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Internet Just Being Discovered In Africa

Jambo from Tanzania!

Our overland trip across East Africa is proving to be a nightmare for Internet access.  Al Gore’s invention is slowly taking hold here.  We are still writing and racking up amazing experiences.  Our apologies for the lull in blog posts.

- Ash & Greg

3…2…1… Action: Hilarious & Adorable Kids of APCA Orphanage

Located 60 kilometers outside Phnom Penh, APCA Orphanage is set amongst stray cattle, rice paddies, and rural shacks. We had the pleasure to partake in a unique Friday night dance party before a raucous beach weekend with the kids.

Ash and I have watched this video no less than one hundred times. Just as “Back That A** Up” puts Ash into hysterics and Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River” makes my two left feet tremble, these Cambodian kids can’t get enough of “She Got That Boom Boom Boom”:

The timeless and classic “Chicken Dance” has made it to Khmer Country:

This precious moment took place on the way back from the beach at Sihanoukville. During the five hour bus journey we heard this little voice singing “You Are My Sunshine” and we finally captured the adorable culprit:

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

  1. A typical Friday night in Chicago would involve an “all you can drink” $30 deal. We discussed this as the orphans brought the kid back in us. Oh to be young. Cherish it little ones.

3…2…1… Action: Outside the Gates of Palm Tree Orphanage

Though located within Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh, the main thoroughfare fronting Palm Tree Orphanage isn’t your typical street.

Between Greg’s daily runs for iced coffee in a baggie and our use of local transportation, we became friendly with the moto drivers outside the orphanage. Watch Greg and the moto drivers observe the resident cows dine on trash in the nearby alley:

Wanting a taste of how the Khmer live, Greg paid $1.50 for a barber’s straight razor to eliminate his patchy beard:

Always an adventure riding around Phnom Penh, check out the mayhem as we avoid a massive slum fire (rumored to have been set by the government) riding in the back of a tuk-tuk:

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

  1. Some of our best times in Cambodia occurred while interacting with local people with whom we had very little in common. Get out and meet people with different backgrounds. This can be done in any city, domestic or international.
  2. You may watch the videos of trash heaped alleys or the barber shop with questionable sanitary conditions and think to yourself, “No way would I be caught dead there.” Sometimes defecting from your comfort zone and living like a local pays immense dividends in the form of unique experiences.

42 Nights in the African Bush!!!

From the beginning moments of dreaming about traveling the world, Ash and I were focused on an African safari. That focus has given birth to 42 nights of camping in the Africa Bush. Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana will be deeply inhaled.

ItineraryWe set out this evening on an eight hour flight from amazing Istanbul, Turkey for Nairobi, Kenya. Upon landing, we will have reached our sixth and final continent. My fingers fidget with excitement as I type. After hours of YouTube, books on our South African friends’ Kindle, and Internet mining, we are going to see the real thing. The Big Five: lion, buffalo, rhinoceros, african elephant, and leopard. And all the other animals only seen in a cramped zoo: giraffe, warthog, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, baboon and hippo among others. Before relishing a comfy bed one last time, we completely emptied our bags and repacked in anticipation of living like a real minimalist. It felt like starting our RTW anew. Such an incredible rush of emotions.

Pumba Truck Fresh Kill

Our home will be in the African bush within a cozy tent. After hours of searching Istanbul, we found suitable sleeping bags and strange camping utensils. Our overland adventure is about as cheap as they come considering we pitch in with cooking, runs to local markets, and protecting the 4×4 truck. Ash is admittedly nervous regarding six weeks of tent living. She really has no choice, her only escape being a life amongst a lion pride. Our transportation will be aboard Pumba, a custom made 4×4 overland truck with 28 like-minded adventurers from Europe, South America, Oceania, and Asia.

Watering Hole Great Migration - Zebra

Great MigrationThe highlights are ridiculous: Great Rift Valley, The Masai Mara, Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Hells Gate National Park, Maasai Boma, Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, The Giraffe Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar Island, Lake Malawi, Kariba houseboats, lion walks, rhino trek, Victoria Falls, white water rafting on the Zambezi River, Chobe National Park, and finally the Okavanga Delta.

First stop: Kenya’s Masai Mara and the Great Migration! Hakuna Matata.

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

1) We both always thought that African safaris are for the rich and famous. However, many operators offer camping excursions of various lengths that cater to the budget traveler. Make no mistake, it is not cheap, but the dream is attainable.

3…2…1… Action – Killing Fields & S-21 Torture Center

In between sobs while visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng (S-21), we were able to capture some self explanatory video.

Take a step into the former secondary school turned interrogation and torture center code named S-21. The video captures the rows of small prison stalls where enemies of the revolution would be chained when not being tortured prior to their inevitable murder:

Amongst the hardest places we have visited, the Killing Fields speak volumes to mankind’s ability to perpetrate pure evil. The video begins on the “killing tree” where the Khmer Rouge would rip children from their mother’s clutch and smash their tiny skulls:

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

1) If you are interested in learning more about the Cambodian hardship, may we suggest a spectacular book?  First They Killed My Father written by Loung Ung is a firsthand account of one family’s wretched experience during Pol Pot’s “Great Leap Forward.” Her depiction of evacuating Phnom Penh, life in the collectives, family members disappearing, and living amongst the paranoia is nothing short of heartbreaking yet is quite informative.

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