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Just another day in paradise!!!

So let me preface this last part of our journey by saying we are generally positive and easy going people.  But we had been traveling over land for nearly 3 weeks on not so great transportation and we were just ready to be home.  So, please do not judge us for the things I am about to talk about.  Remember, we were so ready to be home, on a time crunch, in a country we didn't know or speak the language, only eating about 1 meal a day at best at this point and just flat our tired.  So, I will proceed...

Our bus arrived at the Tanzanian border around 4am but since the border didn't actually open until after 6 we had to wait around and sleep.  Once the border opened we took care of all the customs stuff and made the remainder of the short ride to a town on the Tanzanian border called Mbeya where we were told to catch another bus from.  Luckily, on the bus was another American couple that were missionaries and had just moved to Tanzania and were living in Mbeya.  They invited us over to grab some lunch for Easter Sunday and then we could go back to the bus park and figure out the rest of the trip.  After grabbing some food, the husband and I went to the bus park to see what bus we needed next.  Now, we knew the trip would have to be made in around 3 days but we were not prepared for the onslaught of busses, bribes and lies we were soon to encounter.  The bus workers told us there was no bus going anywhere remotely close to Rwanda and that we would have to take a bus to Dodoma first and catch a bus from there.  We had arrived at the bus park around 10am but unfortunately there were no buses running anywhere after the early morning hours and the bus people told us we would have to wait until the next morning.  This missionary couple turned out to be a Godsend and said we were more than welcome to crash with them even though they had no furniture yet since they had just moved there.  But, they had some friends that loaned them a  mattress which was really comfortable.  We cooked tacos that night and I promised her no matter how much she cooked, nothing would go to waste.  No lie, I ate 8 tacos and threw in the towel with 2 remaining...I was defeated.  But, she didn't seem to mind that I didn't hold up my end of the bargain too much.

We got up at 4:30 the next morning and headed to the bus park.  The bus left at 6am and 12 hours later we arrived in worries there.   We actually found a fairly nice place for cheap to crash for the night that had a hot shower and comfortable bed, no complaints there.   However, we searched the entire night it seemed to find some descent food to no avail.  We even hopped in a taxi and asked him to take us to the town center because we assumed there would be some descent food joints.  He pulled into some dark back ally with one tiny local food joint and said, "this is town center...look there is a back."  We gave up and decided we weren't going to find what we were looking for so we just had some simple local potato and egg type omelet.  The next morning we would start the next part of our journey.  A man at the bus park told us there were no direct routes to Kigali but that we would have to take a bus to Kahama where the bus will stop and you sleep for a few hours.  Tanzania has a law that no buses can drive between the hours of midnight and 4 or 5 due to recent hi-jackings.  Then the bus would go to Kigoma and finally catch a bus from there to Kigali all in the same day.  We were simply at their mercy and had no idea what was right and what to do or how to get there.  All the things our friends had told us about the trip back didn't seem to be holding up or work out.  So, we had to say okay...we'll do it.

The bad thing was the bus didn't leave until 11am which was a whole morning wasted of not traveling.  We had allotted 3 and 1/2 days to getting back to Rwanda and it was starting to seem that wasn't even going to be enough.  So, we took off on the bus at noon (an hour later than scheduled) for which I was under the impression would arrive around to Kahama around midnight and stop for the 4-5  hours of no driving.  We made it to Kahama at 7 and only 7 hours of driving.  They then told us we would need to get a new ticket for Kigoma and that bus would leave at 6 the next morning.  Here we were again in a place we had no idea about didn't know we would be staying the night in the town and have to find a place.  We had no idea were to go so we asked a taxi driver to take us to a guest house that wasn't too expensive.  We hadn't planned this expense and were getting very low on local currency until we could find a currency exchange.  We negotiated the price for 2000 (about $1.50) shillings and he drove us literally 30 seconds around the corner to a guest house.  We went in and the lady instantly said, we are full and have no rooms.  So, I asked him to take us somewhere else that he knew of.  He then turned around and drove another 30 seconds or less to another guest house and said the price would now be 5000.  I was in no mood to be taken advantaged of at this point and I told him that was insane and I wasn't paying that, he only took us another 30 seconds down the road.  I said I would give him 3000 and he demanded four.  I seriously almost just walked off without paying him but Sarah said just pay him, I want to go to bed.  I had the biggest urge to just wad the money up and throw it in his face.  I told him he was just taking advantage of us because we were white and that it was wrong.  I gave him his 4000 and stormed off.

