Tag Archives: Travel

The First Art Museum

When I was in France I had the fortune to visit a few of their famous caves. Like any other tourist in Dordogne, I visited Lascaux II. While Lascaux II faithfully reproduces most of the great art of the original, it is painfully obvious you’re in a tourist attraction the whole time. I also was able to visit Font-de-Gaume, a lesser known cave which has original paintings and reliefs. Mammoths, bison, horses and reindeer are all found throughout, though most of them require you to look hard to notice them. We had a tour guide who pointed each one out and gave us background about each work. Voices echoed whenever spoken.

Reaching Font-de-Gaum requires a laborious hike up steep stairs to the top of the hill. It was well worth it and I was conditioned for it, I had been in the Parisian Catacombs and climbed to the roof of Notre Dame just a few days earlier.

The pictures are not my own, they don’t allow tourists to take photos:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/echo/

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Want some culture?

I guess it’s a good opportunity to post some pictures of my trip to France back in May. Here are some pics from the Musee d’Orsee, Musee Cluny and Notre Dame.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/culture/

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Worry about the orange elephant in the room, not me

Ever since I first joined WordPress I have cycled through periods of daily activity followed by weeks to months long spells of inactivity. Tonight I am coming out of the longest inactive spell yet, elven months. My last previous post was on December 31st, 2015. Here is a brief timeline of everything that has happened with me so far this year:

January: I began my final semester of undergrad; I also applied to the University of Oregon’s Master’s in Journalism program.

March: I receive an acceptance letter from UO, relieving stress about what to do after graduation.

April: I turn in the final draft of my senior thesis; at the student paper staff party I win an award for Best News Writer.

May: I graduate with a Bachelor’s in History; I go on a school trip to France.

June: I return to America; I move to Eugene and begin my grad program.

August: The quarter is over so I go home.

September: I return to Eugene and start the new quarter; I find out I am on academic probation because my GPA is below the required 3.0, if I don’t get it up this quarter I will be dismissed from the program.

November: The bastard child of Mussolini and an orangatang is elected President of the United States of America.

Now for the orange elephant in the room. That last event is what compelled me to end my hiatus after a few months of procrastination. I didn’t think it would happen. When Trump announced he was running I thought it was a joke. When he lasted I few months I wasn’t particularly worried. Just another occupant of the Republican Clown Car I thought. I didn’t mention him once in any of my posts from my last active period, he simply wasn’t worth my time or energy. I don’t remember any of the blogs I follow taking him serious either, most thought he would fizzle.

Then he was the last man standing.

Like everyone else, I believed the polls which placed his rival at an 80+% chance of winning. I am shocked and frightened. As a journalist in training me and my cohort mates feel compelled to be part of a new generation of media that nips this sort of bullshit in the bud.

So long story short, I decided it was time to return. WordPress has been a great platform for me to put out my thoughts to the world.

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Empty Pill Bottle

Today I took my last antimalariaral tab. I had been taking those antibiotics every day for 65 days, which was right before I left for Tanzania. I left almost a month ago but had to keep taking them up until just today because there was a risk of me getting bit by an infected mosquito and it stayingg dorman in my system; just waiting for me to stop taking those pills. Now whatever possible malaria was in my system has been flushed out. Assuming of course that it was there in the first place (I was bitten in several places on multiple occasions, despite using bugspray). Better safe than sorry!

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Krash

This sure is a timely prompt for me! Though I had only slept for brief intervals at a time on both plane ride, my body had just enough energy to carry me into the car ride home. When I walked into my house, I crashed on the couch and turned on the TV. That sure felt good. Later I went on up in my room to unpack my luggage, but I ended up falling asleep on my bed. I’m a good seven inches taller than your average Tanzanian, so every bed I was in there forced me to either let my feet dangle or sleep in the fetal position. Nothing like five weeks in a nonwestern nation to get you to appreciate a bed that fits you!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/back-to-life/

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Back From the Motherland (this time for real)

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Hello faithful readers, as you know from either closely following this blog or by the last two posts I have been away in Tanzania for quite some time now. Well now I’m back. We arrived back in America on Thursday, but the 24+ total hours of traveling had left me to exhuasted to write a new post until just now.

To briefly recap what I had said we’d be doing earlier (click on the tag “Tanzania” for more) we went to go stay and help out a Benedictine convent. I baked bread, helped schoolchildren with Enlgish reading skills, organized medical records at a village clinic, and extracted sunflowerseed oil. I helped at the orhpanage once, but found the kids to be far more energetic for me to keep up with; though there were two other team members who were with them for the duration of our stay and are now in full maternal mode for them. Everyone on the team grew very connected with many indiviudals we met, alas because I have Asperger’s Syndrome I by and large did not. It’s not that I didn’t try, it takes me much longer to develope bonds and we simply didn’t have enough time. As the trip loomed towards the inevitable end everyone dreaded leaving, but I was more then ready. However by the last week I was beginning to feel a closeness with the people we met, and now I wish that perhaps the trip was longer so I would have had more time for that. Whatever the case, I was the only one who didn’t shed a tear during goodbyes.

