picture of a chunk of tree with the word "log" on it
March 17-27
Mombasa to
Cape Town
Fred Hansen, Winter, 2005

Thursday, March 17: Mombasa to Lake Maryana
We gathered in the Union at 6:30 AM to begin our journey to the Serengeti. We had docked the night before and cleared immigration while we slept, but we were the first off the ship. We had an eight-hour bus ride ahead of us to get to Lake Maryana in Tanzania, almost to the Ngorongoro Crater. Indeed, looking at a map, our entire journey was just about straight west from the sip and then back along the road we traveled. The points on our trip were:
    Mombasa (5 hrs.) Kenya-Tanzania border (1 hr) Arusha (2 hrs)
    Lake Maryana (2 hrs) Ngorongoro Crater (1 hr)
    Olduvai Gorge (0 hrs) Serengeti (4 hrs) Seronera.

Another passenger dubbed the Kenyan road, "The good, the bad, and the ugly." But that was out of order. The road leaving Mombasa is ugly. Bumpy and surrounded by dirty buildings. Then there was a good stretch of road running toward Nairobi. Eventually, however, we turned off that road onto the road to the border. Bumpy pavement soon gave way to plain rutted dirt.

On the good road, we encountered a police road block. It appeared to be just a board with nails through it, which would have been enough, but the machine guns were the clincher. For some reason the bus ahead of us was retained at the stop and ours was let on through. Later we waited for them at the start of the bad road.  It became their turn to wait for us when an engiine belt broke--the belt driving the A/C. A service van accompanying our convoy soon arrived with a new belt. For a while it was interesting to watch five guys swarm over the engine trying to install the belt. I tried to point out that the A/C unit had to be unbolted to give slack to stretch the belt, but the language barrier was too great. They tried stretching the belt. Eventually a mechanic arrived, unbolted the A/C unit, installed the belt, and had us on our way. Two hours. In the hot sun. Sigh.

At the border we got three different sets of instructions as to how to turn in our passports for processing. Something eventually worked; processing was reasonably prompt. Moreover, they had a spiffy new lavatory, sporting toilet paper and even one western toilet. The road on the Tanzanian side was paved.  Indeed, what we saw of Tanzania seemed more prosperous than Kenya. The safari director, Patrick, said, however, that Kenya has more paved roads than Tanzania and that both countries are better off  than most other African countries. Patrick's pith helmet was inherited from his grandfather. His grandfather had worn that same helmet while guiding Dr. Livingston through Africa. (Or perhaps guiding the party that found Livingston.)

In Kenya we traveled through a flat desert area, reminiscent of the American southwest, including cacti. We could see the outline of Mount Kilimanjaro, and went past it to its south. But there were too many clouds for it to be a paricularly dramatic sight. (When we returned, I helped Rene DeHon download his pictures. One he wanted to keep was quite dull, showing only ground, sky, and a silhouette of one side of Kilimanjaro. This was important, Rene claimed, because the angle of the slope was an indicator that Kilimanjaro was a "shield volcano.")

The landscape in Tanzania was much hillier and greener. Crops were plentiful. There are 125 tribes in Tanzzania. One nice sight just after crossing into Tanzania was a whole bunch of school kids leaving school for the day. All were in tidy uniforms, making them look much like a horde of kids one might see in England about the same time of day.

In Arusha we were to change from the two big buses to a flotilla of seven passenger safari vans. The vans where the top pops up so passengers can stand up and look around at the animals.  We did get to Arusha, but then the A/C belt let go again. So we waited some more for the safari vans to come to us. The kids came running to see us, but were just curious. They were not the importunate beggars found elsewhere on our travels. 

When finally we arrived at the lodge at Lake Maryana it was nine PM and we had been on the road for fourteen hours. For an eight hour drive. Sigh. I skipped dinner, showered, and went straight to bed. Under a mosquito net, my first. Useless, however, I saw no mosquitos at Lake Maryana, nor anywhere else on the trip. I finished up Robin Cook's Seizure. A nice book, but a rather abrupt end; as though he had reached his word quota and just stopped. We never did learn the fate of the evil doctors.

