Africa - A Build Post


"Okay," you say. "I'm glad you had fun in Africa, but how is this a *Build* post?"

You see, that goes back awhile. In 2004, I had left Jeune Lune. My mom, my ex-husband and I were to go on an African safari. Then it all came raining down — as I have often quipped "I got divorced, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the cat got diabetes." Clearly, that trip did not happen. It has remained in the "dream vacation" category since then.

We didn't think we would be able to take the vacation this year, and then suddenly it all came together so we could. My friend Sarah recommended Tanzania Specialists, and all of a sudden we were going to Africa!

I have a lot of posts in mind, so for awhile, my feed will be full of Africa. It was just that sort of life-changing trip.

But to start this out, I wanted to just state that this was the most transformational trip I've ever taken — and to encourage you to put it on your bucket list as well.

Reasons it was important for me to go were to:

Stand with my husband and daughter in a country — in a CONTINENT — where they were not minorities.

Meet the incredibly hospitable and kind people we met there, learning how their lives were both different from and the same as ours. I've been to any number of third world and second world countries (isn't it about time to retire that term?) in Asia, central America, and Eastern Europe, and Tanzania was dramatically different than any of them.

Drive hours and hours through various villages, seeing how people lived. The contrast between seeing a Maasai herdsman (well, really often herdboys) with a flock of sheep/goats/cows and less than a minute later seeing a herd of zebra along the roadside never failed to astound me.

Experience the beaches of Zanzibar, truly the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (sorry, Thailand).

Watching the sunrises.

Be right in the middle of the Great Migration, with zebra, gazelle, and wildebeast to both sides, as far to the horizon as the eye can see. And if you don't believe that climate change is real, please note that the Migration this year has started several weeks earlier than in the past (but those babies seem to be able to keep up!)

Spend hours finding and watching animals, whether that was seeing elephants go to water, cheetah and lions on the hunt, water buffalo wallowing, or giraffes nibbling at acacia.

Hang out with my awesome family, and share these experience with them.


I'm rarely evangelical in my posts (though my friend Jody says I'm an influencer), but I will say this:

Go to Africa.

Despite the long-ass travel time, it's actually a relatively easy place to travel to in that it's not a lot of DIY travel; it's almost all packages that take you around (you can't just hike solo through the Serengeti, for reasons that should be obvious).

I promise you that just being there will make you think completely differently about life (both on a micro-personal level and on a macro level).

When I chose "Build" as my word for the year, I certainly did mean working on various house projects. But I also meant building experience, building time together, building knowledge, building understanding, building compassion, building wonder. And this trip did that in spades.

ETA: Patrick's take:


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