Sunday, 8 January 2017

New Year! Same Old Me!

Well, folks. We did it. We survived 2016. And given the year it was, that was no small feat!

Before we leave 2016 behind forever, I encourage you to check out Col. Chris Hadfield's Facebook post of good things that happened this past year.

We good to move on to 2017? We are? Good.

I haven't made any resolutions per se this year, but I do have a few items or habits that I'm working on. (But without set goals attached, so I hesitate to call them resolutions. If that makes sense.)

I want to get better about saving money. To do this, I'm using the budget sheet that Liz (One Twenty Five) created. It's not that I'm bad with money, but I'd like to grow my savings. I've been slowly chipping away at it quicker than I'm putting money into it. I'm not a banker, but I'm pretty sure that's not how saving works. I'm hopeful that at the very least this will get me into a better habit of thinking about what I'm buying before I plunk down my cash.

I'm still working on my Swahili. My future plans include more return trips to Tanzania, so this will be on my list for the foreseeable future. I also have visitors coming from Switzerland this summer. If there is anything their last visit taught me, it's that my command of the German language has dropped considerably. I would really like to get through a sentence without pausing to think of the next word. With multiple languages in the plan for this year, I used Lindsay Does Languages Yearly and Monthly Planner. (She's a great resource for tips and tricks to help you learn a language if that's in your plans for 2017.) I'm also participating in the Instagram Language Challenge over on Instagram if you want to hear me speak Swahili. (If you are learning a language and want to participate, check out Lindsay's Instagram for the January prompt.)

Comic by Itchy Feet, a great language and travel comic.
Also, I can't tell you how many times I'd default to
German words when trying to speak Swahili.
In case you missed it above, I HAVE SWISS VISITORS THIS SUMMER!! YAY!

The best surrogate parents you could ask for when you follow a boy to Switzerland.
I also started bullet journaling again. I kept a bullet journal for the first couple of months of 2016 and found it a great help in making sure I actually crossed items off my to-do list every day, but I misplaced the journal in August. With the trip et al, I just never got around to starting another one. Some people have very fancy journals, but I stick to the basics. Who has time to artfully decorate each page and colour-code the washi tape and stickers? Definitely not me! (To see examples of what I'm talking about, click here.) I follow the style in the video below. If you're interested in giving a bullet journal a try, it's a good place to start.

On that note, I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2017!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Is This Thing On?

*taps mic*

Uh, hello.

*feedback through the speakers*

I didn't mean to go an entire month and six days without blogging, but here we are. It took me three weeks to get over my jetlag. Three weeks! For the first couple of days, I was in bed by 4:30pm - I get home from work at 4:20 - and then waking up at 3am. After that, I just had to take a nap every day at 5pm. When I was finally able to stay awake until 8pm without a nap, I felt like I had succeeded in hiking Everest. Crazy times when you can stay up to 8pm.

Once I was out of that fog of slumber, it was straight into the holiday festivities.

And here we are, one month and six days later.


I have been working on some more 'travel advice for Tanzania' centred blog posts over at A Rambling Nerd and am planning on posting those in January and February. I will (once again) link up to them over here so if Tanzania is on your travel list, you can check them out.

For now, Merry Christmas. Enjoy this Inuktitut version of 'Silent Night'.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Almost Home

I'm sitting in the Calgary airport, drinking Timmy's and waiting for my last leg of my trip home to Victoria. I managed to get a post up about my last few days in Stone Town.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Few Thoughts

First, new post about Nungwi, Zanzibar on the other blog.

Second, a few thoughts about the US election because I need to put them somewhere and the other blog isn't the right place.

I am not American, but I can see it from a park five blocks from my house. You can see it from all over my city.

I am currently on an island where the Muslim population is 99% in a country where they are the largest majority overall with 45%. Out of all of the countries I have had the privilege to travel to or live in, this is generally been the friendliest one - especially when you get away from the tourist trail. Donald Trump has said some pretty horrible things about Muslims. These were the people I had to look in the eye as we learned of the results on Monday morning. Beyond that, because of my time here, these people are friends, coworkers, and travel saviours.

I spent Wednesday lost in a What-The-Fuck fog, which was added to by the fact that I saw kofias and hijabs everywhere I looked. I couldn't make sense of where the election had gone so horribly wrong that a man with no political experience beat a woman who has dedicated her life to public service. A man who has spoken ill of pretty much every minority you can name.

I knew that racism and sexism and all those wonderful 'isms' used to describe his vile rhetoric existed in the world, I just didn't know how much of it existed.

Wednesday night, I watched the sun set from a cafe that overlooked a popular beach. Dhows passed by, palm trees waved, and local young men played a game of pick-up soccer. In the corner of all this, shortly after sunset, a young man wearing a kofia led his three friends in Maghrib, the evening prayer. Watching them was incredibly peaceful and calming. I began to feel that the world may be broken but we can fix it.

I also took solace in the words of Jack Layton, which I've shared on here before but I'm going to share them again.

To all my loving, hopeful, and optimistic peeps out there, may we stand up in the coming days, weeks, months, and years to protect those that need protecting and to change the world so this orange asshat doesn't get another four year term,

Did I just call him an asshat? Hmm, guess I'll have to work on that 'loving' part.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Humidity and Island Hopping

I have less than a week left of my trip. I can hardly believe it!

Two updates on A Rambling Nerd: Coastal Humidity and Island Hopping to Pemba.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I see a beer and a beach chair, both with my name on them!