Friday, March 18: Lake Maryana, Olduvai, Serengeti, Seronera

Our journey this day was to take us along the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, across the Olduvai Gorge, and on across the Serengeti to a lodge in Seronera. The Ngorongoro crater is the result of an enormous volcanic eruption some number of thousands of years ago. (Maybe I'll look it up when I get to somewhere where the internet is cheaper.) It is several miles in diameter and perhaps a couple of hundred meters from rim to flat floor. The plain on the floor is home to myriads of animals who come there for the mineral salts in the soda lake, the fresh water in spring-fed lakes, and the plentiful fodder. We visited the floor two days later. So where did all the stuff from the crater go? It went up and then rained down on the land to the west, making an enormous plain, the Serengeti, whose very name means "vast plain" in Swahili.

Belay that. I've just talked to Vic Fisher, one of our geologists. His explanation is that the serengeti is the bottom of ancient Africa. Everything was eroded away until Africa was completely flat. The big round rocks are the remnants of ancient mountains. Later on techtonic movement carried parts of Africa over a hot spot giving rise to volcanos. The Ngorongoro crater is much more recent than the Serengeti; it did deposit some ash on the plain, but not enough to make any difference to its topography.

The crater itself was visible at points along the road. It is 250 sq km and 650 m deep.  There are several lakes, the largest of which is a soda lake (alkaline) with no streams in or out. At places, the bank along the road has been gouged out with pointy tools. Elephant tusks. The elephant excavate the banks to get the minerals they need in their diet. The trees along the road are--in many places--under severe attack from strangler vine. (Similar to the wild grapes attacking the trees in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park.) When the trees are gone, erosion will more rapidly wear down the crater cone. Eventually it will all be as flat as the Serengeti.

On the western slopes outside the crater an intermitent river has formed a broad gorge cutting through five layers of geologic history. Growing around the river is the sisal plant, with it sharp edged leaves. In the local dialect this plant is known as the mother-in-law plant because the leaves are considered the sharp tongue of that relative. The Swahili for mother-in-law plant is oldupai, and hence, with a little distortion, the name of the gorge is Olduvai gorge. It is here that the history/mystery of human descent has been most extended. Each of the five layers has yielded evidence of our past.

We did get a lecture on the history of archeology at the site, as promised in the tour prospectus. I was disappointed in its brevity and the utter lack of hands on observation of digging. There was a small museum which did have a few interesting exhibits.

Most interesting to me was a cast of footprints made by erect walking hominids some 3.6 million years ago.  The prints clearly revealed human characteristics: erect posture, arches, and non-opposed big toes. Most remarkably, there were three individuals with three sizes of feet: big, middle, and small. (Okay let's get it over with: they were Goldilocksian in being papa, mama, and baby.) Mysteriously, the strides of all three were the same.  Big feet walked along, little feet were to his left. And middle feet walk exactly in the steps of big feet. The left little prints were eight inches to the left of the left big prints. The right little prints were eight inches to the left of the right big prints. So the two almost certainly were not walking side-by-side. Middle prints had to be somewhat behind in order to step where big prints had. So if these people were not walking together, why were their strides so identical? Perhaps little prints walked through first and then big prints and middle prints came through folloiwing little prints, who might have been lost.

The fate of the foot prints is also interesting. Once measured, photographed, and copied in a cast, the originals were seen to be subject to erosion. So they were carefully covered in a half dozen layers to preserve them as part of mankind's heritage.

The guide called two Masai youths to the side of the vehicle and exhibited their teeth. Every Masai is missing two lower teeth, knocked out just after they replaced the baby teeth. He says the reason is that then drink can be force fed to an individual afflicted with lockjaw. I wonder when access to modern medicine will make this practice unnecessary and also when the practice will actually go away, if ever.

