Sunset Over Masai Mara

Masai Mara Sunset

A beautiful sunset over the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Blue Balls With Banana

Monkey With Blue Balls

I call this one Blue Balls With Banana.

He’s a Vervet Monkey and his balls really are that blue. He was a pushy little guy and stole that banana from a couple of other smaller monkeys and then hissed at any monkey that dared to come close.

This little guy waited patiently until he thought no one was looking to steal the coffee mug.
Clepto monke

He drank the last few drops and then abandoned the cup but if you find yourself around Vervet monkeys, watch your stuff as they are sneaky little buggers that like to get into everything.

This one probably wants a cup to go with the tea bag.
Tea packet monkey

This little guy seemed to be contemplating going for a swim.
Pool monkey

There was also a mom and baby that seemed to want to stay out of the shenanigans of all the others.
mom and baby monkey

Lion In The Sun

Lion In The Sun

He looks like he’s relaxing, remembering to breathe.

Which is what I’ve been doing this week as I do my assignments for the photography course I’m taking. Trying to get the camera to do what I want it to do has been frustrating. With practice though I did manage to get my assignment done and my new camera and I are slowly getting to know each other.

Taking the course is certainly giving me a new appreciation for photographers who are able to get the camera to do what they want and get that amazing shot. Also kinda makes me miss the point and shoot a bit but the photos that I have gotten to work out have made it all worth it.

Fumble with the controls, swear at the camera, try again and after a few tries when the photo actually turns out the way you wanted it to, great sense of accomplishment!

Another class tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. The frustration of learning I know will be worth it in the end and like the Lion above I need to remember to occasionally take a time out and just breathe.

What A Handsome Boy

Pretty_Boy_Lion

Another lion picture, seems a good week for lions. Of course any week is a good week for lions. I still look at my pictures and am amazed that I took them.

Going to Africa was a trip I didn’t know if I would ever do and now that I’ve done one I can’t wait to go back. I’d like to see more of the continent because it is a continent not a country with so much to offer.

Next time I would like to see Victoria Falls and maybe Namibia and Botswana. There are a lot of choices and so much to explore and see in Africa. The trip through Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya I feel was just the beginning.

Monday, Yawn Day . . . .

Lioness Yawning

Starting the week with a picture of a lioness yawning.

Fitting for a few reasons today, first being it’s Monday and I’m tired. Will be yawning my way through the day as I keep looking for a job. I’ll just keep throwing my resume out until I find one and I am looking forward to getting back to a routine.

On the Saturday I had to get up early for my first class in a photography course I’m taking. I finally bought a dslr camera and then signed up for the Intro to Photography course. After taking several trips and seeing other peoples photos I decided I really want actually learn how to take a good picture.

I’m happy with my photos, don’t get me wrong but I think they could be even better. Also I really enjoy photography and it’s something I’ve wanted to learn more about for a long time. No time like the present and I spent the first class learning all about ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

It all made sense at the time but then putting it to use everything gets muddled. Well it was only the first class so I’m sure things will get clearer as the class goes on. Also as I do the class assignments. There is learning and then there is doing and the doing is really where it all starts to make sense. It will be worth it, I didn’t put the money into the camera to use it as a point and shoot so the frustration I’m feeling now will all be worth it in the end. I hope.

Also a reminder in the class that often a good picture is about timing, like catching a lioness yawning. Patience, waiting and looking for the right photo opportunity. This week I’m also getting out to play with my camera on top of looking for a job. I need the practice and also the understanding that comes with doing.

The writing is on hold for the moment, I’m signed up for another course about telling Life Stories in February which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve always taken creative writing courses but this one about how to tell your own, or someone else’s life story or stories caught my eye. I picked the text book for the class up on Saturday and now I’m pretty excited about it.

Giraffe

Giraffe

A giraffe was certainly on my list of things to see when I went to Africa and I saw this beauty in Kenya.

It really was a trip of a lifetime and I hope to go back to see more of Africa, this trip was East Africa. The tour started in Rwanda, went through Uganda and ended in Kenya. It exceeded all of my expectations. There is nothing like seeing animals in the wild.

They don’t seem fussed at all about all the safari vehicles driving around. They just go about their business and like the giraffe occasionally look over but then go on their merry way.

The vehicles do stick to the roads and aren’s suppose to drive off of them. That works out well most of the time and I was surprised at how close we got to many of the animals. It’s an odd experience in that it’s so wild in the Masai Mara yet there are so many vehicles driving tourists around. It’s big business and they drivers are constantly radioing each other to tell each other where the animals are.

We had a good driver, I believe and often we were the only vehicle around. Then driving back towards the gates we would see a line up of vehicles, sometimes over a dozen and I was glad that my experience wasn’t a whole day spent in a line with other cars waiting to take pictures. Early in the day we had a long drive where we saw nothing, the Masai Mara is HUGE and then suddenly we would come over a rise or approach some bushes and there were the animals.

The first time I saw an elephant, I squealed. The first time I saw a lion I was so stunned I almost forgot to take a picture. The giraffe’s made me smile and who could ever tire of zebras?

I know I’m forgetting something . . . . . .

Elephant Bum

I’ve been home now with my Mom for almost a month and I’m happily settled in the basement. Not my ideal home but for saving money and getting settled back in Calgary it will work for now.

I’ve been checking off the things on my to do list and I’ve updated my resume, even started looking for a full-time job. I’ve been walking everyday.  I just keep thinking I’m forgetting something.

That’s why we have the elephant picture, I think he’s walking away with something I’m suppose to remember. The feeling has been with me for over a week and every time I think  I’ve remembered the elusive task it slips away. As far as I can tell I’ve got everything covered so I’ll just patiently wait for the rolodex in my brain to roll around to what I’m forgetting.

Maybe it’s nothing? In the meantime in between looking for a job I’ve been looking at travel ideas. Too many ideas, I need a lottery not a full-time job but so far I think this will be the year of bears. Grizzly Bears and Polar Bears!

First find job then book trips……… or book trips and the job will come?

Isn’t that how it works?

tonybony!

TonyBony

On my trip through East Africa this past fall we stopped at a supermarket and to my delight we found tonybony’s!

Apparently the African answer to Smarties. I love Smarties, I have had a Smarties problem for most of my life and still sleep with a jar of Smarties next to my bed. They don’t create crumbs so they are the only food I allow in the bedroom.

The name tonybony made me laugh, how did they come up with that name? In Prague I found Smarties but they were called Lentilky and the packaging was otherwise recognizable as Smarties. The tonybony’s are almost like a discount version. Is that why the “t” isn’t capitalized? The chocolate is not great and the candy coating is thin. As you can see the colours also look a bit washed out and they don’t have that sheen to them.

The package also seemed to be half full when I bought it. Were children (or adults) eating them while waiting in line?

They get a BIG thumbs up for the name and making me smile and also made Ben who was in our group smile for a moment. Ben was looking for tonic water and Pringles at the supermarket. The supermarket had neither and being very disappointed Ben declared the place “total shit”. Like he was grading a nightclub or new restaurant, he won’t be going back. Although the tonybony’s made him smile for a moment he also declared them “total shit” after trying a couple.