Author Archive

Getting Robbed in the Third World

Naturally, most posts about my time in Tanzania have been intriguing and warming. Sometimes, though, intrigue takes on the darker side of the things. And like any place, there are negative aspects of living in Tanzania–and they ought be known as should be the positive for a better understanding of life here; and, by comparison, [...]

Safari Final: Elephants in the River and a Short Film on Our Day

Three hippos stood in the shallow water opposite the wide river from where our picnic table sat. These round, grey mammalian buoys were the first of a few we’d see this afternoon. The animal sightings forthwith offered a few new species as well as some old ones a bit more lively than before. Most lifelike [...]

Safari II: Big Mammals Ready for Their Close Up

Wild dogs in the brush, a croc in the river, and some elephants and giraffes in the hilly distance. Not a bad way to start our day. And it was just a start. Three other volunteer teachers (two young women from Oregon and another  from Austria) accompanied me on a day-long safari in June, the [...]

Let’s Go Safari!

You knew this post was coming. Probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Africa (or at least African tourism) is a safari. But while we all have a good idea of what these excursions are like, I think you’ll be surprised (as was I) seeing what a safari is actually like. [...]

Portraits of Tanzanian Villagers

In Tanzania, there’s more to camera & firearm comparisons than the verb used to describe using them and the fact that I wear mine on my belt. Here, people react to a photographer by putting their arms and hands in front of their face in a blocking maneuver. Some turn away or use the nearby [...]

The Other White People in the Middle of Tanzania

When I told my mother about going to Africa, she said, “Brandon! They do voodoo over there!” I had to show her some videos of the school where I’d be teaching so she could realize that things weren’t as dramatic as the stereotypes she created from movies, The Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. Another common [...]

A Hospital in Africa, A Toddler’s Life

A Tanzanian friend of mine had a sick niece in the hospital. I got to know this little child. One of my favorite places to get a meal in Iringa is an old, log cabin-like structure squeezed amidst a few buildings lining the rough-trodden tar street. Walk through the worn wooden threshold and you enter [...]

The Results Are In And These Are The Pictures I Submitted To The National Geographic Photo Contest

125 votes may not be enough to decide the president, but it’s good enough to help me decide which pictures to submit to the annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Based on readers’ suggestions on last week’s blog‘s comments and also on my Facebook profile–results charted below–I decided to splurge and send in three entries. [...]

National Geographic Photo Contest: Will You Help Me Choose Which Picture to Send?

National Geographic Traveler Magazine is holding their annual photo contest. Anyone (for a fee of $15) can submit a shot for a shot at some prizes. Given all the pictures I’ve taken since coming to Tanzania, I thought I’d give it a whirl this year…and I was hoping anyone reading this could help me decide [...]

Zanzibar Culture: Religion, Politics, and a Big Dance Party

Last week was the natural. This week is the cultural. But it’s not all churches and museums. Culture can be a late night, hip-hop African dance party, too.  *** My second day in the Stone Town section of Zanzibar City was spent solo while the European girls went off to do some swimming with dolphins. [...]

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