Masai males wear red, females blue. Boys recently circumcised wear black and have white masks painted on to ward off evil spirits. I suppose those spirits include infection. Everyone watches the circumcision to see that the boy does not wince. If he does, his standing in the community will sink; he may not ever get married. A male who does get married builds one house per wife. He sleeps where the first wife indicates; she moves a three-legged stool to his quarters for the night.

As we left the gorge overlook, a downpour began. The countryside filled with water; it seemed not to sink in. A few miles South we actually crossed the gorge. There standing in the water were four zebra. They were awaiting the flash flood that would bring water to them.

The rain ceased and we rode on through the afternoon. We crossed from the Ngorongoro administration to that of Serengeti. The boundaries had been moved a few years earlier so the Masai could be made the game managers for the Ngorongoro area, where they also herd their cattle. At the entrance to the Serengeti we stopped, shopped, and resumed. But ours was the last vehicle. Holdup. The gate guard counted 89 people and we had only paide for 88. He ws not holding out for a bribe or anything, he just counted wrong. Patrick, the safari director finally convinced him that we had paid for 88 on entering Ngorongoro and we were still 8 and he should call Ngorongoro. Eventually we got away.

The serengeti was filled with game; at times from horizon to horizon. The most prevalent were huge herds of zebras and widlebeests, or zebs and willies. One large herd was also intermixed with ostriches. There were few insects (except for the flies in the Masai village.) The most common tree is the umbrella acacia, the one that is in all the great pictures with giraffes eating from the leaves clustered in a flattop high off the plain.

As one goes further west, the plain goes from rocky/grassy/weedy to longer grasses and more shrubs and trees. I speculate that the heavier ash from the crater settled out closer to the crater, leaving the land there less fertile. Or else there is just more rain in the west.

We also saw: secretary bird, maribou stork, European stork, gazelles (lots and lots), hyenas, superb starlings (they eat apple pieces), foxes, lions sleeping, hippos. We saw two rainbows, one of them double. The wildebeests have birds to eat their ticks. Zebras who have lost their herd hang out with wildebeests. That gives them some protection from the predators because they can easily outrun the wildebeests.
I suspect the bumpy ride made me anxious or otherwise stressed me. For wahtever reason, I spent large parts of the afternoon obsessing about plans to checkin to the ship and then sneak off to go home by air. Largely this was driven by anger remnants left over from having to wait so long to reboard the ship after the flight and bus ride returning us from New Delhi. (As it turned out, we were the first bus back at the boat and the wait was tolerable, if still a sign of poor ship's planning.)

And so we reached Seronera, a lovely resort on a rocky outcrop. Indeed, the restaurant is nestled between the two largest rocks. The walk to the restaurant is guarded overhead by hyraxes in rafters. There was a beautiful sunset. I hope Ellyn got a picture for Susan.

Saturday, March 17: Seronera, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater

Balloon! Today was to be the day that E and I went aloft in a hot-air balloon! And so we did. We arose at 5 and rode to the site in the dark. Riding along near the hippo's waterhole we came upon two baby hippos walking on the road. We followed until they eventually crossed back across the road and plunged into the water. At the balloon, we waited as fans blew air into the balloon to inflate it. Then we got a briefing from the pilot. This was the world's third largest balloon. The point was that they were able to charge four-man-balloon prices and yet have only one-quarter of a pilot for each four passengers. Yup, a sixteen passenger balloon; two to a compartment, two compartments by four. So everyone did have an outside view of the ground.

The basket was lying on its side. The upper compartment was to load first so they wouldn't step on the lower passengers. When loaded, we were lying on our backs with the partially inflated balloon lying on its side above our heads. More fans blowing air in. And then the grand shoosh as the burners were ignited to send hot air into the maw of the balloon causing it to rise. (This is a danger point. The flame can easily melt the balloon.) Eventually the balloon lifted the basket upright. The ground crewman untehthered us from the truck bumper, and away we went.

