The Lions Roar

I was so excited when we got into Africa and it lasted all the way until we got into the customs line at the kilimanjaro airport. I will admit I was VERY impatient, #1 we had just gotten to a hot place, #2 we were going to drive around in a car all day and look at cute animals, so who wouldn’t be impatient to get through a boring customs line. We had to fill out a paper while we were in line asking questions about our shots and ebola.I tried not to complain too much, when we finally got through the outside line we got to go inside, then we realized there isn’t a line! We immediately started to sprint towards the visa and customs window, when we got stopped, the guy simply pointed to another paper that we had to fill out, after that we looked at the line, just our luck. We obviously had to get a visa to enter the country so that took awhile and when we finally got to the window (where we had pay to get the visa) that man greeted us with a smile and then just said "$400 please”. If you are planning to go to Africa anytime soon go to Canada, become a citizen there then come to Africa, because if you are canadian you only have to pay $50 per person, where we had to pay $100. It could have been worse, people were giving shots in the other room, never want to do that again. After our ATM trip we made it through the visa, we turned and there lied our second line. Customs was so much easier, while we were in line my mom pointed out a tv, playing on the tv was a leopard bouncing on a croc and then dragging it into the water (yeah, thats smart, kill him, then drag him into the water where all his friends live to tell them “hey, don’t mess with me”) but hey this is Africa.

 

When we finally made it out we walked into a bunch of guides waving posters with names on them, we found ours that said “GOMBERT” and met our guide for the next week, later we learned that his name was Philip and he had been guiding for 11 years. Phillip was very welcoming, he invited us to take a seat in his land cruiser. However, this was no ordinary land cruiser, it had a cooler in it and even better Fanta. I could do this for awhile. Imminently we got on a road, we ended up learning more and more about Phillip, we also ended up buying granny hats (that we ended up throwing away). When we went through towns it was much, much, different than Boise, no official roads, skinny cows in the street, houses that were as big as shacks, trash in the street, but there were some beautiful things too, like people holding fresh produce on their heads, people smiling and waving, lots and lots of laughing, kids dancing, things that you wouldn’t usually see in the states. This confused me, how could someone with less look and act more happy than people with more?? As we continued our trip down to our first place we learned about the Massai and we saw a giraffe. Then we went to a park where we would see more animals, but because the sun was setting we didn’t have a lot of time. We saw baboons, birds, warthogs (Phillips favorite), zebras (my favorite), buffalo, wildebeest, and more and more animals. When we finally left the sun was setting and we still had a 40 minute drive. When we got to our first camp it was pitch black. We said goodnight to Phillip and went to go eat dinner. Everyone was so nice and funny plus we were the only visitors there so they were constantly serving us.  Dinner was delicious, something that we would never order off a menu. Our server name was Del, or so we thought, then on the last night, he wore a name tag and we learned the truth, his name was Theo. Then we went to our rooms showered and instantly fell asleep anxious for the sun to rise and for us to set out on another adventure.


We woke up to the sound of my dad screaming the lion king circle of life. I was so happy when I looked at the clock and found out that it was 5:15, another long day ahead of us. We scrambled to get everything ready and to my and everyone’s surprise I was the first one ready. We weren’t  going to have breakfast at our camp instead we are going to have it on the road. When we first started we found out that we were going to take a trip down to the Ngorongoro crater. We got started and I started to realize how tired I was, I had made it all the way to the gate where we go into the crater then instant sleep. The drive down to the crater was uneventful but then again, I would have no Idea because when they were watching the trees roll by I was watching the back of my eyelids, yes I fell asleep. But I woke up freezing right when we entered the crater, some call it perfect timing, others call it my family waking me up. The crater was beautiful, but pretty slow in the beginning. We would stop at every bird we saw, and don't get me wrong, I would have been all over this if I wasn't FREEZING. Then we saw a bunch of zebras, buffalo, wildebeest, and birds. It was amazing, they stopped right by our truck and we took so many pictures. We noticed something odd, our guide was looking at something else a buffalo, but not like any other buffalo, this one was alone, but not for long, then almost instantly we see yellow things cling onto it. Immediately our guide floors it, he tells us that he thinks lions are attacking the buffalo. Immediately I think are we really going to watch this?? But it was too late we had arrived at the scene of the crime, and my stomach flipped, I took about two pictures and sat down covering my ears, the horrible thing was you could hear the moaning of the buffalo, and the sound of the skin tearing. The situation was one lioness clinging on to the neck of the buffalo, but not enough to do any real harm, and 4 cubs trying to help, but immediately failing at it. Then there was last lioness with her eyes fixed on us ready to pounce at one sight of real danger. I didn't see, it but someone  yelled, “oh she got away!” I immediately looked up and saw the buffalo sprinting towards the little pond. Then it was a standoff, the buffalo in the water where the lions dare not go, one lioness tired and hurt, the other eyes still fixed on us, ten cars watching, waiting. The buffalo ended up winning the battle for survival, and wins the best story ever. When we left I was very happy and even more happy when we said that we were going to go eat breakfast. After the dinner we had last night I was very excited to eat breakfast. There weren’t too many people, and we were right next to a hippo pool. We could see the little hippo heads popping out of the water. Then we ate, met some bird friends, saw some elephants and then left. On the way back it started raining and we saw little warthog piglets! It was a great day, but ended up being pretty short because we had decided to rest for the remainder of the day. The first day was amazing, we were very lucky to see what we did on the first day, even if I almost thew up.