We then entered our wonderful room that was supposed to be fairly nice with "hot water" and what not. Well, the room was a complete dump.  There was no "hot water", no shower head, no light in the bathroom, the toilet didn't flush, the sink didn't work, the fan was broken and the mosquito net was ripped to shreds...oh joy!  At this point, I wanted to just cry and we both just wanted to go to sleep without eating again and forget the day.  But I was very hungry so I found another egg and potato omelet thing to get me by for the night.  Sarah chose not to eat another grease filled meal.   But, the good news was were were going to make it to Rwanda the next day.

So, the next morning we get up again at 4:30 after Sarah had a dream that the place we were staying was a holding place to keep Peace Corps Volunteers to murder them and steal their American stuff.  We hopped on the bus the man told us to and headed for Kigoma which was supposedly the best and only way to get to Rwanda.  This bus seemed to have some internal desire to set the Guiness world record for the most people crammed into a bus over capacity.  So, after all the seats were filled, people continued getting on until there were literally no places to even stand.  There were probably close to 40 people in the aisle.  We started on our journey and were told the bus would arrive to Kigoma around 2pm and then we could catch a bus to Kigali, home sweet home from there.  At this point, people are laying on top of others, each person just trying to find his own little space to get comfortable for the ride.  It was at this point that I was about at my breaking point and just ready to be home.  For 4 days now we had basically had no sleep, no food, nobody to tell us the truth it seemed and just wanted to get home.  I begin to think about verse in the Bible where God said He would never put more on us that we could handle.  I then started to wonder what the definition of the word handle was.  At this point it seemed to me that if you didn't physically die, you were technically "handling" the situation since you really had no other choice but to live with it one way or the other.   But, I reasoned that this was my limit of handling and told God I could take no more.  Then Sarah said, why did you say that?  Now we are going to go backwards somehow.  It was in that instance that we passed a bus that read "just another day in paradise" on the back windshield.  It seemed that I had found a new breaking point because I literally was about to go crazy.   I decided there was no other phrase in the entire English dictionary that could be more incorrect of more the opposite of what that bus ride was going to be.  But, they seemed to think the words, "just another day in paradise" were appropriate.

After a couple hours of driving we turn off the main road for a bumpy dirt road heading to Kigoma.  By some act of God the man sitting beside me spoke English and when I told him we were going to Rwanda he was curious why we were taking that route.  He was from that town and said he didn't know of any buses heading from there to Rwanda.  I told him what the bus worker had told us and then we both decided he had lied to us just to get our money.  Now it was at this point that Sarah had her breaking point.  We told him we had to get to Rwanda today because we had now spent 5 days traveling.  He said we would need to get off the bus and go back to the turn off where we could then get a taxi to the border.  We were both pretty ticked off and demanded they let us off the sardine crammed bus.  We would walk back and find a ride.  They told us it wasn't safe to walk back on the lonely dirt road so we must go to the next town and catch a bus back.  After an hour on the dirt road we reach a tiny  town and got off the bus.  We luckily talked the driver into giving us some of our money back since we paid for the full price to Kigoma but weren't going even close to there.   We waited for over an hour before the next bus arrived.  But, when it did it was already packed.  We didn't care and would have ridden on a pogo stick at this point.  I kid you not when I said we crammed 30 people into a 12 seater mini bus.  There were 7 of us standing in the doorway and this ride went on for an hour.  Sarah and I were bent over at the waste, standing, leaning on top of everyone else.  It was crazy, horrible and awful but normal for most Africans.  We finally make it back to the turn off and there we see it...with what seemed like a light shining down from heaven and angels camped all around singing...the sign...RWANDA...this way!  

