Okay, so it’s been a little while since my last update. Well, this entry will make up for the long absence. It has it all. Daredevil adventures. Killer snakes. Roger Federer.
Let’s begin with Haiti. I passed the one year in country mark on October 31. And while the early months passed by at the speed of a lethargic glacier, recent months have flown by like a really, really fast glacier. I keep discovering new things about this place, like the few protected natural areas that show you what Haiti used to be like before all the trees were cut down to make charcoal. These pictures were taken at a biological preserve just 30 minutes from the noise and pollution of Port-au-Prince, an escape I plan on making more and more often in the coming weeks.
Aside from a few new discoveries and a rotating cast of friends (people and go on a very regular basis), things have fallen into a pretty decent routine here. Work, tennis, dinners, gym, pool, concerts, excursions, repeat. Not a bad life by any means, but one that needs to be interrupted by foreign travel from time to time.
Speaking of which, I have just come back from three weeks away. The first of which was spent in Paris and consisted mostly of me recovering from the flu. The jury is still out on whether or not heavy drinking may or may not have contributed to the speed of my progress. I did manage to sneak in a visit to the Bercy Masters tennis tournament. This is where Federer comes in. R-Fed got his ass whooped by Nabaldian. And I was there. I was THERE, man.
Then it was off to South Africa for a two-week long work meeting. For the few faithful readers of the blog, this was the same meeting that took me to Zanzibar last year. This time it was held in the city of Hazyview, just outside of Kruger National Park. But while we had frequent chances to escape the hotel last year, this time, we had few opportunities to venture outside, hence the shocking lack of pretentiously artsy photos.
I had actually been to South Africa and Kruger when I was four years old, but since I have a good bit of trouble remembering what I did on Friday, very few images come to mind. I recall much more reliably Lethal Weapon 2, especially the part where Danny Glover applies for a residency visa and the consular officer looks at him quizzically and says “but…but… but, you’re bleyk”. Also, that actress was hot. Whatever happened to her?
Anyway, we did manage one incursion into Kruger and saw a number of herbivores (that gray blur in the distance is an elephant. Or a large rock.), but sadly no badass predators. But who needs to see leopards when you can follow around a guy intent on personally irritating every poisonous animal in South Africa? This would be my friend and colleague Ed, South Africa’s answer to the question: “do we really need another Steve Irwin?” And yes, that snake he is handling is deadly. He managed to capture after poking it with a stick for a solid hour, hoping to coax him from under its rock. At some point, I started to pull from the snake.
The other truly memorable part of the trip had to be my first flight in a microlight (also known as a ULM). As you can see from the pictures, the device looks like the aftermath of a lawn mower getting it on with a hang-glider. But it’s an incredible way to see the world below, especially when it looks like the area around Kruger. The hell with diving! Obtaining a ULM license is the new endeavor that I’ll be too lazy to pursue.
I think I’ll end on that high note of sorts. I will do my best to update this blog more regularly and try to give you all a taste of the holiday season in Haiti.
Ya’ll come back, ya heah?.