Monday, February 09, 2015

One Safari, Two Idiots, and a Lot of Baboons

The Setting: The Karatu Gate into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

The Players:

L-R: An Idiot, Another Idiot

So this January, one of my oldest, dearest friends, Jeremy Mucha’ (AKA Cap’n Hardqore, AKA Homeskillet) came to visit Katie and I in Mwanza. As per usual, taking a safari through several of Tanzania’s national parks was on the agenda. So Jeremy and I scheduled a 4-day safari through the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara National Park.

Day One was great but uneventful (except for the lion thing and that hyena encounter, but that's a story for another day).

On the afternoon of the second day, as we are heading back from Lake Manyara, we stopped at the entrance gate into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Each vehicle and all passengers must register at the gate, so our driver, Mashaka, was to handle the registration. As we pulled up, we saw several other tourists standing in a crowd taking photos. As we park, we see a large crowd of baboons lounging at the edge of the parking lot, just about 15-20 feet from where we have now parked.

Mashaka sighs and says, “Those things are a pain, and they will grab anything they can get their hands on. So if you get out of the vehicle, make sure you roll up the windows and shut the doors.”

Now, I’ve lived in Tanzania for three years now, and baboons’ propensity for climbing onto and into cars looking for food is notorious. So I said, “Oh, yeah, no problem. Absolutely.” And nonchalantly start to checking my email on my phone.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Kids Draw the Darndest Things, Part II: Sister Genie's Birthday Edition

Welcome to the second installment of Kids Draw the Darndest Things, wherein I post a lot of earnest, genuine artwork created by children and then make fun of it.

This edition is dedicated to my friend Sr. Genie Natividad. This is Genie:

Sr. Genie is a Maryknoll Sister who lives here in Mwanza. Today, February 8th, is her birthday. Yesterday, we had a gathering of our Chanua children's group, with whom both Genie and I work. In honor of her birthday, I asked the kids to draw pictures of Sr. Genie.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to thinking "Oh, these will be HILARIOUS."

At first, I thought I was gonna be a little disappointed. Because the first few I saw were actually pretty straight-forward, pretty good drawings, lacking the wild, wonky quality of kid's artwork that I love so much.

But these kids...they did NOT disappoint.

Now, I should say once again before we commence that I LOVE these drawings. I love the way kids draw. I love everything about these drawings and I am super proud of them. I make sure to tell every kid what a good job they did with the drawing.

But I'm still gonna make fun of them. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:
Happy Birthday, Sr. Genie: A Rogue's Gallery