Dawn had broken, but the sky was overcast so drama and beauty were minimal. We mostly flew low, say fifty feet. Our pilot tried to get us directly over some herds, but sterring is minimal in a balloon and we passed to the sides of herds. We saw he usual plethora of willies and zebs. We saw foxes. We saw safari vans whose passengers were looking at lions. They were also taking photographs of us as we photographed them. Balloon flights are invariably followed with a champaign toast. We then had an elegant breakfast laid out on tables set in the grass. Delicious.

We returned to the lodge to find our beds stripped. I was so tired I collapsed on the naked pillow. Later I awoke and went to the lounge areaq where Patrick was giving a lecture. (This lecture was one of the reasons I had selected this tour. And yet, I had slept through most of it.)

When I arrived, Patrick was making a defense of a curious policy: One of the problems of AIDS propagation is the reuse of uncleaned tools in conducting serial circumcisions. For males, the government has instituted a program of providing clean tools and conditions for circumcision. For females, the solution has been to ban female circumcision, a barbaric practice more commonly now called female genital mutilation (FGM). In this ritual, dozens or hundreds of women are altered with the same knife. If one has HIV/AIDS, all those later in the line will be infected. The students questioned several times whether the government couldn't protect women by offering clean tools and conditions as is done for the men. But no, Patrick insisted, to provide tools would be condoning a practice that is illegal. This cannot be done. Even appeals to the protection of males made no difference. Illegal is illegal, seemed to be the thought, and nothing may be done to aid the illegal, no matter the result.

Another factor in spread of AIDS is related to keeping land in a single family. If a man dies, his wife will often be married to one of his brothers to retain land ownership. If the one brother had AIDS, his successor may get it from his wife.

We departed for a return trip through the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Lodge.  Some mongeese and gazelles gathered near the road to wish us bon voyage. We saw lots of game along the way. Early on there was a topi herd and some cheetahs. A guide spotted a leopard in a tree, so all the vans gatrhered round. Not much to see: shoulder and head and plase pass the binoculars.

I finally saw a Jackal. In earlier days, I didn't know a jackal from a hyena. They turn out to be nothing like each other. Hyenas are predators, jackals scavengers. Hyenas look ugly, jackals cute. Hyenas are lion-sized, jackals no bigger than foxes.

Four hyenas had staked out a plain, spacing themselves in a line a hundred yards apart. As we all watched from the vans, they moved together and began sunning on a rock. Very curious how they managed to agree to move to the rock. Perhaps it was just our presence.

We saw five elephants and more lions.

In the afternoon we went to the "Masai village." What a bust. They pranced about a bit and then tried to sell us their trinkets made from beads produced (the guide said) in Chekoslavakia.  A family invited us into "their" stick-and-dung hut. The most interesting aspect was that the wall curved inward at one side of the door and continued for a meter or so. Thus there is a small entryway. There was no light inside until the male removed a few rags from holes in the walls. The "converstaion" consisted in their pointing ou where each fmaily member slept and then asking for, "money." I left and went to stare at the surrounding scenery. Others said the schoolhouse had been interesting to visit. Some kids recited their numbers in English. (They probably have them memorized in several languages.) I was struck by the vast gap between this as an educational experience and the wonderful morning we spent in Autralia learning the ways of the bushman. That was educational, the Masai was just another tourist trap. I would have hoped for more from Semester at Sea, had I not been on previous outings in their field program.

Our vehicle left first and got the hot showers at the Lodge.

Sunday, March 17: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha
Went into the crater all morning. Tremendous herds. Lions on "honeymoon" with gazelles grasing unconcerned nearby. (Lions can't catch gazelles.) Thousands of flamingos. The usual zebs and willies. A rhino standing just twenty meters off the road. elephants in the distance. Topi. Buffalo. Water bucks. Various flavors of stork. Hyenas eating. Lions eating.