We then found a 4 person taxi and he instantly wanted to rip us off but we knew the fare and called his bluff.   He told Sarah and I to get in the front seat.  Okay, no big deal we always can fit one or two extra into each vehicle...right?  Well, the people continue to get in until there were 9 people in this car.  He even put a man between Sarah and himself.  He was literally straddling the gear shift, sharing part of our seat and the other with the driver and the clutch, brake and gas pedals.  So yes, 3 grown men and Sarah in the front seat and 5 people crammed in the back.  Then after about 20 minutes of driving we notice a head sticking up from behind the luggage in the back.  We had no idea when and where this guy got on but this brought our grand total to 10 people in the 4 person sedan.  It was miserable and it seems that after about 30 minutes I had a freak out claustrophobic moment.  I couldn't feel my legs and I couldn't move or breath very well because Sarah had no where to sit but on top of me and she couldn't move either.  We finally hit a check point where the extra man in front got out and started to walk.  The driver paid the officer a bribe and we continued on our way and stopped to pick the man back up on the other side of the checkpoint.  Not 15 minutes later, we hit another larger checkpoint with many officers around.  The man in the luggage and the same extra man in front get out and start walking this time as the driver is clearly over his persons limit.  So, when the officers see us they instantly assume the driver had ripped us off so they want a larger bribe to let him through.  This was another point where we wanted to just scream and/or hi-jack his car and just drive ourselves.  The driver was taking forever negotiating his bribe.  Sarah and I eventually were so sick and tired of this corruption we started laying on his own car horn telling him to come on.  Finally, he paid the bribe and we were on our way.  I asked him if he paid his bribe to the cops and he said yes but he paid little like he had done a good deed or something.  At this point we could literally smell was just around 20 km away.  I will never understand the logic behind the choices of many Africans but then the driver decided to go 5 mph down ever hill.  Going up the hills and on level surfaces were fine...he booked right along but when it came to a down hill, he pumped his breaks and just putted along.  I asked him what he was doing and why he was driving like a snail.  He said the road was bad and he was  being safe even though there were no people around and the road was great...I still don't understand it.  Then, against all odds and everything that had happened on these 5 days of hellish bus rides...we see it...the border radiating with glorious beams of light and a hoard of angels welcoming us in the form of police officers that were not corrupt and people that actually spoke a language we could communicate in.  I can't tell you how excited we were to be home.  We got out and Sarah was doing nothing short of running to the Rwandan side.  The guy with us said, your wife is going very quickly.  I told him yes, she is very excited to be back in Rwanda...home.   187 hours of bus, train, car, truck, bike and boat rides later...we were home!!!

I never realized how uncorrupt Rwanda was and how corrupt so many other countries are.  We were so grateful to be in a safe, amazing, helpful and friendly environment where you are not constantly taken advantage of and lied to.   We love Rwanda.  It is an amazing country and with that...we are signing off.

oh transportation, what you do to me. that we've made it to Malawi, we are super excited to meet a friend that we knew from the states. She lives in Malawi and is a PCV. We met up with her and had some wonderful food and hot showers at this really nice backpackers place. It was wonderful to feel clean and sleep well before we started our journey. The next morning, our friend who will remain anonymous, said that in Malawi the bus system is really non-existent and they all hitch-hike.  I was really uncomfortable with this, but she said that during their PST they have "supervised" hitching lessons where their teachers write the number of the license plates of the cars they get into to make sure they get to where they're going alright. I was not comfortable with this, since in Rwanda we aren't supposed to hitch. She assured me PC was aware of it and totally cool with it in Malawi. We were picked up pretty quickly by this awesome British couple who have lived in Malawi for about a year and a half. They were 6 months pregnant and loving life while teaching at an international school in Malawi. We had a wonderful time chatting and getting to know them as we headed down south to a friend of our friend's site which is right on the periphery of a national game park. It was really cool because we took our first bike taxi's to her site. We rode on the back of a bike while a man peddled us about an hour to her house. It was really nice to see another PCV living in such a similar way as us with no electricity and no running water. We really enjoyed her site. The next day we went to the game park and ate lunch, lounged at the pool (which was awesome!) and saw some impala, warthogs, hippos, crocs, and really freaky looking birds. It was truly a relaxing day.

