Monday, December 31, 2007

Where is Amy today? Monday, December 31

Arusha, Tanzania
From Dar es Salaam they travel through vast sisal plantations to Arusha. On the way they pass the Pare and Usambara mountain ranges before driving through the town of Moshi. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and weather permitting; they may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! Tonight they stay in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

Time in Tanzania

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where is Amy today? Sunday, December 30

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
After several relaxing days in Zanzibar, they return to the mainland and stay in Dar Es Salaam again before starting on their last leg of the safari.

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Time in Tanzania

Recent Nam 25, Nam 26 and Nam 27 PCV bloggers, news and information for the month of December

Support World AIDS Day

New Era newspaper article about the launch of Nam 25 PCVers, Will and Beth's HIV/AIDs CD project: Namibia Alive Volume 11

Save the M-Bag!!

All Nam 25 bloggers

Nam 25 bloggers active lately:
Zambian Border (12/19)

Victoria Falls and the kwacha (12/15)
Livingstone, I presume (12/13)
Itinerary for my trip (12/5)
Links to photos of our trip in August

All Nam 26 bloggers

Nam 26 bloggers active lately:

All Nam 27 bloggers

Parent, sibling, relative or friend of a Nam 27'er? Have questions? Want to ask someone who's been there? click this link:
PeaceCorpsNamibia Yahoo group

Nam 27 bloggers active lately:


Other Namibia Peace Corps Blog links

Link to previous list of recent blogs (November 2007)

Recent news from Namibia

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Where is Amy today? Tuesday - Sunday, December 25-30

Zanzibar, Tanzania
History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you’d like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.

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About Zanzibar

Weather in Zanzibar

Time in Tanzania

Monday, December 24, 2007

Where is Amy today? Monday, December 24

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
This morning they make their way to Dar es Salaam from Iringa, where they stayed last night. They pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. On arrival in Dar es Salaam, they make their way to a lovely seaside campsite and prepare for their departure to Zanzibar the next morning.

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About Mikumi National Park

About Tanzania

About Dar Es Salaam

Weather in Tanzania

Time in Tanzania

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Where is Amy today? Sunday, December 23

Iringa, Tanzania
Not quite sure if this is where she is, but according to her last email and their itinerary, they might be moving their schedule ahead by 2 days. If so, then after a relaxing 3 days, the tour leaves Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, they head towards Iringa where they spend the night in a beautiful rustic ‘Farmhouse’ campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

Time in Tanzania

Friday, December 21, 2007

Where is Amy today? Thursday - Saturday, December 22

Leaving Zambia the tour crosses into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’. They stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. They will travel the full length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 3 days.

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About Malawi

About Lilongwe

Weather in Malawi

Time in Malawi

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Zambian border (email from Amy)

You meet interesting people when you are hiking. On my way up to Livingstone I met an Angolan diamond smuggler. "Where does your father live?" he asked me in a reserved voice while sitting close to me in the combi. I responded that he lived in America. "Would he be interested in buying any precious stones?" No, as a matter of fact, my father is not in the market for any blood diamonds from shady Angolan immigrants...I think I will miss these things in America. You just don't meet people like that in your day to day life there. I am on the border between Zambia and Malawi at the moment. Tomorrow I head to Lake Malawi It looks like I will be spending Christmas in Zanzibar, so I may be completely out of touch for a while, but have a very Merry Christmas without me.

Where is Amy today? Wednesday, December 19

Chipata, Zambia
From Lusaka they head north east to a beautiful little campsite just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. Here they spend the night before heading into Malawi.

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Photos on Google Video from Chipata, Zambia

Current Time in Zambia

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where is Amy today? Tuesday, December 18

Lusaka, Zambia
An early morning start from Livingstone sees the tour head north through southern Zambia to a campsite on the outskirts of Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. The campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope – Eland.

View Larger Map. Zoom in to see the maze of city streets.

Current Time in Zambia

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where is Amy today? Monday, December 17

The overland tour begins today in Livingstone, Zambia. It will end in Nairobi, Kenya in 21 days. A link to the description of the tour is below the map.