The Dreaded Door

Our first day in Paris was very beautiful. We got off the train at about 5:00 (Paris time) and then we went to get the tickets for the subway. This is where we had our first problem, we decided to stop in the middle of the train station, and put all of our bags on the ground and go get a ticket. The first place that we went to had a medium line and when we finally got to the machine it didn't take credit cards. Then we went to another machine with an even bigger line. When we finally got our tickets and found the train, we could catch our breath. With HEAVY bags on our backs, sweaty, tired, and hungry we were all a little bit on edge. I am sure we yelled at a few French people. When we finally got out of there we promised that we would try our hardest never to do that again. Then we tried to find our apartment, when we finally did the landlord did not speak English, thank god she had her translator (daughter) with her. The apartment was very cute, perfect for us. The next thing we did was try to find a place to eat, we found a very cute (and very good) food stand. We got some creps and started walking to find our first tourist attraction, the Eiffel Tower. I was disappointed because I had left my phone at the apartment to charge and we couldn't go back to get it. We decided to rent some bikes and bike to the Eiffel Tower (because walking would take an hour). So we hopped on our bikes and got going. In Paris, they have a law that you can’t ride your bikes on the sidewalk. Of course, this got many people in the family worried. So, we just decided to get going, we had a hard time actually riding the bikes because buses would play a game where they would see who could hit the most tourists.  When we finally made it out alive, we added “biking” to the list of things we will never do again. Then we started to walk the distance from where we returned our bikes to the Eiffel Tower. Once we got to the Eiffel Tower, we walked over to the ticket booth, and then we realized, like everything in Paris, it had a line. Because we were impatient and bored, we stayed under the Eiffel tower. If you don't already know, there are people in Paris (especially around the Eiffel Tower) that sell little trinkets and they’re persistent. One came up to me and kept asking me to buy his stuff, I had to keep telling him and telling him no! Then we decided it wasn't worth it and went home. When we finally got back to our house we were wiped. We immediately went to bed.

The morning started out normally, my mom and dad waking my brother and I up, and going to do school work. The one thing that was missing was breakfast (because in Burford we would just get cereal, but here we didn't have any food), so we went on a walk to get some pastries. We stopped at a very cute shop a few steps from our house and got a baggett, a croissant, and a palmier. Then we started heading up to the apartment, when we got to the top of two flights of spiraled stairs, we gave Peter the key, and he started to try to open the door. When he couldn't get it open, I wasn't worried because you had to turn it a certain way, and dada had done it multiple times. So he started to try. When I looked at my moms face she looked shocked and said, “oh no, we left the key in the other side of the door.” We all stood in silence for what felt like forever, and then we started asking, “what are we going to do??” We finally decided to go ask the landlord that lived just one flight down. I guess she didn't have her translator with her because when she came up my dad was trying to use sign language to speak to her. I don't think she understood what we were saying because she thought that the stupid Americans didn't know how to unlock their door. She was laughing until she tried to open the door, then she just looked confused again. When she finally got it, she looked shocked. Then she got to work calling locksmiths.  My mom, my brother and I started to try and help but it was really my dad, the locksmith, and the landlord. Then we stopped getting in their way and ate our breakfast on the stairs and talked. Then we got assigned to go and find a ladder for them to use to climb up to my open window. So we began our search, we walked one block down and immediately see something that could hook together to make a long ladder to get to my window. We tried to explain our situation, but they looked confused, when they finally understood they said no. This was going to be harder than we expected. Then after walking for a little bit we came across another ladder that my mom was convinced would work. So we explained the situation to the construction workers, again another no, but that didn't stop my mom, “what if I give you her?”, she pointed to me, I froze. I was five seconds away from sprinting, but they just shook their heads. Disappointed, but not done yet, she continued, “what about my passport or my drivers license?” The list went on and on, but they wouldn't take anything.  Defeated, we left and started walking back home, when I asked my mom why she was willing to give me up but not Peter, she just simply said, “because I didn't need you, I mean, I would have needed Peter to help me carry it back”. I couldn't help but laugh. We got back to the apartment, to find yet another person working on the door, and my dad explained to us, “we decided to change our plans, we are now trying to get threw the apartment next door to get to the window, and because the distance from his apartment window to our apartment window is so small, someone could walk on the ledge over to my bedroom and unlock the door from the inside”. My dad then pointed at the new guy, “he is our neighbors landlord.” Later on we found out that the neighbor wouldn’t let us into his apartment. Then more waiting and waiting until we got bored and we decided to go show dada the ladder that we thought would work, turns out it didn't, how disappointing, I was outraged, my mom of 12 years was about to give me up for a ladder that didn’t even work!! After we got home, we heard a strange noise like a drill, confused my dad went to go check it out. When he came back he said, “yeah, they are drilling through the door.” My mom instantly took it as we are going to have to get a new door. More and more drilling, then he leaves and comes back with what looked like a twisted hanger and some pliers. Later we heard more drilling. Finally, we heard a sound that made us look up and smile, we heard the “click” of ….the door being  unlocked. We ran inside and thanked everyone so much over and over and over again.

