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My Friend Fran and Her Gorgeous Henna


Me and Fran, Indian Ocean.


I was like “Let me fix my hair.”

(click on any picture to see its bigger version!)

In Kilifi, I met the lovely Fran from Germany, living in Zanzibar. When I first met Fran, we were in the gift shop. It went like this.
Me: Hello, I’m Laurie.
Fran: Hi, I’m Fran.
Me: Nice to meet you. Can I ask what country you come from?
Fran: Germany.
Me: Wow, I’m surprised, your accent is so much more beautiful than the German accents I’m used to.
And that was the beginning of our friendship.

Fran was a great friend to me, including taking me to the hospital when I got stung by an unknown marine animal (not jelly fish, not sea urchin). Fran does have a BEAUTIFUL voice. I told her she should do some books on tape or something. It’s a voice that reminds me of Mia Farrow in The Last Unicorn. So soothing. When I asked Fran, “Do you know the movie The Last Unicorn?” She said, “I love that movie, it’s such a beautiful movie.” For sure!




Majestic boabob tree at Distant Relatives.

Fran and I had great times, fun times, peaceful and relaxing times. We shared many swims, dawas, stories, amongst other things. We sat under the baobob tree for energy and peace and it was such a nice friendship in such a magical place. I will absolutely see Fran again! read more

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Sipi Falls and Camping on Mt. Wanale

Sipi Falls

So, my lovely friend from Providence, RI, USA, Joelle, who is working with MSF (Doctor’s Without Borders) in Ethiopia came to visit me this past weekend. We had many adventures!!!!

Big Adventure #1, was going to Sipi Falls. Sipi Falls is one of the big tourist attractions around here. It’s about 90 minute drive from where I’m staying in Mbale. We took a matatu. We stayed in a place called Noah’s Ark that had a gorgeous view with a very nice tree house, and no bed bugs as far as we could tell! The price was 60k shillings (about 18$) each, which included food, stay and a guided hike to all the nearby waterfalls. Not too shabby. It was beautiful. read more

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Hiking Mount Wanale – My Best Hike Yet


The group at the school at the base of the mountain, before our hike.

Today I hiked Mount Wanale, which is just outside of our town of Mbale. It was the most challenging hike I’ve ever done (6864 feet, 2092 meters (Mt. Monadnock in NH was my highest before that, 3165 feet or 965 meters), it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and some parts were quite scary! Click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.


Nat. Geo. ladder. Yikes. They didn’t tell me about this!


I wish I would have got more pics of the ladder, but once I was up it, I got away from it as soon as I could!

This ladder…. which I call 100% national geographic style, was about 20 feet tall, made with a whole bunch of sticks. Who knows how hold it was, and there didn’t seem to be any nails. At the ladder is where I said to my self, “Oh yeah, of course this isn’t deemed safe by the US Parks Dept or anything”. I was very scared, but only minutes earlier was I telling another girl, who was afraid of the heights and the steepness, that it’s all in the mind and you just have to power on and think about what you’re doing, not the risks. So, I tried to listen to my own advice, but I was thinking “Someone could die on this!” read more

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Liberia Pictures

Here’s a bunch of pictures I’d like to share but they don’t necessarily go with any of the writing I did.


One of the gas stations. Lots of businesses are named interesting names like that here. This gas, is just in glass jars and they dump it into your vehicle. We have been using more standard gas stations with regular pumps like in the US.


One of the coolest non-urban companies I saw. Didn’t go it but looks cool to me.


Common looking roadside businesses. Ots Ots is restaurant/bar. Lots of them around here like that.


I love these palm huts. These are used for chicken coops, storage of whatever or just hanging out in the shade.


In Clements Village near Fendell. The woman just collected these palm nuts. The red meat is taken off and beaten into palm oil or palm butter, both are used a lot here for cooking. The kernel inside the red part can also be used for another type of oil but I don’t know a lot about that.


Panorama of Clements Village near our LLTW site.


Art from Kendeja Resort.


The new LLTW minister, me and some local kids within the foundation of the school.


LLTW kids from Clements Village.


LLTW kids at the site.


Clements Village people hiking back to the village from the river after baptisms. The guy in the front, Will, is carrying an old blind man. Both got baptized that day.


Kids from the local school (Fendell Elementary School) at Clements Village.


Man near our house with a pet sloth? Is that a sloth?


Us and a bunch of locals at the LLTW site.


Very awesome guy, Will, from the village who helped LLTW a lot, including building our bamboo church.


Kids Sunday School class. This little girl Tita loved me.


Our bamboo church.


This is the way they cook in Liberia, outside with charcoal. This was some of my dinner!


Kebbeh cooking.


Some very cute kids in Clements Village.


Liberian Gothic. Liberian couple at their pineapple farm. We met them during our hike in the bush. I love this picture.


Hiking through the bush to Clements Village.


This was in Red Light, a VERY busy place in Monrovia, named because it was the first place in Liberia to have a red stop light. This is a HUGE market. I had to hold Kebbeh’s hand when we navigated through there. I didn’t get any pics of the market because I was too overwhelmed but we found Patience getting some fake eyelashes!


African girls. Saliha, me and Kebbeh.


Liberian money. They also use American. And not that they “accept” it, but that they really use it. There are no coins used, so often you would receive your change of less than 1 USD, in Liberian money. 88 Liberian dollars = 1 US dollar when I was there.


Me and Patience, Helena and William’s daughter, at an African wedding anniversary party.


Me at Francis’s place in my lapa. Lapa is the bright cotton cloth that is very popular in West Africa. I thought I was going to be able to find more in Uganda, but so far I haven’t see much! 🙁