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Link to the Overland Tour page

Amy's itinerary

Amy's latest email

About Zambia

Current Time in Zambia

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Where is Amy today? - Friday, Saturday, Sunday, December 14 - 16

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

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Click the yellow placemark above for an aerial video of the falls. When that video ends, there are another dozen short videos you can view at the bottom of the video screen. Zoom in/out, change views or scroll around using mouse or controls in the corners.

Map of Victoria Falls Area

About Victoria Falls

Current Weather and Radar for Livingstone, Zambia

Victoria Falls and the kwacha (email from Amy)

Hey everyone,

I'm doing well. I saw Vic Falls yesterday. I have decided not to go see the Zimbabwean side because the visas are just too expensive and Ifigure that it probably looks pretty much the same as this side.Victoria Falls is a very large waterfall. I don't know how else to describe it. Even if I sent pictures they'd be the same pictures everyone takes (Google "Victoria Falls" and save me some internet time.) First we went to a place called the "Boiling pot" basically it's the very bottom of the Falls. This sounds nice and easy, but the Zambezi river is a bit high right now, so once we got to the bottom of a large staircase we had to wade knee deep through the river in the middle of a tropical rain forest. Luckily, nothing and no one fell in. Today I went to the Livingstone museum. I'm still getting used to the currency. The exchange rate is high here (the local currency is kwacha and 3400 kwacha= US$1) so everything looks expensive. It's a bit strange buying a loaf of bread advertised at "only" 2000k. Plus, they don't have coins, everything is notes, and the smallest note is 50 kwacha (about 1.5 US cents) so you carry around these big wads of money.) I meet the tour that takes me to Nairobi tomorrow. I
don't know how regularly I will be able to send email, but I'll try to keep you all updated as I continue on this crazy trip.

Currently Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Much Love.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Where is Amy today? - Thursday, December 13

Katima Mulilo, Namibia to Livingstone, Zambia
The plan is to cross the Zambezi River at Katima and catch a ride from a tourist or locals and to get to Livingstone by afternoon. She will stay at "Jolly Boys" hostel for the next three or four nights and meet, Patrick, who will be her traveling partner for the next month. Patrick is a PCV teammate of Amy's who COS'd the week before her and made his way to Livingstone via Botswana a few days before Amy.

***Update: I just "chatted" with Amy on Gmail at 9 AM (5 PM her time). She got in an hour ago. She walked across the international bridge at Katima and got a bus there to Livingstone. She said it was nice to have her own seat and no live animals aboard. It is pouring and everything she has is wet but she has a hot meal, a dry bed and three days to stay in one place before the tour.

See her email sent just after we signed off

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Click on placemarks and lines above to see locations and distances. Zoom in/out, change views or scroll around using mouse or controls in the corners.

Click for Livingstone, Zambia Forecast

Livingstone, I presume.(email from Amy)


I am safe and sound, at last, in Livingstone Zambia. On Tuesday I hitchhiked from Windhoek to Grootfontein. Then, in a marathon bit of hiking I made it all the way to Katima Mulilo on the Zambian borders yesterday (in extremely overcrowded Ford Ventures whose drivers insisted on playing Thimbukushu Pop music full blast and blatantly ignoring the 3 meter signs that consisted entirely of a giant triangle with an exclamation point in it and one word "ELEPHANTS.") This morning I took a taxi from the backpackers where I spent the night to the border, which I walked across. Nothing makes you feel quite so much like a refugee as walking across an African border carrying everything you own on your back. I managed to rebuff the moneychangers (it's not a good idea to change money with random guys talking in fervent whispers and holding wads of cash just outside of border posts.) While I was inside the Zambian Customs Station (which sort of resembled an impoverished 19th century schoolhouse, well scrubbed oak tables and neatly kept, hand printed registration books where I had to neatly pen my name.) it started raining, no, actually the proper word is pouring. The taxi pulled right up to the bottom of the stairs outside the customs house and in the two seconds it took me to get inside I was soaked to the skin. When we crossed the Zambezi river it was raining too hard and I was too busy trying to keep the front windshield clear of fog, that I didn't even notice. The taxi driver let me off in the town of Seshike. So, without a kwacha to my name (I paid in Rand) I boarded an overcrowded bus and here I am, in Livingstone. In Dark Star Safari Paul Theroux says that traveling is like going back in time and that's what this place sort of feels like. You have the muddy streets, the vibrant street markets, the decaying old buildings, and the beggars, crazy people, street performers and other random people vying for your attention. If Namibia is what the Germans imagined Africa to be, properly ordered with schedules and neatly lined streets and little German frau dresses everywhere, then it sort of makes sense that this is Africa as the British imagined it, muddy and sort of disordered with everyone sort of going about their own business. I stay here a few days, then on to Lusaka and beyond. Finished Middlemarch on my crazy hike. Seems a little strange whilst barreling past mud and reed huts and tropical rainforests, but whatever.
I'll keep you all updated.
Much love