The next day we started our journey north to Nkata Bay, which is a really beautiful spot on the lake. We took the bike taxi's as soon as the sun started peaking and they could see. We waited for about an hour for a bus to come by. After we got on the conductor told us it was going to be about 4 hours longer than it should take so we only stayed on the bus for about 30 minutes before ditching it to find a faster ride. Generally, it wouldn't have been a big deal but we were hard pressed for time since PC is not lenient in any way about their vacation days and time away from site, (well PC Rwanda that is). So, we ended up catching a minibus which assured us he could get us to Lilongwe by 12:00 pm which was a fairly decent estimation with approximately 2 hours for something to go wrong. We were happy and jumped on. The place we were going up north had one bus leaving at 12:30 and we had to be on it or spend another night in Lilongwe. So, we arrived in Lilongwe at 1:00. :) So apparently he needed 3 hours beyond the actual time it takes for stopping and picking up every single living thing that was standing on the side of the road. Thankfully, another bus just happened to either be delayed or leaving. We jumped on and paid the fare. Then, Jarod walked around and realized another bus was actually full and pulling out of the parking lot so we asked for our money back from the first bus to go jump on that bus. He was not happy and refused to give us our money back (please keep in mind we are learning lessons with every step of this journey). Many Malawians got involved and demanded he give us our money since we hadn't gone anywhere and he lied because he said the bus was leaving but had less than 5 people on it. He finally gave in and we sprinted across the bus park to the bus that was "pulling out". As we were waiting for them to actually pull out, we sat for about 45 minutes. African conductors know nothing of time or can't actually tell the truth if money is involved.  But, we finally were on our way. It took about 3 hours past the amount of time it was supposed too and we arrived in Mzuzu around 8:00 pm. It was pitch black dark and the mini buses that are supposed to drive people to and from Mzuzu to Nkata Bay (about an hour away) had all stopped for the night. Awesome. So we sat there trying to figure out what to do. In the mean time, we were told Mzuzu had a foreign currency exchange and were planning on changing over some money and were literally almost out of money. A taxi driver was telling us he'd take us, but was demanding literally every penny of the currency we had left. We didn't know what to do. So, we walked over and sat while we tried to figure out what we needed to do to be safe but also arrive at our destination. We decided to just take the taxi and pray that the backpackers place we were going accepted American currency.

Around 9:15 ish, we arrived at our place we were staying. It was a little bit of a frustration seeing how the management couldn't seem to remember our reservations and hadn't reserved the chalet on the lake we had asked for. We were stuck in a room that had spiders and cobwebs everywhere. We both wanted to cry but decided whatever...we'd get over it. Jarod and I are not high-maintenance so obviously the place wasn't so good. The owner was what can only be defined as "white trash". Those are other peoples words but I definitely agreed. The food wasn't so good. The showers were mediocre at best. The place was throwing an "Easter bash presented by Black Magic Entertainment" which was planned to be 3 nights lasting from 9 pm to 9 am. We were told it was basically an all out orgy and every single place on the campus was being "sexed" in. Jarod and I wouldn't have known because we're old people and went to bed at 9:00.  The next day, we wanted to do excursions but all of them had to have 4 people to go and we seemed to be the only guests actually checked in or on the grounds at the time. So we lounged around on the dock all day and tanned, which was really nice and relaxing. The next day, some other guests took us to this really awesome place on the other side of town which was so cool and we hung out there and had an AWESOME time for the remaining day.

