Posts Tagged With: hiking

Ciao Canadian Chicas!

Mom says I have to start practicing saying goodbye since we’re leaving Africa for good in a little less than 3 weeks (I’m freaking out about this on the inside).  So, I was able to obey her by saying goodbye to my pretty Canadian friends Shannon and Susan.

Shannon and Susan

Shannon and Susan

Susan and Shannon came to Mwanza as part of the African Probiotic Yogurt Network.  Shannon is a microbiologist and Susan is a business intern with the project that helps to distribute probiotic yogurt to rural women in Northern Tanzania.

Before Shannon and Susan came along, mom and I were all alone in Mwanza, so when these girls showed up it changed our world!  As you can tell from the photo above, they were super happy, super fun, and they also loved me like you wouldn’t believe (I mean, who doesn’t, other than Turkish Air?)  Shannon and Susan made the most of their time in Mwanza by hosting the Mama-Q and traveling to Dubai with mom for Easter.

In order to celebrate their departure from Mwanza, we decided to go hiking in Capri Point to witness the beauty of the sunset over Lake Victoria.  I did this hike way back in January 2012 when I first arrived in Mwanza (and it’s also where I took the photo that heads this whole blog, clearly it’s a special place).  Because I’m so experienced, I led the way through the rocks and out to the overlook point where we could have a bird’s-eye view of Mwanza and the lake.

Look over here!

Look over here!

This way, girls!

This way, girls!













I got to take photos for the last time in Africa with my ladies in a setting that matched their beauty.  I’m hoping they’ll print them out and frame them so they’ll be sure to never forget me.

Goodbye Shannon!

Goodbye Shannon!

Goodbye Susan!

Goodbye Susan!













As we were preparing to hike back out, some local children came along and were excited to see us.  It always fascinates me how people live, perched up between the rocks.  At first the children were afraid of me, as most Tanzanians are.  But mom bribed them to come and pet me.  I was a bit uncomfortable with this situation at first (who knows where those hands have been), but the children were very gentle and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me.  They even smiled at the camera as I took photos with them (a rarity in Tanzania).

Continuing my Mpende Mbwa mission in Mwanza

Continuing my Mpende Mbwa mission in Mwanza

With this, we headed back down for one last dinner at Tilapia.  See you on the other side of the world, girls!

I'll make sure my mom takes me to see you real soon!

I’ll make sure my mom takes me to see you real soon!

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Snow No!

Mom says we’re finally going back to Tanzania tomorrow, yippee!  While I’ve appreciated the cultural experience of snow, I’m ready to get back to my ideal environment–sun and warmth!  To me, snow is like really, really, really cold sand.  At first it’s fun, but after a while it’s just COLD.  And while I was lucky enough to get a nice, warm puffy coat from my Uncle Ben and almost-Aunt Kristen, even with this, my belly still has no fur on it and my little feet just aren’t built to navigate such extreme weather.  So here’s a few photos to show you about my snow adventures:

At first, I wasn’t really sure if I was SUPPOSED to walk on it, I mean it’s so pretty.  But mom gave me the boot and told me to be brave and go outside.



I'm still not really sure about this...

I’m still not really sure about this…

Eventually I got over my fears and decided to just PLAY.






Yeah my face is white, I was looking for birds

Yeah my face is white, I was looking for birds


Ummm, I'm kind of stuck over here

Ummm, I’m kind of stuck over here


There's teeny tiny me in the great white snow

There’s teeny tiny me in the great white snow





I also got to go hiking in the woods behind the house where my mom grew up.  It was a family affair with me, mom, Uncle Ben, and my grandma and grandpa too.  We even found a tree where mom and Uncle Ben had carved their names 22 years ago.  It truly reminds me how old my mom really is!

Uncle Ben helping me do "hiking"

Uncle Ben helping me do “hiking”


Mom's tree. It shows her age

Mom’s tree. It shows her age


It's just a little too cold out here for a teensy guy like me so Grandpa helped me stay warm

It’s just a little too cold out here for a teensy guy like me so Grandpa helped me stay warm


Because the cold was so hard on me, grandma got me some boots to match mom’s Uggs for Christmas.  Next year I’ll be prepared!

Puffy coat and Uggs, I'm ready snow!

Puffy coat and Uggs, I’m ready snow!


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Happy Nane Nane!

Yesterday was a holiday in Tanzania called “Nane Nane”.  First, a quick lesson in swahili.  Nane Nane is pronounced “Nah-Nay Nah-Nay” and it means “eight eight”.  Nane Nane is always held on August 8th (the 8th day of the 8th month, thus the name Nane Nane).  This day is meant to celebrate the farmers of Tanzania and their contribution to the Tanzanian economy.  There are festivals and fairs around the country, and also, more importantly, mom had the day off work.

Last year, mom and Aunt Amanda went to the Nane Nane festival, but they thought it would be too overwhelming for me, what with all the people, so instead, to celebrate Nane Nane, mom, Aunt Amanda, mom’s friend Sue, and I decided to take a nice long hike around Mwanza.  We met up with Sue around 5 in the afternoon and set off on our hike.

Off we go!

Most days mom and I do the same loop around Isamilo for our run, so our Nane Nane hike was super exciting for me because I got to see so many new neighborhoods, people, and animals.  For example, I got to see my most favorite animal: the cow!

Baby cow, woohoo!

There were tons of children who were excited to see me all along the hike.  Each one screamed, “doggie” or “mbwa” and ran after us to see how beautiful I was.  Sometimes, Sue would tell them I was a cat just to confuse them, which I thought was really funny since most people are already confused about me anyway.

We hiked up a big hill, followed by an entourage of children.  Once at the top, we had a fabulous view of Lake Victoria.  So of course, we decided to pose for some photos with the children.  Mom also let them touch me since most of the children are afraid of dogs and aren’t used to seeing a dog as clean as me.  Plus, I’ve got the most beautiful fur in the world!

Getting petted by all the children

Top of the hill, with a bunch of children












Side note:  Mom better bathe me when we get home because that’s a lot of dirty hands touching me!

Once we got over the top of the hill, it was time to make our way back down into the neighborhood of Bwiru.  But not before we got to see some of the magnificent rocks for which Mwanza is known.  Now I understand why Mwanza is known as Rock City!

Rock City, Represent!

By the end of our hike, it was starting to get dark so we were treated to some gorgeous views of the famous African sunset.

Nane Nane, until next year…


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