

It’s a late Tuesday night for me, as I’m trying to make some preparations for my holiday (leaving for Toronto a week from tomorrow, and then hop on a plane on the 4th of July bound for Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania). So I’m trying to get my packing list completed, and have started getting things organized and crossed off the list.

As for the trip though, I haven’t been to East Africa since I left at the tail end of 1996, and something tells me that things have changed quite drastically since I left. The face of the world is a bit different, and being an American in this world certainly has new meaning abroad. I’ve been jokingly toying with the idea of plopping a Canadian Flag patch on my bag, though I don’t think that’s going to actually happen.

Last night I went down to me mum’s place to hang out with her, as she’s leaving in a couple of days which means we aren’t going to see each other for about 6 weeks. I know it’s only a 4 week vacation, but it seems like such an extended period (and such a short spell, at the same time) to be gone from family and friends. Add to that, my wonderful little niece Maya is growing and changing every day, and I feel like I’m going to be missing years of her youth by dissappearing for the month of July.

Continue reading Tayari? Ehhh, hapana. Not yet.