May 132015
 
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Well, friends, in some ways it’s over—the trip to Africa, the Daily Dozen posts—and yet there’s tons more—I haven’t shared anything about Victoria Falls, the boat ride up the Thamalakane River, or the Crafty Grannies. Important things, all of those. I haven’t even begun sorting through videos. Mike threatens to assemble a bunch of pictures that didn’t make my cuts for Daily Dozen posts, and there’s a funny and somewhat amazing story about my sunglasses . . . .

Back of giraffe's head, Africa

Because the back of a giraffe’s head illustrates perfectly the notion of being back. Or something.

But we’re back in beautiful Alaska. The garden calls, work awaits, and the shrimp won’t catch themselves. I have no more posts pre-written and scheduled; the blog ahead is a blank slate.

I’m over the moon about our Africa trip—a Big deal in my Little life—and also that we met the goal I set here to record the driving tour with a dozen photos of each day, more or less. It’s a record of the trip that I will revisit and cherish, much like the Italy journal. I’m grateful to all of you who came along for the ride, shared our wonder and enthusiasm, flattered us with your attention and compliments, and, by doing so, helped us reach this goal. Processing the trip in this way, thinking about it and sharing it, makes it more meaningful and satisfying.

And yet it’s not completely over. Africa made a lasting impression and will no doubt crop up in future ideas and conversations. I will also continue to share photos, thoughts, and stories about Africa as time and interest permit. Amy asked a question about self-sufficient, remote camping that I plan to answer with a post. Several people have asked about the food we ate in Africa, and Kathy is curious how we manage to live abroad for four months and do all the crazy-fun stuff we do. I’m a little leery of revealing answers to those inquiries, but I may give them a go eventually. However, the frequency of posts here will decline, and the focus will shift. It’s back to life as we know it, our not-especially-normal normal life.

I’m going to kick off the new normal with this:

I am no fan of Coca-Cola or soda pop in general. It’s unhealthy stuff, and I don’t love fizz. But I loved this:

Share-a-Coke campaign in Africa.

Share-a-Coke campaign in Africa.

I was familiar with this marketing campaign here in the US, but was surprised to see it in Africa, too. Call me naive and short sighted—I am. Coke’s idea was to bring individuals together by having them share a sugary beverage, but what this world-wide campaign did for me was to make me feel comfortable and at home in a strange place on the other side of the globe. It’s a small world, and all that tooth rot. There’s comfort in the familiar—I just said this a couple of posts ago—and that red can and white ribbon are familiar, even if the names on the cans are not.

I think Mike drank the contents of one of these cans, but the others were trash that I picked up on walks. While I didn’t like the abundance of litter we found in Africa, I did like the idea of recycling cans as building materials.

Cans as building materials in Africa.

A hut built with cans and concrete.

Cans as building materials in Africa.

Cans as building materials in Africa.

For better or worse, Coke is everywhere.

Dogs sleep under Coca-Cola sign in Africa

Coca-Cola dog hotel?

  2 Responses to “Africa: Always More”

  1. Jen, thank you so much for sharing your trip. The pictures and story have been beyond amazing. I’ll look forward to seeing/hearing more! I’ll be her to critique the book when it’s ready. 😀

  2. You’ll definitely be the first to know, Elsie, when that book is ready.