Man, the April 25, 2015 earthquake that struck the Lamjung District of Nepal must have been absolutely terrifying. Nine months after the shaking subsided, I showed up in the country expecting life to be back to normal and was completely shocked at the sustained devastation.
It’s always interesting hearing people’s Canadian stereotypes while abroad. Despite spending considerable time internationally, it appears I haven’t shook my textbook Canadian-ness yet.
As the good Canadian I am I would usually say I’m so sorry for this post being tardy, but truth be told I’m really not because I’ve been busy with Canada’s second favorite pastime (following gratuitous apologizing) of putting on the old pack and gettin’ oot and aboot, eh.
During the biting Calgary winter of second grade, our family left Alberta’s foothills in the rear-view as we drove west to British Columbia. Weaving between the extraordinary Rocky Mountains along the Coquihalla Highway, I pressed my nose against the cold glass window for hours on end in wonder and amazement. I’m so small and inconsequential next to these sleeping giants, I thought.
Now, more than 20 years later, the enchanting pull of the natural world has intensified and become even more irresistible to me.
Perhaps it’s a deep curiosity to learn the stories the mountains tell, or maybe it’s a desire to feel closer to something tangible, part of something bigger than me, but when I’m in the presence of the mountains I connect with the raw pulse of my very existence.
Here’s the deal with Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater (other than it’s prohibitively hard to spell.) A dense population of the world’s coolest animals is trapped in a 14-km long sunken volcanic crater by the boundaries of said crater, oh and also by surrounding agriculture and mean people who kill the aforementioned coolest animals (because don’t fuck with my goats!)
We got lucky, at least that’s how I see it. I’ve always been fascinated by wetland ecosystems and the first time I saw the Rift Valley lakes on a map I knew I had to explore them. Little did I know that Awassa, the lake shore city we stumbled upon and called home for the past week, was paradise.
The local bus dropped us off at the side of the dusty road in a small village called Dinsho, 400km southeast of Addis. The quiet mountain town, sitting at an impressive 3,500m above sea level, differed little from its neighboring communities with its lack of urban planning and newly established, highly unreliable, power supply.