Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

samedi, septembre 02, 2006

The Graceful Snake (August 26, 2006)

Today, a group of us went to the river for a little free time. It was the first “free” day that we have had in a month so it was nice to relax a bit by the river and swim around. After swimming, we were standing on the bank talking when a bright green snake was spotted swimming through the river. The sky was overcast, causing the water to appear dark which heightened the contrast of the snake. Its color was almost fluorescent. The snake was not large, 12-15 inches and it swam with an S-shaped neck to that its head would be out of the water. Transfixed, we watched as it swam directly towards a dugout canoe. What would it do when it reached the canoe? Without pausing or changing speed it climbed the side of the canoe, traversed the interior of the boat, and then climbed the opposite side to continue down the river. It was truly a moment of grace and beauty that I will never be able to adequately describe and only hope that my memory will be able to hold onto the image of this small, bright green snake flowing through the river.