Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nairobi, Kenya

We have arrived in Arusha, Tanzania and will begin our trek up Mount Kilimanjaro tomorrow morning. We didn't get much sleep last night. Our flights were 3 hours late leaving Abuja and 2 hours late leaving Addis Ababa (our connection) and then we finally arrive in Nairobi last night at 2:30am. We took a cab to our hotel and checked in by 3:30am. We brushed our teeth, put on our pajamas, and then there was a disturbance in the street outside. The reviews of the hotel said it was mediocre in cleanliness and usually noisy, so we were just agreeing but it caught our attention when we heard someone screaming "FIRE"!Once we realized what was happening we could definitely smell the smoke and then looked out the window from our 6th floor room and saw flames in the one story building below. So, we stuffed our items back into our suitcases and began knocking on all of the room's doors and then hightailed it for the stairs. Klunk, klunk, klunk, went our suitcases down the flight of stairs as we hollered "FIRE"! So then we were one of the first people to exit and the management was all confused and told us to calm down that there was no fire! We were like, um, look outside! There was one family outside, half dressed, and panicking. We lent them some clothes and found a observancy a safe distance away. The flames were now reaching the height of the 2nd floor of the hotel in the building next door, and growing. There was still no alarm or fire engines within hearing. So, we began screaming and whisteling to try to wake the people in the hotel. After about 3 minutes the fire alarm sounded and this really roused the people and they started pouring out all dazed and confused. After about 10 minutes the fire trucks came and the fire was under control after about 2 hours. Luckily, no one was harmed and the hotel had minimal damage, some fire damage on the outside of the building and a lot of smoke damage inside. We were taken to another hotel and had breakfast and napped in their lounge. Those who were staying more than Saturday evening were given a room. But we just decided to go to the bus station at 8am to get our shuttle to Arusha. It was a rough trip to Arusha, the road is absolutely horrible. The border crossing was very simple, but there were several people trying to scam us at the border, between Kenya's departure and Tanzania's entrance. No bank statements or copies of round trip tickets necessary, just a C-Note, passport, and a completed blue slip of paper. We are so excited for tomorrow and the few weeks! Merry Christmas to everyone, we hope to be able to upload our movie footage from the fire as soon as possible. Love, Dusty Rose and Gordon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gurara Falls

This weekend we went on a day trip to see the Gurara Falls. They are located in Niger State, about 2 hours Northwest from our home in Abuja. The suburbs of Abuja are crowded with people, motorcycles, markets, cheap housing, and small stores. Since Abuja is a new city, it was built only about 30 years ago, no one is really from Abuja. A majority of the people live 20-45 minutes outside of the city, in these small suburbs which offer lower cost housing and food. In the background is the famous Zuma Rock. There are many myths surrounding the rock which are encompassed by disappearing objects, ghosts, and death. A European climbing team has bolted the rock but few have climbed it since, because of these ju-ju (black magic) stories and the fact that one must obtain permission from the local chief before approaching the rock. The roads offer many challenges. You can be crusing along a perfectly good road in Nigeira, and then oops- a very large pothole is there, or a cow could be in the middle of the road, or a careless driver could be in your lane trying to pass another car on a blind corner. Surprises are abundant and one must drive with caution to avoid the many possibilities of chaos. Gurara Falls: they span 200 meters across with a sheer drop of 30 meters. A Nigeiran family. in traditional dress, who came to check out the falls. They were interested in the 'black sand' that had washed up on the beach. These aggresive ants were carrying a grasshopper up a treetrunk to their nest out on a distant branch, and one and two and heave and hoe... team work! Some fisher boys alongside the river. They were using a thin nylong rope, and then a string attached to this, with somewhat of a hook made from the equivalent of the sharpened end of a wire clothes hanger. The mighty power of the falling water was brewing up quite a misty shower as Gordon took this picture from below the falls. We stopped at a local Fulani Market near Suleja to check out the schene. At the booth shown above, you can see some items for sale; bird heads, turtle shells, bones? Hmmm... I bought some fabric to make another few outfits. Then after 30 minutes of being the biggest tourist attraction (for the locals) we decided to head back home. It was a nice Saturday outside of the city. We plan on going to Gurara Falls again to camp after the rainy season has ended, which should be within in the next month. During the dry season (November to March) it is possible to walk across the river on the rocks at the falls and take a leisurely swim in the river down below.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Summer Family Fun

Even though I am uploading these in October, it doesn't mean that these pictures are less important. Most of the pictures on this blog post are the casual ones that highlight some of the family events of the summer, and some of the most memorable. Eating pancakes with our niece and nephew the morning we left for the airport to return to Abuja, Nigeria for another 10 months. Ah, raspberry yogurt and homemade jam and fresh milk, and cute cuddly squeezable children! Last night of book reading, Dinosaurs and Scooby Doo! Eating corndogs at the Polk County Fair, watching Joe Shinkle play some country music. Zakary and Ashlynn's first tatoos, Aunt Dusty paid for them! Our friends, Willow and Oceana eating a fresh seaweed snack. Ashlynn loves her mommy! Zakary loves climbing rocks! A blueberry eating contest at the Gage Family Reunion in Idaho. A spray bottle fight with the second cousins. A nice afternoon nap in the shade. A little row boat ride in the pond. sisters Our cousins, Craig and Melisa with their two lovely girls. Grandma Becker and her sister Dad and his two twin cousins whom he played with while visiting their uncle in Idaho. A few of the Hanson Family members. Lisa and her family hosted a backyard get together at her home in McMinnville the week we returned to Oregon. Zakary was just waking up from his nap and coaxed his sister into rubbing his back gently as he came to. Abraham, Sarah, and Penelope- awaiting another cute one. Abraham, and who is that guy with the ridiculous mullet? Me and Penelope hanging out in our Subi. My dad and step mom playing some music in my sister's front yard.