Happy New Year!

Lion

Well so far the New Year has started off a little lazy.

Okay a lot lazy but like the lion in the above picture I have plans for 2015!

I think the lion has plans, I would imagine he would, wouldn’t he? Lots and lots of plans and I figured I could use the first few days of January to rest up. I did just move back to Calgary and now that I’m settled in the real work begins.

That would be looking for work. Haven’t worked much this year and I’m looking forward to getting back to a routine. Starting today I start the job hunt and hopefully something pops up pretty soon. The charmed life has come to an end although the summer out on Vancouver Island and the trip to Africa were totally worth depleting my savings.

This year I have a few ideas of what I want to do. There is a one day Grizzly Bear tour I’d like to do in June and then August I might go see Polar Bears! Then the plan right now is February 2016 for Antarctica. The travel continues! Also a sunny stay in Hawaii next Christmas is in the works.

2015 is all about bears (I love bears) and also saving my pennies. I also just bought a new camera, my first actual DSLR and I’m signed up for courses on how to use it. I’m pretty excited about the photography courses which I’m sure will lead to me wanting to go back to every place I’ve already been to photograph them all again!

Actually I already want to do that, the problem with the travel bug is that the more places you visit, the more places you want to see, which leads to more places you want to go back to. Oh the vicious travel bug ……… love it!

People Are Easier To Capture Than Birds

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While on the bird walk at Lake Bunyonyi I kinda gave up on the birds. Getting a good bird photo can be very difficult. So I started taking photos of the passing people.

I really want to learn to carry stuff on my head, it seems so efficient.

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A man with his goat.

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Motorcycle with umbrella!

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Ladies walking.

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Man sitting.

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I think I prefer the people to the birds……..

Simon’s New Dress!

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Along our journey in Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda we ran into the above family walking. The lady was lovely and encouraged us to take photos. Again there is the baby tied to the back, happily hanging out. Seriously I think this is the trick to not having a screaming child.

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She also had a little daughter ….. oh wait, NO! It’s not a daughter it’s Simon her son. He likes to wear a dress, finds it comfortable. With clothes in short supply Simon ended up with a dress somehow and he prefers the dress to pants.

Helen who was in our group got to try the look out on herself.

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Then Simon got a new dress, which he really liked. Something I noticed was that the clothing people donate often tends to be clothing for little girls, more than for the boys. Shopping for girls is so fun, all the frills and cute dresses but if you are going to donate clothes please remember there are little boys as well.

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They were a lovely family and Simon although shy loved to see the photos many of us had taken, after chatting and posing the family went merrily on their way.

Birds Watching at Lake Bunyoni

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After Rwanda our next stop on the tour was Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda.

Lake Bunyonyi is known for it’s abundance of bird life. Over three hundred species apparently. Our first morning there we went for a bird watching walk first thing in the morning. I was tired and kept staring at the birds but forgetting to take pictures.

Then when I would try to get a picture often the bird would move, birds can be incredibly frustrating to photograph. STOP MOVING!!!!

As soon as you put your camera down the little sucker will fly down and pose perfectly on a branch right in front of you, every time. I swear.

I did manage to get some good pictures and still have some pictures that I’m playing “Where’s Waldo?” with. I know I took the picture for a reason, I know there is probably a bird somewhere in the frame but I can’t find it…….

Here are ones with the birds easy to spot, as the trip went on I got better with my camera. Landscape, no problem. People, no problem. Birds and animals that won’t stop moving around to give me time to figure out how to focus, that took a little more practice.

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Land Of A Thousand Hills

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Rwanda is often referred to as land of a thousand hills.

It is, constantly going up and down. Every peak bringing another view of more hills and it is beautiful. The lush green with the red clay offers stunning views. I had expected Rwanda to be beautiful but it far exceeded my expectations.

Where are the screaming kids?

Rwanda Baby

There were children everywhere in Rwanda but I never heard screaming kids, kids having a temper tantrum, even a crying baby. Perhaps it’s because the younger babies are tied to their mother’s backs.

You see this all the time, the Mom is happily going about her day and the little one is just safely hanging out. Sleeping or looking around without a care in the world. Safely bundled into the blanket that is tied to the Mom. Little feet and hands sticking out, it totally amazed me how happy they appeared.

Then the older ones are curious, they wave and many love having their picture taken. They love to see their picture like this little guy.

Little Picture Guy Rwanda

After seeing his picture he seemed to look back at his sister with a see I told you I was handsome look.

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There was one little guy in a red sweater with a big smile who came running up to our bus and threw his hands in the air while yelling “GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY!” Then stood with his hands out. Well might as well try the direct approach, he didn’t get any money and I missed the picture.

Always keep your camera out, the moment you put it away something interesting will happen ……. every time.

Market Kigali

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We went to a market in Kigali and as usual I felt overwhelmed.

I’m a browser, I like to look at things and think about my purchases. In the market it’s the hard sell. It’s impossible to just browse without somebody trying to sell you whatever you are looking at. In the end I didn’t get anything, I’m don’t buy many souvenirs but in our group people did walk away with a leather hat, some straw bowls, earrings and some soap stone animals.

As we travelled further on our journey it became apparent that the market in Kigali was a really good deal. The prices went up in Uganda and then again in Kenya.

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My favourite were the colourful beans, they almost look like a big bowl of smarties (and I love smarties).

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They let me take a picture no problem and many pictures were fine but there were several women carrying items on their head just outside the market and they wanted to be paid for their picture. Not much and one in our group did pay them.

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Gorilla Sticks His Tongue Out

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Timing is everything with animal photos. The above photo is one of my favourites and I was lucky to get it. Animals don’t pose, they move, they seem to sense when you’re going to take a photo and suddenly turn away. I also had a fairly new camera and was still getting used to it. Perhaps I should have spent a bit more time with it before I went on the trip but I have no complaints. I’m happy with the photos that I did get.

Look yoga gorilla:

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More gorillas….. so incredible:

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Then after an hour it was time for them to leave:

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