Lunch at the hotel and on to Arusha.

Flat tire on the road. Repaired in just fifteen minutes.

Almost to Arusha. Oops. Time to stop for - all say yay! - shopping (boo). Things were more expensive in this shop than in the US. For instance, they had an instance of the "3 twined giraffes" that was more than what I paid in Pittsburgh.

Many bars in Arusha.

Sign in room advised us to take valuables with us when leaving room.

Monday, March 21, 2005  8:25 PM (GMT+0300)

We rode today all the way from Arusha to the ship, stopping only at the border. At one point we pulled into a gas station in a seeming pit stop. Then we immediately pulled out and into the station across the road. Oh good, a pit stop. Nope. We pulled right out of that one, too, and continued on our way. The onboard loo overflowed and still on we went; there were no mor places along the road in Kenya where our tour leaders felt comfortable taking Westerners. Finally we stopped next to a field and the males, at least, got some relief. The good side was that we were first back to the ship and had to wait no more than a half-hour to reboard. One might imagine that a crew of two hundred and an SAS staff of twenty could produce more than three people to make ineffective baggage searches.

Altogether, although the port was Mombasa, Kenya, I spent almost the entire time in Tanzania on Safari.

Almost nothing about Africa met my expectations:

Tuesday, March 22
Mostly just sat around resting up. Also met Susan Rosano; see Thursday's entry, below.

Wednesday, March 23
Exercise: 2 miles in 30 minutes elliptical
See Thursday's entry, below.

(in La Guira) On one of these days I had a tour of the M/V Explorer bridge. Finally a chance to see the infamous window that broke. Many interesting observations. 

* There was no one steering the ship. There was an officer-of-the-deck and a seaman. In ordinary times, the officer has really nothing better to do than to shepherd tourists around the deck. (He's there mostly for those times when there is something to do. Anything unusual is critical. For instance,te ship doesn't exactly turn on a dime.) The seaman stands at the front of the bridge. There is a walkway between the windows and the equipment. The seaman stands in that walkway and watches for things. Mostly, there is nothing interesting to see. Mostly. He's there for those times when there is something to see.

* There is a computer that steers the ship. It has a wheel that can be turned manually, but in open sea they just set a compass heading and let 'er rip.

* Thee is a postioner computer with a joystick. It coordinates all movement movement: rudder, bow thruster (?if we have one), stabilizer wings. It is broken.

* There is a gauge showing the movement of the "wings" that are supposed to stabilize the ship. They waggle about and the officer assured us that we would know it if he turned them off. Indeed, he claimed that the Captain would arrive in a matter of minutes. He was unwilling to demonstrate.

* The ship was designed for week-long voyages around the Mediterranean. Visit port by day, sail by night. So she was designed for speed. And also built with small tanks. At sea, water can be desalinated quite rapidly. There is even enough to fill the pool with fresh water. In port, however, the water is too contaminated. Nor can gray water be discharged inside the 12 mile line. On Semester at Sea, port time is five days. So the small tank sizes mean paying for supplementary fresh water and disposal of gray water.

* The officer-of-the-deck has to move fluids from tank to tank to keep the vessel trim: not tipped sideways or laterally. Sometimes tanks are filled with seawater just to get the balance right. (It is the discharge of this ballast water that transports species from their home to foreign ports where they may become noxious pests.)

* Holes were cut in the ceiling above the bridge windows so water would have a place to go rather than busting in. In Cape Town, more holes were cut in the hull around the foredeck. They estimate that when in the North Pacific the foredeck was full of water. It weighed 250 tons and depressed the bow by 90 centimeters. Being out-of-trim by this much would definitely affect maneuverability and place the windows in greater jeopardy.

* When leaving Mombasa we sailed at high speed directly perpendicular to the coast until 80 miles offshore. This was to avoid piracy. Pirates will not attack so far at sea because the Kenyan air force would have time to catch them before they could return to shore.