This being subsaharan Africa, of course we saw lots of animals. Zebras, giraffs, elephants, baboons, antelope, gazelles, wildebeast, city monkeys, and weird black birds with white torso that make a very annoying sound. No lions or rhinos, but we did have an opportunity to pass throuh a reserve known for those two. We elected not to because it would have added three hours to our already 16 hour Jeep ride from Dar es Salaam to Songea. Songea is a small city about an hour from the convent, and once a week we would go there to buy supplies, check the internet, and get a much needed change of scenery. At the internet cafe I tried to post updates for you guys but the internet was way to shitty to get anything done. It took me like twenty minutes to check my email.

Overall I would say this trip is probably one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. So far, anyway. I did, saw, and experienced far too much to be shared in one post, so expect more information in the near future.

You can find more pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Martins-University-Service-Immersion-Programs/1428976637321287?ref=stream (as you scroll down eventually you will begin to see more and more pictures from unrelated trips)

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The Day After Tomorrow

Hey Strangers and Friends, I’m sorry for going over a week without posting anything. Last week some out of state relatives visited and we stayed in a beachouse that for some weird unadvertized reason didn’t have any internet access. They left on Saturday, and I haven’t posed until know because I am preparing the next big thing on my Summer agenda. More like the next big event in my life, really.

As some of you may recall, I will be going to Tanzania. Well I will be leaving, as the post’s title insinuates, the day after tomorrow. I have feel really fluttery right now as this is something I have been anticipating since December. For most of that time I was not particurally excited as I had more immediate matters of concern, but now it is right on the horizon. I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness; the latter due largely to the fact I’m not a big fan of flying, let alone a twenty hour hour flight. We will have a two hour layover in Amsterdam, we won’t be able to set foot outside the airport (which from what I understand means we legally won’t enter the Netherlands). Originally we had planned to do a day trip to Zanzibar, but we scrapped that idea in light of a recent terrorist bombing.

This isn’t the first time I have been out of the US, I grew up in Japan and have been to Canada a couple times. Nor is it my first time out of the US away from my parents, I did that when I went to Costa Rica in 2012. However I will be gone for five weeks, and this is much further.

Internet access will be limited to dial-up on obsolete and unprotected computors if availible at all. I will try and post something while I’m there if I can, but don’t count on it. See you all on July 25th!

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Africa is a HUGE Place

I will be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania within thirty days. I have been thinking about it a lot and today’s Prompt is fitting as the last time I held silence on something that should have been said was during a meeting to prepare for this trip. One member of the team laboriously put together a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of us an the village we will be staying at. It was very nice except for one detail: the background music. To me the music sounded extremely dark and gloomy (I think they were going for “ambient”), and it sort of seemed to unwittingly perpetuate the whole “Dark Continent” stereotype that dominates depictions of Africa. Someone said that the song sounded familiar and asked the slideshow creator where it came the. The answer? “It’s the theme music from Blood Diamond, it took me forever to find the right sounding song.” I’m not sure what was went by “right sounding,” but I have a bad feeling that meant “African sounding”.

Here is the problem: Blood Diamond took place in Sierra Leone, which is on the opposite side of the continent that Tanzania is on. Those two nations have nothing in common, so that would mean that there music is most likely entire different. I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference, but I’m sure it would be as absurd as playing Irish music on a slideshow about a trip to Russia. Ireland and Russia are both Europe after all. As much as I wanted to voice my concern, I held my silence and I’m glad I did. I wanted to suggest maybe searching for some music that was actually Tanzanian (or at least Swahili), but out of tact I did not. Honestly the Circle of Life would have been better, because its upbeat and the Lion King uses Swahili extensively. Or even some reggae, since while it is not actually from Africa it does have a message of peace and global unity. Oh well, I’m sure nobody who saw that slideshow saw what I saw.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/break-the-silence/

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I Have No Such List

There are many things I want to do before die, but I feel no need or desire to write a list for it. Some things I will almost certainly do, others I will possibly do, and others there is a good chance that I won’t. Having such a list would become a measure of life success and a completion meter. Because I view everything as being nothing but a sequence of cause and effect from circumstance, I realize that anything could become impossible. I have always wanted to go to Egypt and Turkey, neither one is remotely plausible as of current and it will probably be many years before it is again. On the other hand I will be going to Tanzania this summer, which is not a place I had ever thought about going to before going to the info session for the trip. Besides, what will it matter what item on the list I completed or didn’t once the bucket is kicked?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/dust-wind/

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Summertime is Luh-uh Lovin’

The first thing I will be doing is emptying my dorm room and moving all of it back to my house. Once I have turned in my room key and gotten in the car Summer will officially begin for me. I will have a couple week before I need to pack again, this time for Tanzania. After six months there I will return, staying two weeks in Europe had been talked about but much to my chagrin nobody wanted to do that. We will also only be in the Amsterdam Airport for two hours on the way there and two hours in the London Airport on the way back. It would have been nice to get two continents checked off with one trip, but I can’t since legally you are not in the country until you have left the airport. A good portion after my Summer will probably be spent telling everyone about how that last six weeks went and readjusting back into American life. Other than that, my Summer will probably not be that interesting.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/daily-prompt-in-the-summertime/

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