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Archive for January, 2006

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Yes Michigan

Monday, January 30th, 2006

It is not as exciting as Tanzania, I know. But I still get excited when I get to go back to Michigan, especially back to my alma mater, Michigan State University. Mark and I were lucky enough to get tickets to Saturday’s basketball game against Penn State (thank you, Jennifer!) so we made a weekend out of it. First we checked into our house in South Haven, then got up Saturday morning and drove to East Lansing. It was my first trip back to the MSU campus in over five years. Some things have changed – new constructions, football stadium renovations – but I was still able to find my way around. Before the game we walked around campus and I made it a point to visit some of my favorite spots. Walking along, or sitting on a blanket and – ahem – studying alongside the Red Cedar River were two of my favorite pasttimes when I was a student at MSU. The river still adds a quaint, scenic touch to the campus landscape. From there we walked over to Breslin Center for the game. It was rather ugly early on. The Spartans were not looking like the 12th ranked team in the nation but Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel caught fire in the second half and we ended up beating Penn State by a score of 69-60.

Another of my favorite spots on campus is the Dairy Store. No visit to MSU is complete without enjoying a giant cone packed with delicious, creamy, made-on-the-spot ice cream. On this afternoon I had Strawberry Cheesecake; Mark, Amaretto Cherry Chocolate Chip. Yummy! We walked around campus a bit more then decided it was time for an early dinner. We headed over to the Traveler’s Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum in nearby Okemos. It is an interesting little place – nothing fancy – and the feature is a new menu each month focusing on a different part of the world. January’s feature? Africa. The main dish on the menu? A vegetable stew from Tanzania. It was like they knew I would be fresh off a trip to Tanzania and that I would be in the restaurant in January. While the stew is probably wonderful, I opted for something a bit smaller: a falafel sandwich. It was fabulous. The whole time we were there, I kept thinking to myself, Why didn’t I ever know about this place when I was going to school here? I would’ve hung out there all the time.

It was back on the road to South Haven shortly thereafter where we enjoyed a relaxing evening, and back to Chicago on Sunday night. I’m already looking forward to my next weekend adventure, a jaunt I needed to plan to try to quash these post-Africa blues: Seattle in two weeks to hang with a couple of my Kili buddies.

More photos and stories

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Here are some links to check out my friends’ blogs and photos from the Africa trip. It is fun to get everyone’s take on the whole experience and to look at pictures other than my own.

Marisa’s photos

Madhu’s photos

Chuck’s photos (including Sean’s Waterworks – hilarious!)

Chuck’s blog (this specific link is to the entry titled “Walkin’ Up Kilimanjaro”. Chuck’s band recorded a song by the same name and I love it! You can listen to it by clicking on the link at the end of Chuck’s entry).

What am I planning to do next?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006
With my Africa trip behind me, I've now turned my attention to planning my next adventure. I'd like it to be of the fishing variety so to gather plenty of info and to get myself pumped, I plan on ... [Continue reading this entry]

Kilimanjaro and safari photos

Sunday, January 15th, 2006
Even though I haven't finished writing out everything from my trip, I finished putting together the photo set on Flickr. All of my photos can be viewed there. Enjoy.

Reflection

Sunday, January 15th, 2006
I have been home for almost a week now and I am already trying to plan a return trip to Tanzania. There are many reasons I would like to go back but one is to try Kilimanjaro again. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Final days in East Africa

Monday, January 9th, 2006
We arrived back in Moshi around 5:30 the evening of January 8th and all scrambled to get set up in hotel rooms. A lot of people were spending that night in town and then taking off for Zanzibar the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Safari

Sunday, January 8th, 2006
After a night of catching up, eating (more) Indian food, and drinking a whole lot, our group once again took off for safari on the morning of January 3rd. First stop, after a long, hot, and dusty ride, was ... [Continue reading this entry]

All by myself in Moshi

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006
Everyone keeps asking, “So what did you do by yourself all those days after you left the rest of the group on Kilimanjaro?” My answer: everything and a whole lot of nothing. Explanation: I spent about ... [Continue reading this entry]