* There are little doors at the bottom of most corridor doors. These turn out to be for fire hoses.

* In the corner of the bridge is the "black box." It is white. All ship operations and bridge conversations are recorded and retained for 24 hours. This is scanned after a disaster to see what happened. Another recorder for the last two hours is forward on the seventh deck. When submerged it pops loose and flats so diving operations are not needed to recover that data.

* The officer-of-the-deck does have a duty. Every hour he plts to ships current position on the chart. It is in pencil and is erased for the next voyage.

* In port, it is customary to fly the flag of the host country. Cubby holes in the chart room contain the flags for this voyage. When they docked in Taiwan for fuel, they had to have the pilot boat bring out a flag because the flag for that port had not been part of initial planning.

* The props are variable pitch. At the timw of the visit we were running with full prop potch and 50% engine. Other combinations are used to adapt to the most economical running configuration.

Thursday, March 24

Denis Waring is the shipboard musicologist. He teaches and also organizes quite a number of musical activities aboard ship. At the tail end of our stay in Ho Chi Minh City, he and I agreed to work on a demo tape to show off my voice. (Every month someone new tells me they think I should record.) He left me with the task of finding or writing something to read.

Tuesday afternoon I met Denis Waring's girlfriend, Susan Rosano. I had approached the two of them to discuss what I would do for the demo tape. My idea at the time was to read Lincoln's Gettysburg address and discuss the poetry therein; for instance, the opening rif on the sound "OR." (fOuR scORe and seven years ago OuR fORe fathers brought fORth.... ) In the conversation it turned out that Susan had constructed a collection of poetry by interviewing hospice patients and artfully arranging their replies. After reading two or three, I quickly became convinced that this was a  new art form, a great example of that art form, and suitable material for recording. The one item missing was sketches of the patients. So we sat down and I interviewed Susan to find out about the patients. Yesterday I composed these into prose sketches and constructed a little booklet of some of the poems.

Here is one example:
Faye A

Faye A did not know who she was. It was not dementia; she had none. She knew her own name perfectly well. What she lacked was an identity as herself rather than her scattered identities from the several roles she had served: mother, wife, church person. Had she, she wondered, done enough for herself? Who exactly was she?

Faye had married right out of high school and borne two sons. She had stayed at home, completely wrapped up in home and church. At the end, not yet seventy, she was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. Her husband had preceded her a few years before.

Many patients have this sort of crisis at the end. Some even wonder if they had a life, it had all gone by so quickly.  They want to figure life out for themselves. What was life? Where did it go? What is left?

For Faye, the hospice angel trio worked hard to help her. Susan made this poem and the spiritual life advisor went over it with Faye, line by line, working out its meaning for her and for her life.
My Real Name Is...
    from the words of Faye A

In my imagination
My real name is
   Priscilla Jillian.
Secretly I know my name is
   Bluebird of Happiness.
Yesterday was a lost day.
I have no idea
Who I was.
My name was once
   Pussy Foot.
Tomorrow my name will be
   A Dream That Came True.
In my dream my name was
   I Wish I Knew The Phone Number.
I would now like my name to be
   The Leader of the Parade.
The name that says
How I feel today is
   Now, Tomorrow, and Yesterday.

Tuesday was hard. I was feeling far less than completely gruntled after the trip to Tanzania. S was off busy and I never got a chance to connect with her. There was another faculty meeting from which I was barred (and other tagalongs were not). That evening I went off by myself, imbibed, and stared out to sea. This haiku was the result:
Lightning far aport.
Bright star rising through the gloom.
Darkness maps my mood.

Today was Crew Appreciation day, so I decided to polish off the old haiku machinery. I came up with this and had it published in the daily Deam's Memo. I'm not usually very inspired these days.
Railings all agleam.
Engines purring through the night.
We've got a great crew.

