Saturday, April 4, 2009

Now We're All Infected

By Louise

When I was a sophomore at university, I needed to escape my five, suddenly insane, sorority-pledging roommates. Rather than take the easy route and switch dorms, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I signed up for a study-abroad program in London. Six months later, I returned home a different person. I had seen a whole new world; none of the pettiness mattered anymore, I had discovered that more important things, such as Indian curry and pints of beer, existed. I had been bitten—quite severely—by the travel bug. Infected, I knew in my heart there was no hope for recovery. I would forever crave the excitement, the unknown, the unexpected challenges one faces when visiting a place for the first time.

My infection lay dormant for a short while. I knew it would return when the circumstances were right; I could feel it in my blood. And then I met Andrew. He was highly contagious. Feverish, in fact, and I was immediately re-infected. The next thing I knew I was making tea out of the back of an old Land Rover in the middle of the Zairian jungle. Since then, we’ve both suffered numerous outbreaks. After each episode, we would return home happy, yet wondering when the next fever would hit.

Without even realizing it, Andrew and I found ourselves planning for this latest trip. We would pull the kids from school and travel for five months. The rest, as you all know, is documented on this blog. Now, 12 hours before we board a plane home, I sit here wondering what we have done to our children. We pulled them away from all that was familiar, we tried to make them speak a foreign language, we fed them rodents and insects. Will they be all right? Will they be able to return to life as they knew it, or will they be constantly wondering when the fever will return?

10 Things We're Really Glad We Did

By Louise

1. Buenos Aires. Love this city.
2. Patagonia: glaciers, mountains, whales, and half a million penguins.
3. Dancing until 3am on New Year’s Eve.
4. Ecuador.
5. Zip lining it over a gorge: Louise defying her fear of heights.
6. Going on a night hike in the Cuyabano rainforest in the Amazon basin.
7. Eating cuy asado (roasted guinea pig), lemon ants, and termites.
8. Seeing boulders fly down Volcan Arenal in Costa Rica.
9. Spotting a pair of bare-necked umbrella birds.
10. Changing our itinerary to come to South Africa and spend time with Malcolm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Contest! Penguin Challenge!

Take the Penguin Challenge!
Can you tell the difference between the
Argentine and South African penguins?
Look carefully. Which is which?
Post your answers below.

Penguin A

Yes, I know I'm cute.

Penguin B

Hey, outta my way fish face!

Visit South Africa

By Graham

If you like the idea of swimming with penguins, hiking mountainsides, surfing, and trying new foods, then Cape Town is the place for you.

Cape Town is a large city at the southern tip of Africa. It is surrounded by mountains and is right on the water. Some mountains give you a look down at the city of Cape Town and the ocean, such as Table Mountain. Table Mountain looms over Cape Town. It is the biggest mountain around Cape Town. It is great to hike Table Mountain.

Make sure to come in the summer only. The summer in South Africa is at the winter of America.
If you want to learn how to surf, Muizenburg Beach is a good place to do so. It is easy to learn how, because the waves are small, fast, and will carry you a long way. Along Muizenburg’s beach edge are numerous surf shops, where you can rent a surfboard, or have surfing lessons.

Swimming with penguins is also a great experience. There is a colony of them at Boulder’s Beach. On the path down to the beach, they are all around you. They paddle through the water and rest on the rocks. The penguins look like short people.

You can drive 1 hour to the wine country, where there are acres and acres of vines. They grow up the mountainsides and along the roads like endless sheets of green.

If you like the idea of doing all of that, why don’t you? All you have to do is order plane tickets.

I Am a Mountain


As Told To Katharine

I am a mountain, my rocky cliffs are covered in huge boulders. Dassies run on me, lizards scitter all around me, hikers hike on me. Geese soar through the sky like planes above me. I have beautiful sights to see. I can see pine forests, cars whizzing past on the roads, towns busy with restaurants, people hiking on my rocky trail, animals sitting on my big rocks, and other mountains. I can also see four other mountains Elephant's Eye, Lion's Head, Devil's Peak, and Steenberg. On the other side I can see the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bathroom Humor?

La-tee-da, I'm a Hadeda!


As told to Katharine

I am a hadeda, hopping along the golf course and sticking my long thin beak into the soft dirt that is filled with brown grubs. The pretty blue sky above me is filled with big puffy clouds. Every yard owns pools, trees, flowers, and the thing I hate most of all . . . CARS!!!

Yesterday my friend and I were walking across the road when all of a sudden the pool doctor came zooming up behind us and knocked my friend Bob off his feet. I don’t think the pool doctor knows how to stop.

I have decided to go for a fly. First I stand up on my tippy toes and flap my wings so I lift. Once I am high up in the sky I will fly to the top of the mountain. The mountain is pretty with its rocky ridges and plants. I fly to the top of the mountain waiting for the hot sun to change to the white moon.

Bob, just before the pool doctor got him.