Category Archives: Ch. 1: Africa

In pursuit of my life goal of studying something on every continent, we begin in Africa where I started out as a field assistant at Lajuma Research Centre in the northern part of South Africa situated in the Soutpansberg Mountain Range. This later lead me to Mozambique and Swaziland “on holiday” and eventually to the Democratic Republic of Congo as a field assistant within the Congo Basin working with bonobos. I followed monkeys, avoided getting pissed on, caught malaria and dengue fever, was itchy as hell, celebrated the full moon monthly, skinny dipped, swam with sharks, hitchhiked and met amazing people.

After nine months in Africa, I ended my time abroad backpacking solo around Germany and reconnecting with old friends from Lajuma. This is the first chapter in my post-student life with six more continents left to conquer!

Journey Into the Middle of Nowhere…

Cruising down the Lulonga River in a long wooden pirogue powered by a motor, we began our 200km+ journey to Ndele from Basankusu after dawn. Children ran to the river bank waving and shouting at us in Lingala, giving off … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Au revoir Lajuma…Bonjour Kinshasa

The rusty corrugated tin roofs blinked like diamonds among the greens and reds—such rich colors like an oil painting. The river whispered through the city all brown and dull as tiny black dots hustled down dusty streets and bright yellow … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Climbing Waterfalls and All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go…

Perched precariously on tip toes with one hand wedged in a crack and the other with a death grip on some grass and roots, I’m starting to doubt whether climbing this waterfall was a good idea. Luckily, with a hand … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Screams in the night and continuing the Full Moon tradition

Screams in the night and continuing the Full Moon tradition Awoken in the middle of the night by screams, I quickly sit up heart palpitating and hairs on end. What the hell was that??? Camped out beneath some trays for … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rule #1: Never sit below a monkey

Something dribbling from above as I hastily duck away with the realization that it’s probably coming from that little Samango fellow scratching his leg innocently—already breaking Rule Number 1 when following monkeys. Back at Lajuma for about two weeks now … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swaziland: The Final Journey, Peace Corps Party People and the Kindness of Strangers

After spending ages bundled in my room, sweating, feverish and with a general feeling of malaise, I managed to drag my sorry butt up at 3AM to catch a chapas from Inhambane to Maputo a day later than planned. That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moz Part III: Making friends and amusing locals, swimming with the sharks and a Full Moon Party

Tofo Beach. My last night before heading off and I’ve got a feeling of Déjà vu: 3:30 AM with Robbie “The Shirtless Dubliner”, crashing waves and a terrible, terrible squall hiding such a brilliant full moon. “I can’t miss my … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mozambique Part II: Hey Baby…

“Hey baby, where you from? I take you to Johannesburg…make you happy…you know, girl like you…put money into you’re account every friday…just give me account and I help you baby…take care of you, you know what I mean baby? Come … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mozambique Part I: The Indian Ocean tried to steal my bikini

It’s nearly 3AM, dancing in the waves, singing Bob Marley with Fatima staff and residents and the Indian Ocean is trying to tear my dress off—slow down there Mr. Ocean we just met. When in Mozambique, hang onto your clothes. … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parents come to visit: Moholoholo, Kruger and Lajuma

New Years Eve, just saw some hippos, zebras and giraffes during a night drive at Moholoholo and everyone has gone to bed! It’s only 1030 PM and I’m not sure what to do with myself. Luckily some of the rangers … Continue reading

Posted in Ch. 1: Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment