Category Archives: Photos

A Heart for Service















Marian Wright Edelman

One of the many benefits of working in and around institutions of higher education, is the general plethora of socio-cultural programming available at most schools. Couple that with an Ivy-League nametag and you’ve got out of this world speakers, performers, artists and events. Everything from seeing Barrack Obama on the treadmill at the gym, to hearing Marian Wright Edelman’s MLK day keynote address.

As a contemporary/mentee of Dr. King’s, she pushed for the Poor People’s Movement, though Dr. King (and Bobby Kennedy) were both assasinated before the event (a march and “tent-in” on Washington, DC), Mrs. Edelman still saw fit to gather the troops, personal safety-be-damned, and mounted the attack on poverty which, of course, still continues today.

She spoke for an hour and a half, and if she’d kept on for another hour and a half, we would have all remained, rapt, inspired and called to duty.  She pointed out that King’s words still ring true. That injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice/freedom everywhere.” I loved her point that the gauge of a society’s morals is how it treats it’s children.

I forget sometimes what an honor it is to be an educator, maybe not in the traditional sense, but as someone who fights for higher education for populations who have not long had access and still face barriers, as a mentor, program director and coach. My heart beat warm in my chest, because I’m not alot of things, but I care, and I have a heart for service.

Check out the work Mrs. Edelman and her crew are doing over at the Children’s Defense Fund (which she founded and where she coined the phrase “No child left behind”). Whatever you stand for, whatever you fight for, whatever you’re passionate about. You count. Everyday there are people who can’t do, counting on those of us who can.

Evidence of a Life Well Lived, or Debauchery..

Things that Actually Came Out of People’s Mouths:

  1. The first time I went to jail…
  2. Did anyone’s underwear come off?
  3. Work is like school without the chocolate milk, the playground and the nap. School pretty much rocked.
  4. New love is like a Slimfast shake, it’s probably healthier than what you had before, but you’ll probably be looking around for something that’s no good for you in a couple of hours.
  5. I love you, and I would bail you out of jail, but we can’t be discussing why we have to throw away your bloodstained shirt.
  6. All Black people receive Mary J. Blige’s cd’s as soon as a new one comes out…it’s one of the perks.
  7. I don’t want to marry her, but she doesn’t need to know that!
  8. Yeah, if you ever want to get lucky, don’t say that. In fact, silence is sexy.
  9. My idea of a perfect relationship is from 6-10. No, not people, 6-10pm. Dinner, wine, listen to a little NPR, then s/he has to go home. No rolling around in my 400 threadcount sheets.
  10. She’s crazy, and I mean crazy crazy, not the good kind of crazy!

Things that Actually Came Out of My Mouth:

What I said: It’s good to hear your voice

What I meant: I miss you

What I said: I miss you

What I meant: I wish you were here

What I said: I wish you were here

What I meant: I wish you were here right now

What I said: That sounds interesting

What I meant: That sounds terrible

What I said: I think we can make that happen

What I meant: Call me when you figure that out

What I said: You owe me $79.00

What I meant: Where’s my moolah punk?


Not Drunktastic


Sorry I’ve been off the grid the last few days. Work is getting busier by the week including new trips on the horizon (a return trip to Miami and a trip up to Toronto and Montreal). After the hustle of the last few weeks I was ready for a mini-road trip and headed down to Maryland where I met up with The Entreprenuer (TE) and The Attorney (TA). TE is a photography aficionado and TA is a “culture vulture” so we hit the Corcoran Musuem for the Annie Leibovitz exhibit: A Photographer’s Life.

The exhibit was really amazing. I loved her portraits of Jamie Foxx, Oprah, Colin Powell and a couple of shots of Serejevo and Rawanda the most. Wandering the museum with TE and TA was also a pleasure because we all felt comfortable going our own way so that we could linger where we wanted and get drawn into whatever compelled us. I loved how most of the photographs were black & white, but every now and then there’d be something in glorious color. Likewise most of the photographs were pretty large, but there were groupings of small prints that forced you to get intimate with the exhibit (wait, that didn’t come out right).  There was also an Ansel Adams exhibit in-house and that was interesting though I’m not a big fan of landscape photography.

We ended up acting a fool and having a good time which led us to drinks and bad, bad (but oooh so good) food at Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles in DC and a late night, raucous showing of Tyler Perry’s new movie: Why Did I Get Married? Now if you’ve ever been to an African American film, at an African American theatre, with a packed African American audience, I don’t need to tell you what went down. Let’s just say that everybody had a good time and thought that the characters on the screen could hear their individual comments.

Sunday, TA insisted on watching Inside Washington so I mustered up the energy to hit the workout room and put in some time on the treadmill to combat the previous evening’s fried goodness and preempt the afternoon’s revelry.  TE picked us up and we headed out to Linganore Winery where we met up with The Politician (TP) for the Jazz and Wine festival. And by festival I mean hundreds of people, in camp chairs with coolers full of crackers, cheese, grapes and summer sausage. It was great to see a diverse crowd (ethnicity, age, families, LGBT, groups of friends, etc) and to relax in the sunshine on a near perfect day listening to the David Bach Consort and wondering when exactly we became our parents? Wait, we’re not our parent’s yet but these two are.

Despite the wonderful nectar available (I highly recommend the Skipjack, TE’s favorite and the Sangria, TA’s favorite) no one was “Drunktastic” at least not in our group. But there were a few others who may have been. To include the 3 women next to us who drank at least 5 bottles of wine, the old white dude who kept hitting on all the older black women, the barefoot hippie teenagers twirling and kicking up dust, and the saxonphone player who kept coming out into the crowd to check out women. I joked at one point that there was only two ways that the day could be better, and one of them actually came to fruition. And thats all I’m gonna say about that!

Obamania at Dartmouth


Obamania at Dartmouth, originally uploaded by AndrewCline.

The Presidential Debates are on campus at Dartmouth tonight. You guys might be watching it live now. Well, so am I because I didn’t win tickets in the campus lottery, but I’m taking my ire out on the hundreds of people milling in the streets in the path of my motorcycle.

This grand event has shut down parking everywhere within a couple miles of The Green (center of campus) and it has been a very great asset to have a two-wheeled method of transport.

This hotbed of cosmopolitan activity also hosted the Telluride Film Festival this past weekend. I DID in fact get tickets to that. I caught 3 of the six films showcased.

Margot at the Wedding, Into The Wild (to be released nationally soon I believe) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (go see this if you ever get the chance-it was amazing).

So, on my last evening in town for a few days, I’m happy to report that I kind of feel like a New Englander. But with a southern drawl yall.

Wish You Were Here


hard rock hotel pool, originally uploaded by funchilde.

[1] Dear Hard Rock Hotel, I am enamored of your pool area. However, all of your waitstaff look like extras from a bad teen Disney movie. I am impressed with your level of open-mindedness. I’m not sure I would’ve hired the guy with the tattoos on his neck, arms and knuckles. I was however, mildly amused that his right-hand knuckles sported to word “lost” and those on his left hand “soul.” Truth in advertising never ceases to amaze me, tell “Dru” I said hi. You all do however, brew the best iced-tea ever.

[2] Dear Ford & Volvo motor company(ies), Thank you for throwing the best “Grown and Sexy” party I’ve been to ever. I thoroughly enjoyed the indoor/outdoor fabulousness of the Blue Martini lounge. Your choice of DJ was superb, a mix of old school hip hop and R&B including a “Tupac retrospective” and an “ode to Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” album”-brilliant.

Also, your signature martini with the flashing blue “ice-cube”…lovely, in form and function. Thanks for the free drink tickets. We tipped Tiffany VERY well, considering we ate our weight in meatballs, german chocolate cake and had a “never ending” dirty martini (damn you Nate, Tammy & B!).