That night, we caught the first of our buses home. We started at 12:00 am on a bus which was really nice but it was only going 6 hours. When we crossed the Tanzanian border we tried exchanging money but the forex was out of Tanzanian shillings. There were people selling money standing around and generally they can be bargained with for good deals. Jarod was in the middle of bargaining when the bus started leaving him and he had to run to catch up with it...once he got on the bus we realized we had been ripped off and lost about 20 bucks in the exchange. Again I say, we're learning lessons all the time and figuring out that we're idiots when it comes to traveling...but we're getting there!!

Now, Jarod will finish our fantastic trip with all the good news. :)

planes, trains and automobiles...except for no planes...and buses suck!

Continuing from Sarah's last post, we make it to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia and the 2nd leg or our African journey) around 7pm and meet up with our Peace Corps friend there in town.  Lusaka, to us, seemed like such a nice place and was kinda like a mini South Africa which is like a mini LA or so get the picture.  There were grocery stores, endless fancy food restaurants and shopping malls.  We hit up one of the nice sandwich shops before heading to her house for the night and it was AMAZING!!!!   The next morning we were heading out on the -what we thought would be a short bus ride to Livingstone, the site were the beautiful world renown Victoria Falls is located.  That is when things started to get a little crazy.

So, we get up at 5am the next morning to start our what should have been 5-6 hour bus ride to our destination.  After making it a little over a third of the way in an SUV with some friends of our friend, we had to hop on a bus for the rest of the trip.  The driver said it would take us straight there in around 3 hours "or so".  Yea you should never ever ever trust the words of an African bus conductor unless you are in Rwanda, then they may actually be telling the truth.  We get in and the driver starts poking his way along at a snails pace which is rare for any African bus driver.  We also stopped about every 2 minutes for anything standing on the side of the road to see if they wanted to be squeezed on the bus.  And, at every town he would stop at the bus park for 45 minutes or so to just hang out.  It didn't take us long to realize we weren't going to make it there anytime soon.  And, if there is one thing I have learned really gets to me it is feeling helpless in a situation and not being able to control anything...and also inefficiency and time wasting.  So, unless you were there you can't really know how I got to this point but I was about to flip out.  I have never in my life felt so anxious and helpless.  I couldn't sit still and wanted to just get off and start walking because I felt we could get there faster that way.  Sarah was also started to get a little anxious as well and said she felt like holding a gun to the drivers head and saying, "DRIVE and don't stop for anything or anyone."  So this frustration and anxiety made the next part of the trip really tricky.  About 8 hours after getting on this bus, the driver and conductor stop on the side of the road and decide they are done driving for the day and the rest of the people in the bus can find their own way the remaining 100+ kilometers of the way.   As you can imagine this outraged us as well as the other 15 Zambians with us.  We demanded they give us at least a portion of our money back to make it the rest of the way or continue driving us but they had no interest in either.  At this point, I was becoming lethargic but Sarah had had enough and I must say got worked up and very confrontational (for probably one of the first times in her life outside of with a family member) and threatened to call the police to which the man said, "call the police, it's no problem, tell them to come" almost as if he was taunting us.  This also enraged the others even more and several men went to find the police.  I had to keep Sarah from stealing the keys from out of the ignition which she kept saying she was going to do until they gave us our money or drove us there.  Her exact words were, "he has our money so I am gonna keep his keys." At one point I mentioned jokingly to the others, there are 17 of us, we should just slap him around a little bit thinking nobody would hear or understand me to which a lady turned around and said yes, we should just slap him around a little bit, then he will cooperate.

