Zanzibar – the name alone evokes exotic images of old buildings, spice merchants, long stone alleyways and people shuffling by with silky scarves fluttering behind them. A page out of Arabian Nights, which I admit I’ve never read, but I imagined both would be the same. And that’s exactly what Zanzibar was like! Amazing! A step back 100 years, except with cars and cell phones in hand.

Photographing people was quite difficult because they really don’t like it, and will even get angry or throw things at you and I didn’t want to ruin hundreds of dollars in equipment. I tried the “Hey Jon, stand over there” and pointed the camera anywhere except at Jon. They’re not dumb, but they left me alone, since at least I tried to be discreet. However, I didn’t have the luxury of composing grand images of the women in colorful scarves and skirts, or the men in their traditional robes. I did manage to get some guys playing soccer who were happy to show off their skills for the camera. Here are a few select images from this mystical island off of Tanzania.


Tanzanian Safari!

Cheetah resting on a rock, judging.

I’ve been a *little*busy recently (sigh!) but finally found a chance to post some of my favorites from Tanzania.

Few places could be more exotic than places like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, all which come with some fantastic names as well. We went on a grand camping safari through those places before we flew to Dar es Salaam and then to the magnificent Arabian island of Zanzibar. There was so much to see and too much to photograph, but I did my best. I also can’t remember the specific names of all the animals, so I’m not going to try to label them all here. You can read about how to safari in Tanzania on my other blog, Check back for pictures from Zanzibar next! Enjoy!

Quiet over the Serengeti



A car appears. Olmaroroi Village, Kenya.

What a long, strange trip it’s been. Jon and I went to Kenya in early August to do some volunteer work with the International Volunteer Headquarters and were assigned to the Olmaroroi Primary School (grades K-8) in the Maasai village of Olmaroroi, about an hour outside of Nairobi. Down the dustiest, bumpy pot-holed red dirt road we traveled precariously to spend a week with a Maasai family of 13 kids, two wives and one head of household, in a village that was seeing a swift transition from very old traditional Maasai way of life to a modern way of thinking in just one generation. They still didn’t have running water or electricity, so we grew fairly dusty and dirty by the end.

Where we stayed was like a step back in time, to a simpler way of life, I suppose. It was an extraordinary experience and a beautiful land barely touched by more than people, animals and an occasional bicycle. Three matatus (public mini-bus) traveled down the road a day to pick up passengers, and a motorbike or a taxi might swing by as well. We saw a lot more goats, cows and even giraffes than vehicles on any given day. Kenyans generally do not appreciate having photos taken of them without permission, but the Maasai are also very curious people who rarely see pictures of themselves, so showing them digital images was a treat they really enjoyed. Here are some of what I captured in Kenya.

The Great Rift Valley

Jon by the family compound

Olmaroroi Primary School

Some of the host family kids

Our host mama, Grace

Watching themselves on a digital camera

Giraffe at the Giraffe Centre (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) with Nairobi cityscape in background

Medicinal tree outside family compound