[3] Dear Shaquille O’Neal & Penny Hardaway, Thank you for gracing the Blue Martini lounge with your very tall presence. I’m just as glad as you are that everyone kept their cool, noone bothered you and that VIP was stocked with food to fill your ginormous bodies. I hope that you both avoid unwanted stalkers, paternity suits, STD’s and late night phone calls from all of the ladies throwing themselves at you. But you’re probably used to that by now.
[4] Corey Bayne Wowers (name changed to protect the guilty), Thank YOU for the most hilarious quotes of the week. You easily topped last year’s gems by being both endearingly ghetto-country fabulous and street-smart. My favorites (I swear this was from an actual conversation):

“I shoot good with a shotgun!”
“I swear, dude was fishin’ out the car window while we was ridin’ down the highway.”
“My wife is country, she can cook ANYTHING.”
“I don’t do violence against women, but a man…..he fair game.”
“I had to take off my clothes, so the cops couldn’t see me. It was night time.”
”With the right seasonings, alligator taste pretty much like chicken.”

[5] Stella, I don’t even know what to say. Pure foolishness and comedy. Thanks for dinner. You owed me after sticking me with that lunch check. Who orders a “triple” cocktail? You.

[6] Dear bed, I love you. I want to take you out behind a middle school and get you pregnant*.
*30 Rock Reference

[7] Denny’s we do not love you. Fortunately your more attractive cousin, IHOP, came to our rescue. Along with Tammy’s pleading and the driver.ever. I’m not sure that there’s anything better than french toast at 3am.

[8] Akil & Siddiq, how did you manage to escape my camera lens? And Siddiq, how many martinis did you have before you took this photo?

[9] Dear Reader, yes, yes in fact I DID get some work done!

PS: Happy Birthday DAD!!

Motorcycle Diaries


My Mint Condition Classic 1980 Suzuki GS250, originally uploaded by funchilde.

I will admit that I felt like a bit of a bad @$$ today towing my new ride down the interstate (nerve wracking!). I decided to get a small, classic bike to tool around and make my mistakes on before I jumped into a several thousand dollar bike with a paint job that would send me to the bank if it got dropped or scratched.

Riding her around the block this evening was worth taking my last motorcycle class a couple of weeks ago. Wherein out of the 4 of us that showed up, I was the ONLY ONE who finished the class and got to ride. Not because I’m JUST THAT COOL, but because I”M THAT MUCH OF A DORK! It was 100 degrees, we had on boots, jeans, long sleeves and helmets. One lady just left and went and sat on a curb. But ahhhh, the wind on my face and the breeze on my arms, the look of awe in the neighborhood kid’s faces (yeah kids, I’m a rockin’ old biker chick) was so worth it. Although I took Jumpstart last summer and then the Basic Rider Course (BRC) to get my license, I decided to take Jump Start again just to make sure I am ready since I haven’t been on a bike since last year.

I’m towing her up to NH and I have an 80% buyback guarantee on her, so I’ll probably upgrade to a 500/600 cc in the spring or summer of next year (if I’m in the country). I should then have enough hours/miles under my belt to take the Experienced Rider Course, which unlike the Jump Start and the Basic Rider courses, you need to have your own bike for and you have to have some experience in order to get the most out of the class.

One thing I totally didn’t expect is that when you buy a bike and get your license, you become part of this underground “family” of riders. I notice “My other car is a motorcycle” stickers now, I wave at people on everything from Harleys (the most popular brand in the US) to Hayabusas (the fastes production bike you can buy). It is a diverse group united by the love of all things on two wheels. I have had deep discussions w/ crazy looking white guys with american flag bandanas and grizzly adams beards and full out “leather” cycle gear and teeny chicks who can barely put their feet on the ground but ride Ducati Monsters! Everyone is welcome into the fold. And is it bad that I half want to laugh at this and half want to join?I promise to always wear my protective gear and to always put safety over style.