Then, we notice the driver and conductor wanted to make a run for it but all of our things and bags and luggage were still in the bus.  So, all 17 of us run and jump in with the driver as he starts to pull away, leaving the 3 men that went to find the cops.  After making it less than 2 km down the road, the cops pull us over with the 3 men in the back and everyone starts to applaud.  At this point, things are just starting to get crazy.  The police officer seemed to have our back and argued our case but seemed to be lacking on the actual taking action side.  He told the man to give some of our money back or take us the rest of the way...the man refused.  Finally he says he will pay another bus to take us the rest of the way which didn't work because he tried to give every bus that came by very little money for 17 passengers (which they didn't have room for anyway).  At this point all of us passengers had formed a sort of bond together against the bus people.  So, when one bus said they had room for two and they tried to force the two "white people" on the bus, we refused and said we are not going without was  Finally, a bus/cargo van came by but Sarah was skeptical.  All of the windows in the back were blacked out and Sarah instantly said, "I am not getting in that bus.  That's a murder Dad taught me all about those.  Bad things happen to people in that kind of bus."  But,  it was our only option.  So, all 17 of us piled into the back of this cargo type bus/van without any seats and an hour or so later made it to Livingstone.

The rest of the time in Livingstone was amazing.  Our backpackers place we stayed at was amazing, clean, hospitable and friends and the food was amazing as well.  We went to Victoria Falls (locally known as "the smoke that thunders") which is just beyond words breathtaking.  Right now is the end of the rainy season so the falls are at their biggest and the word thundering is very appropriate for the sound it makes.  Here are just a few facts to put it into perspective.  Victoria Falls is nearly 2km wide (over a mile), around 350 feet high, sprays a mist over 1500 feet into the air and raise the water depth by nearly 20 feet when the falls is at it's peak...which it was.  The sad thing was, it was nearly impossible to see the entire thing because of the insane amount of mist/smoke it produced.  Once you enter the park they give you not one but 2 ponchos to wear...this should tell you something.  The remaining time we walked in what seemed like a monsoon as we were pelted with rain and wind produced from the shear power of the falls.  At some points we were probably a 1/2 a mile away and still being rained on.  It was truly amazing and beautiful.

Then one of the funnier moments of trip is when a baboon jumped down off the roof of a building at the park entrance when moment Sarah stepped away from her table and snatched her pineapple fanta bottle.  Then he proceeded to jump back on the roof, hold it between his legs, twist off the top and drink it right there in front of us, then throw the bottle on the ground.  Those dudes were crazy and were really walking a tight line between interesting and fun experience for tourist or just straight up annoying.  Anyway, we jokingly asked the lady in the store if we get a refund since Sarah had just opened the bottle.  She laughed and said no.  That happens all the time.

Later that day we went on what was probably the coolest part of our trip - the lion walk.  They have a rehabilitation center for lions there and after they become sexually mature, they place them back into a reserver were people will see them on safaris.  So, by interacting and being with the lions, you actually take part in the rehabilitation process.  This was really cool and we were able to spend nearly 2 hours just sitting, petting and playing with two lions.  They told us they were cubs, only 2 years old.  What we didn't know is that lion cubs are huge.  They probably weighed around 200 pounds and definitely could have had us for an appetizer that day.  Fortunately, they were really friendly and didn't mind us chilling with them for a few hours.  We will try to get some pix of this posted soon because they are amazing!

The next day we just hung out around the city and had some amazing food.  Then we hopped on the night bus back to Lusaka (which was the Mercedes Benz of all buses, literally, it was a Mercedes Benz Bus) which praise God actually took us there in a descent amount of time.  We arrived back to Lusaka around 2 in the morning and then got on the 5am bus from Lusaka to the border of Malawi.  This bus was not too bad either and made it in a descent amount of time.  After going through customs we got another bus and 2 hours later we were in the capital of Malawi to begin the third leg of our journey.   Sarah will take it from here...

Adventures in Africa...or so it seems

Hello hello. So it has been a while but we have been on vacation for 3 weeks and writing blogs just hasn't been a priority! So, we're going to write at least 4 about our 3 weeks and then post pictures at a later date since we can't do that from here. Oh my, where to start...