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where is Amy today? - Wednesday, December 12

Grootfontein to Katima Mulilo
Amy got into Grootfontein at about 8:30 PM (Namibian time)last evening and stayed with Skye, a Nam 26 volunteer. Her driver brought her right to the house. She caught a ride this morning at the hike point outside the city in a Chevy Venture minivan with 9 other people bound for Rundu. We talked to her this morning at 2:30 PM (Namibian time)in the van about 70 km from Rundu. She plans to get to Katima Mulilo and stay in a hostel by tonight. She also has the option of staying with another Nam 26 PCV in Divundu, 215 mi. from Katima Mulilo. She sounded happy and excited.

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Click on placemarks and lines above to see locations and distances. Zoom in, change views or scroll around using mouse or controls in the corners.

About the Caprivi Strip and Katima Mulilo

Click for Rundu, Namibia Forecast

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where is Amy today? - Tuesday, December 11

Windhoek to Grootfontein, Namibia
At 6:30 AM (CST) this morning (2:30 PM in Namibia), Amy was in Windhoek waiting for a ride at the hike point. She just got a ride to Otjiwarongo as we finished talking and was hoping to get to Groootfontein by this evening.

Click for Grootfontein, Namibia Forecast

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Itinerary for trip (email from Amy)

OK, here's my itinerary for my crazy trip. Just in case you were interested.


3-leave Anker, hike to Windhoek
4-Windhoek, COS (close of service) interviews and stuff
5-Windhoek, COS stuff
6-Windhoek, COS stuff
7-Windhoek, COS stuff - Last day as a PCV
8-Windhoek, hanging out, staying at Jason's
9-Windhoek, hanging out, staying at Jason's
10-Windhoek, hanging out, staying at Jason's
11-Hike north, probably stay at Rundu or Divundu
12-Katima Mulilo, Namibia- probably stay at a hostel or something
13-Cross the border into Zambia, hike to Livingstone, staying at
Jolly Boys (a youth hostel), Vic Falls stuff
14-Livingstone, Zambia- Staying at Jolly Boys, See Vic Falls from
the Zambia side
15-Livingstone, Zambia- Staying at Jolly Boys, See Vic Falls from
the Zimbabwe side

Overland tour - link to description

16-Vic Falls, the overland tour begins
17-Livingstone, Zambia
18-Lusaka, Zambia
19-Chipata, Zambia
20-24 - Lake Malawi, Malawi
25-Iringa, Tanzania
26-Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
27-29 - Zanzibar, Tanzania
30-Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
31-Arusha, Tanzania


1-Ngorongoro Crater, Tazania
2-Serengeti Game Park, Tanzania
3-Arusha, Tanzania
4-Namangana, Kenya
5-Nairobi, Kenya-overland tour ends

Continued travels

6-Leave Nairobi, fly to Cairo
7-17-Cairo, Egypt
18-Leave Cairo for Chiang Mai, Thailand via Bangkok (train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai)
19-29-Chiang Mai, Thailand - Staying with my friend Miah
30-Returning home via Bangkok, Taipei and Seattle
31-Arrive home in Minnesota!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007