If you’re working on some goal or dream, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I still have a big one that eludes me, but I won’t ever stop trying. And if you see a wobbly, grinning, chick on a classic bike, tearing around the neighborhood, slow down and give her a smile and a wave. It’s probably me making a beer run on my bad @$$ motorcycle. Now if I can just figure out how to get my afro into this helmet…..

California Love: Friends Near & Far


ryan ericka and sherri, originally uploaded by funchilde.

I’m back from California. It was just what the doctor ordered in terms of feeling more energized, focused and refreshed. I went out for work of course but had 10 days between the two events I needed to attend, I hit San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Jose and finished up in Palo Alto…and of course, there was that one day in Napa that shall never be mentioned again. You know your day can only get better when you wake up to the phrase “Yall still here?” (Thanks Blaine and Tawana!).

The work part was pretty great. We laughed, laughed, worked until we were so tired we were delirious and laughed some more. My favorite saying at the end of each day was “First round is on ME!” This is for my NY client and I love my colleagues more each time we meet, there are those I miss, but our mix of personalities and workstyles keeps everything moving fast and with alot of fun. You can’t beat that.

I was lucky enough to have gracious hosts and decadent hotels, but of the two I enjoyed the time I spent couch surfing the most. I stayed with Sherri (above right) for 5 days and got to see her beautiful home complete with orange, apricot, plum, and lemon trees (and something I’m forgettingooh, pears).

It was nice to feel domestic and pick lemons right off the heavy branches and make lemonade. No trips to Trader Joes/Harris Teeter/Von’s necessary. Likewise, mojitos with fresh mint from her garden were the perfect welcome. I enjoyed helping out with the fruit picking and clean up, loved cooking breakfast on the grill, we strolled through the Ventura Weekend Market and checked out the San Buenaventura Mission, read (Golf for Women Magazine), napped, read (Back Roads), listened to old school Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, and read some more. Oh, and watched a phenomenal movie (Half Nelson w/ Ryan Gosling).

We’re both foodies, so it was nice to indulge and be indulged-I grilled steaks and asparagus, portabella mushrooms and chicken-apple sausage. She made a crustless quiche, salsa from scratch and an amazing breaded Tilapia. Wine was a staple, a necessity. The weather in SoCal is so amazing that I worked outside on the back deck every day.

We had a BBQ that included Ryan and Ericka (above w/ Sherri) two of our Semester at Sea students who are absolutely adorable, gracious and wise beyond their years. I also got to hang with one of Sherri’s best friends and met this guy (one of my favorite OG’s of Hip Hop-note the capitalization).

I also got word that I’ll be going back to a project with one of my favorite clients, this time for a 9 month (oh lawd) stint. So this trip represents the slow closure of my immediate sexy travels, but I’m excited to be in one place for a while and work on my fitness and health goals, get to know some people better, and plan the next big phase/trip/thing. So, back to New Hampshire I go….!

I’m already researching Mexico, Thailand and an overland Europe to Africa Trip. And I am always game for another jaunt on the Green Tortoise. Whatever it is, I hope to keep making friends around the world because there’s nothing better than re-living your journeys with people who were with you.

More than anything I missed my nephew, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this…felt a touch of baby fever, not that I want to actually birth one, but the thought of nurturing and loving a little person crept up on me. But it might just have been gas from the asparagus. And while I’m happy to be home on the east coast, I can’t say that I missed either the humidity or the mosquitos.

So what’ve yall been up to?

Metaphors, Similes, Analogies & Comparisons


Photo: Somewhere In the Indian Ocean. One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life, we had 3 nights in a row like this and Venus (the planet, not the tennis player) was very bright in the sky. The weather was warm and breezy…perfect.