Our journey began with a 30 hour bus ride from Kigali, Rwanda to Dar-Es-Salam, Tanzania. It was a pretty decent bus ride. We were fairly comfortable. As we crossed the tanzania border however, the bus stopped and loaded about 30 passengers past the limit that all stood in the isles. It became very hot and stuffy but mostly I simply felt bad for the people who were standing for upwards of 15 hours on this trip. We arrived in Dar and proceeded to find our hotel. It was naturally full and we had to find another, it was an ok hostel that had 2 tiny beds in the room and the semi warm showers down the big deal because we were heading to Zanzibar the next day and were soooo excited!! We caught a ferry (about an hour and a half to zanzibar) and were greeted with the first of many many troubles on our trip. As we got off the ferry, the "immigration" officials grabbed every single white person and pulled them aside to ask for their "WHO" cards. These are the World Health Order cards that every person is supposed to carry with them upon traveling. We were told, by Peace Corps that we would not need a WHO card therefore did not have ours with us. We, and by we I mean me, kind of freaked out because I didn't know what they would do if we didn't actually have a WHO card showing we had our yellow fever shots. Thankfully, another PCV was also going to Zanzibar and had an extra with a yellow fever stamp on it. So, we snuck into the line and I flashed the card and then handed it behind my back to Jarod who then also flashed the same card. I of course, being the goody goody was freaking out and by the time we actually walked through customs was shaking like a leaf and feeling like I was going to throw up! I am a terrible liar and not good with authority because my father put the fear of Jesus and the law in me! As we walked through customs, this little tiny 5'0 ish man is holding a sign (in the pouring rain) that says Rings and its all washed out and we could barely read it but well he was adorable and caught our attention. He walked us to his "taxi" which would take us to the hotel we were staying in. We hopped in and he reversed, as he is straightening the car he slams into the side of another car. We were fine since we were traveling 1.1 miles per hour. It was funny because we got out of the vehicle and waited for them to straighten it out, then we hopped in and he literally drove us less than 15 seconds away. We could see the hotel from where we got off the ferry. It was hilarious!

Once we arrived, we checked in and since we were the only guest at the hotel we were upgraded to the terrace suit that was much nicer than the one we had booked. Thank you Jesus! They had free amazing wireless internet and we skyped with friends and family the whole entire night. I didn't even go to sleep it was so amazing. Thank you everyone who got online and chatted with me!!

After that, we got a "Dhala Dhala"(a local open bed with a tiny roofish thing truck) to our hotel on the other side of the island. It was amazing. They had our suit all set up for our anniversary and catered to us for 4 days!! Lobster, crab, fresh fish, etc etc. It was wonderful. The 2nd day we went snorkeling and decided to apply the sunblock outside in the "windy conditions" it warns against on the spray bottles. Point well taken mr sunblock company because we had streaks across our backs where the sunscreen grazed before being blown away by the wind and leaving us with what only felt like 1st degree burns. Thank you Zanzibar for being so beautiful...thank you Sarah and Jarod for being so dumb....we enjoyed Zanzibar through the windows as we lounged on the beds (on our stomachs) and moaned!! We unfortunately had already booked beach side massages that were none other than the best torture of my entire life. I was crying with pain and screaming with excitement as I had my aching back massaged and listened to the waves crash. Haha. But, it started clearing up before we left and we were off to the next part of our journey!

We rode the train from Dar-Es-Salam, Tanzania to Kapiri Mphoshi, Zambia. The train was wonderful. We met a couple of awesome scottish dudes who were traveling to the same place we were as well as an awesome Belarus man also traveling to the same hostel we were. Woo hoo! They were hilarious and had us laughing our butts off for 48 hours. It was great.  Sleeping in an actual bed while traveling makes all the difference in the whole world and it was nice. Beds, food, a was good!!

So far so good....but wait it's coming...

Jarod is going to pick up from here!