The crew ended the day by presenting a talent night. Mostly it's a good thing they have their crew jobs and aren';t trying to make it in show biz.

Friday, March 25
Exercise: AM Elliptical, 1.5 mi 25 min

I'm tripping over the various things I am trying to do:
Keeping up these logs
by not taking the laptop on trips, I've gotten way behind. Still have to enter the entire trip to China and Vietnam.
Global studies notes
Too many students are printing them, so I have issued a call for bids: I will deliver one printed copy and the successful bidder will distribute it to others.
With Susan Rosano I am constructing a booklet of her poems with my sketches of the patients who spoke the original phrases.
My demo tape
Dennis Waring has offered to make a demo tape with me. I plan to read from the Hos-poesy booklet.
Voyage website
I built the tools. Now I have to show others what to do to use them.
I have a meeting right now with Susan Rosano and another at 4 to work on the website.

There is no good recording tool on ship, so I am thinking of arranging to do recording in Cape Town. One studio lists rates of $170/hr. That will have to be Monday, because I have tours planned for the other four days I am in Cape Town.

The website meeting wound up with my being off the project. My tools were not deemed useful.

Saturday, March 26

I cried last night. Didn't really understand it. Possibly because the website team doesn't really want my tools. Possibly just cumulative wear and tear of the journey. The ship vibrates always and there is nowhere to go to get away.

Several students are asking about my Global Studies notes. E took them off the web site, but they reappeared. So I updated them with the latest. I'll let E and Matt worry about enforcing no printing.

I did make a plan for handling printing. The idea was to take bids and release only one printed copy of the notes. The best bidder would be the one whose plans best satisfied the needs of all other students.

At 4 I went with Susan Rosano to Manindri's course on death and dying. Susan talked about her work and I ead six of the poems. It went well.

At 6:30 I went to the website meeting and told them to have a good time. Presumably they will get something done.

I put in the last of the personal sketches in the booklet for Susan R's poems. Now there are 10 sketches. That seems to be enough for now.

All my clothes are too tight (again).
Sunday 2100 - union - open mike

Status of projects:
voyage website: gone
Hos-Poesy : ten personal sketches and nine poems entered; will stop w/ ten poems
demo tape: Dennis will get casette tapes in Cape Town and we'll do the recording some evening this week.
global studies notes: converted section 3 to MessWord and put it out on the public folders. The printer was down, so no one printed it. The exam is tomorrow morning.
logs: sigh. no progress.

Sunday, March 27

Travelocity has fares from Cape Town to Pittsburgh in the neighborhood of $2200. Perhaps an agent in town will be able to get a better fare. (There is a fare of $1245 on April 6).

So why am I considering leaving. The proximate cause is a little dustup in the gym. I had hoped to have it quiet during global studies when all students were taking their exam. Yet there was a person not only wokring out, which would have been fine, but playing a sound system. I really lost it when she ripped the tape off the emergency door, with the big "For Emergency Use Only" and poked her head out just to holler at a passing friend. I resorted to working out on the noisy sttionary bike to drown it out. This worked fine until the pedal fell off the bike.

Exercise:  bike 5 miles 15 minutes;  elliptical 1.5 mi in 20 minutes

So clearly I am under stress and having no fun. That S is under considerable stress is not a help, though I may be of help to her in some obscure way.  Curiously, I suspect that the greatest stress comes from the backlog of log entries that I have sitting in a book and have yet to enter: the safari in Kenya and all of the air travel destinations.

The coast of South Africa is rolling by our port side some of it looking pretty spectacular. Of course all the good coastland is still owned by the rich white guys.

Seagulls slicing past,
Rudder bending 'round the cape,
We hasten to harbor.

After logistical preport, there was an "Open Mic" (sic). I went and read two of the Hos-poesy poems, including the one about the North Pacific that was inspired by our voyage's disaster. Applause was good. No calls for an encore. Several people took the time to say they liked it.