Life As A House

Upon returning to the US 6 weeks ago, I attended my brother’s wedding reception then promptly slept for two weeks. I ate as many vegetables as possible and declined to turn my cell phone on. Since then I’ve slowly climbed out of my shell, and looked around only to delight in the fact that it is summer. And still early summer at that. Cookouts have been had, toes have been dipped, 18 holes of golf here and there, 9 holes there, tennis and hiking (okay, ONE hike).

I also really, really needed a break from everything. I am not good a slowing down, and when I do I usually stop altogether and I had to really allow myself to just sit for a good while and regroup. I have been going full out since last September, and though everything I’m doing seems (and generally is) fun, rewarding and productive, it is also exhausting sustaining that pace. So I’ve also spent a fair bit of time reading: Backpack, Woman: An Intimate Geography, Chocolate, Eleven Minutes, Fever Pitch, The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and so on. I love when I get on reading kicks, one of my favorite ways to fall asleep. I’ve also put in a fair bit of movie viewing time since so much came out while we were gone, films: Blood Diamond, The Departed, Fantastic Four: Silver Surfer, Failure to Launch, etc.

In between that I’m trying to fix up one of the rentals that was just vacated and it struck me how similar the process of fixing up a house and tending to your life can be. I had to do an assessment, figure out what the priorities were, purchase the materials and get to work, slowly but surely, realizing it won’t all get done in a day. And so it is with me. I’m working on my physical health in much the same manner. Going to the gym, eating niblets of things that grow from the earth, avoiding things that end in -ookies, -ake, and -ied. I’ve lost a whopping 4lbs in 4 weeks, I’m convinced its my MIND. My summer goals are:

Workout: Health = #1 Priority

Work: Have Fun Everyday while delivering GREAT service

Learn to Juggle: I’m t-h-i-s close…

Buy a motorcycle. I got my license last summer, and again this depends on how long I’ll be in the USA.

Travel Plans: Depending on how one of the proposals I have in turns out, I may be in the country for a while. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ll probably head back to Latin America in October. If it does, it would be totally fun to work with this group for a stretch, then I’ll probably head to Latin America then Thailand in late Spring 2008. God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, as we say in the south.

Working 9 to 5

Well, not really, but I’m LOVING it. small and medium clients are rolling, proposals out to two others, and some possible international opportunities on the table. I keep thinking..”oh, after I do X I’ll settle down and get a real job…” but I have realized a) I HAVE a real job, and I love it and b) I don’t have to settle down if I don’t want to. Indeed my worst fear is that I’ll fall madly in love and desire to abandon my vagabond ways. I’ll be out in California for most of July. Part work, Part Play. I’m hoping for some quality time with my colleagues, some Napa Valley nectar, some exercise and to hang out with some Semester @ Sea folks. I’ve already hit DC, New York, Chicago and Indiannapolis since I’ve been back (for work), so I guess I’m back in the saddle.

Friday Night Lights

I learned a couple of years ago that I don’t do Friday night dates well, especially first dates or “big” dates. I mean if you have a good friday that means you’ve hit the gym, gone to work, run errands (dry cleaner’s, liquor store-what?), maybe pampered yourself a bit (mani/pedi?) and then to go on a date at 7 or 8 pm? Not me, I am too used to being in the bed by 10:30pm. By the time you add up dinner and a movie its damn near midnight! And goodness forbid if there’s some potential for hanky panky…I’m TIRED. No wonder I’m single, call me on Saturday.

I also had a Friday night recently where I dropped in on not one, not two, but THREE different events, and they couldn’t have been more different. A neighborhood block party, a margarita dinner and a bachelorette party with a Pole Dancing instructor. Yeah, you read that right. I thought it was cute but being more of a “beer and darts” kind of girl, I watched for a little while then escaped to return to the block party. whew. that was close.

Like Water for Chocolate

One of the things I missed about life on a ship is access to a kitchen. Since I’ve been back I’ve been on a culinary run. My family loves my Rasta Pasta and I’ve even got them digging whole wheat pasta! My nephew and I have been living it up and have added a Monkey Cake (complete w/ a banana) and homemade donuts for Father’s Day to his growing list of culinary masterpieces. My favorites so far have been the fish tacos and the lamb gyros, both of which were new attempts for me.

My Mom made a Crab Crusted Steak one night, and my dad pulled all the stops out on a Crab Boil so, the fact that I’ve lost 4lbs is starting to sound like a pretty amazing feat no?

Tell me how you are doing and what your summer goals are in the comments or leave a link to your blog. Cause I’m nosey like that.



*This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken. It was on a beach in Brazil and I got about 50 shots of this kid. He was just so beautiful, unselfconcious and totally into what he was doing (bodysurfing).

Here is the text of my short address at the shipboard convocation as requested by popular demand (okay, one commenter).

First, I want to thank you for the honor and privilege of addressing you this evening as a representative of the staff for the Spring 2007 Voyage. To my staff colleagues: I am humbled and I hope to represent you well. To the faculty, it has been a pleasure to support you and to the executive team, captain and crew…without you…we’d still be in Nassau.

As we reflect on this voyage, you’ve probably thought about ways you’ve grown or changed over time. It is natural to think about the man or woman you’ve become or are becoming, and it is no surprise that you might touch upon your childhood self and remember those big dreams you had. Walk with me down memory lane and remember your 7 year old self. For some of us that was less than 2 decades ago, for others it is more than 6 decades ago, but I’d wager that we would almost unanimously agree that one of the things every 7 year old wants to be when they grow up, is a superhero.

Which one did you want to be? Did you create your own persona complete with customized powers and abilities? Did you fly solo or have a team of action hero friends? My favorite superhero was Wonder Woman. Mainly because there were so few examples of girls or women in the superhero world and at 7 years old, she’d do just fine. I loved her lasso of truth, bullet deflecting bracelets and that crown thing that never flew off her head no matter how many flips she did. Most of all I loved her airplane, it was invisible and it was always ready to whisk her anywhere in the world she wanted to go.

At 14 years old, most of us abandoned our superhero dreams. And somewhere along the way we forgot those dreams and we’d never admit we had them in the first place. But let me tell you some things about superheroes. From one superhero to another:

1. Most Superheroes don’t want to be Superheroes. They resist the call to service, they deny their powers and skills, the curse their talents and strengths. We let other people tell us we can’t be extraordinary, and then we tell ourselves we can’t be the one the world is waiting for. We hide behind things like: I’m dyslexic, I’m ADD, I’m ethnic, I’m female, I’m bisexual, I’m bad at math, I’m chubby, I’m broke, I’m lonely. Superheroes are notoriously resistant to acknowledging our power. Because once you acknowledge that you are a superhero, you can never be ordinary again. And to acknowledge that you are “extraordinary” is a terrifying thing. But I know some of you can feel it in your bones right now, and for others you’ve known it for years, some of us may not get it for a while yet. But you KNOW that you are extraordinary. That is the dissonance professor Judy spoke of last night. And as long as you resist, you’ll always feel like something isn’t quite “right”

2. Superheroes aren’t perfect. Each one has their own personal kryptonite. We all have our flaws and imperfections, areas of improvement that we use as excuses for not stepping into all of our power, all of our greatness and all of our responsibility. Know your kryptonite. Whether its alcohol or drugs, food or sex, the internet or an abusive relationship, know your kryptonite and don’t hand the keys to your super powers to anyone else. We are afraid to be exposed as frauds; somebody might figure out that Superman is just a white guy in tights and a tablecloth that he stole from his mamma. Take responsibility for your weak areas and polish, hone and improve those suckers like nobody’s business. Because Superheroes are notoriously hard on themselves, even as we grant grace and assistance to others.

3. Superheroes don’t go it alone. Even the most solitary of the celebrated heroes has a support network. Wonder Woman, as I told you was my favorite, but more than any powers or gadgets it was because she was a founding member of the Justice League. Even superheroes need a community, a family, a place to rest and reenergize. Build yours and guard it religiously. Not everybody you’re hanging out with is ready to be a superhero yet, let them discover at their own pace, but don’t waste your time on those who are clearly not your friends.

Finally, Superheroes don’t always have a plan, they do what they can with what they have and trust their network, they build their skills, they rest, they know their kryptonite and they DO. So know this my fellow superheroes. As we head towards home, in our very own magic transportation vehicle, that whether you are starting a new job, finishing up college, exiting a relationship or re-dedicating your life to a partner, whether you’ve got a million dollars in a trust fund, or you have no idea how you’re going to make it out of the San Diego area, you don’t have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. Just decide what you want to do next. Because a superhero’s work is never done.

Ile De Deux Cocos: Sublime, With Lime, Island Time


I am loyal and consant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby-I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine.
–Elizabeth Gilbert author

My second day on Mauritius we hit the beach at Ile de Deux Cocos (Two Coconut Island) via glass bottom boats. My life will never be the same. I think the students liked it too! There were probably 9 faculty and staff and 60 students on the island which sounds terrible but was really quite perfect.

We were greeted in true fantasy island style with cold face towels, mimosas, an open bar, free snorkel equipment and lounge chairs (pictured above) hammocks, cabanas, and a BBQ lunch of chicken, shrimp, fish, lamb, salads, breads, and on and on.

They had to pry our toasted, sand-crusted, worn-out bodies off the island. One of the owners (it is owned by a conglomerate) was on hand to wish us safe travels and make sure we didn’t make off with any of his crystalware, silverware, beach gear or the like.

In a journey of almost 6 weeks with a pace that makes my head spin daily, it was nice to chase sand crabs, ooh and ahh over fish, decide wether to snorkel or nap first (snorkel!), chicken or shrimp (both), hammock or lounge (neither!).

There were strolling guitar players who serenaded us as we napped and played in the sun and shade. Paradise, really. Because everyone was happy, content, relaxed. That night the “crew” that I hung out with in Cape Town insisted that I go out with them, but when I heard that the ride they arranged wasn’t due to come back to this side of the island until 4am….I laughed and laughed and told them “you couldn’t PAY me to hang out with yall like that again.” Plus, the next day I headed out for some deep sea fishing fun and had to be up at 5:15am. So I caught up with some students that I didn’t know well and had yummy chinese food until we couldn’t keep our eyes open or our heads out of our plates.

I thought it was hilarious that our boat was named Zazou 3 (Wasn’t that the dude in “The Life Aquatic?”). This was another one of my goals…to go deep sea fishing, something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now but had neither the time or the money in ample supply at the same time. And after this trip out to catch some beast of the deep, I can honestly say I’d rather stand on the docks and just throw my money into the ocean, because deep sea fishing is a gamble. And despite our gear, guides, and good attitudes, all we caught was sight of a Chinese navy ship, and 3 birds. I guess after Fantasy Island, I was due to draw a short straw.

I spent my last day on Mauritius at a Botanical Garden (yall know how I love a botanical garden) this was the best worst Bo-Garden ever. Turtles, ???? (I have no idea what these are because NOTHING was labeled!), oh wait here are some FLOWERS! Imagine that-and lots and lots of trees. I shouldn’t complain since it was free. Of course I was out and about with Shayla and so the day had to decend into foolishness. We got mistaken for South African tourists, she was assumed to be a cook on the ship, our cab driver tried to shake us down for an extra $5US after taking us on a skeevy city tour, we ate some sketchy ice cream, shot amazing views of the city and she got groped on the water taxi. So we’ve dubbed Mauritius “The Island We Hate to Love.”

CHENNAI, INDIA: Here we come!