Joy

Today we went to a city called Bath, first we went on a two hour-free walking tour through Bath and learned  all about its history, it was very cool. Our tour guide, Joy, talked to us about living back then, and it sounded very hard they had a huge difference in life expectancy between the rich and the poor, the poor would live to be 27 and the rich would live to be 53. As we walked the streets, we would see many interesting things, for example, if you buy a house that was used in a historical area it not only would be extremely expensive you also couldn’t change anything in the house. Another thing is the doors, when the architect, John Wood,  first made the circle (a circle of houses), he made the doors all white. It was only until later after he had died that a lady moved into an  house that she had decided that she wanted to change the curtains and the door so she decides that she wants to change them to radiant, yellow. Of course, the neighbors got mad, so she decided to tone down the color a little. Then they took it to court and soon enough they made her get rid of the curtains, but she got to keep her very special door. Overall we had a great time on the tour, and I would do another tour if I got the same experience as I did with Joy. We left Bath at about 5 and got home at about 6:30 and because we were so tired we decided to just have cereal for dinner and go to bed. 

Last 7 days at Swan House

We are on our last week in Buford, then we take a train to Paris. I am sad to leave Buford, but I am excited to get traveling again. However, and I am not so excited for the language to change. So far, I have learned zero French, but I am very excited to go to the Eiffel tower and taste the French food. I have always wanted to go Pais, and I am very excited that it is now happening. . We have had a great stay here and will be sorrowful to leave. We have had a pretty relaxing stay. So overall I think that we have had a good 1 month stay. 

 

Two More Weeks

Two more weeks until we leave our cute little house in Burford to head over to Paris. So far, we have a great stay here. We have been cooking at home for almost every night except for the weekly night out. Me and Peter have become my dad's sous chef because he has taken the role of the chief, and he has been great at it. Our meals have been gourmet not only at the restaurants but also with the cooking at home. We have had a pretty normal routine which is good considering we mostly didn't have one. We have been watching Downton Abbey (a British TV show) every single night. We have been going on beautiful walks through the countryside. We have been going to very cute little towns. We have also seen a lot of gardens. We have been watching football to keep up with the Bears. We have eaten out two times one was to a cut Indian restaurant. The other time was to a little place right outside of town called The Carpenters arms. The people there are very nice and while we were waiting for our food my brother, and I played pool. We have been having a great time here at Burford, and we will be sad to leave.   

 

 

 

 

Rain on the Rooftop

We have finally settled down into our month home. In case you didn't know we are in Burford England. We got very lucky, we got a flawless house, cute area, and perfect weather.  The first thing that we had to do was  go to the grocery store which is new to us because this was our first long stay. My brother and I obviously didn't go but when they come back we notice something new in the pile of bags, Coke Life, which is exactly like coke but "healthier." If you don't already know we each own a fit bit this tracks your steps, we have made a deal that we can get a soda every night if we get all of our steps that day. Because Peters fit bit was broken, we just assumed that his steps were the same as mine. We wanted to try out the coke life BADLY but my fit bit wasn't charged, which meant zero steps, which meant zero coke lives. We were at a slow blinking one and to get your goal you have to get a five. So we had to walk around the town, but we didn't get our goal by the time my parents had gotten worried, so we went home defeated, but got to see the cute town. The next few days were amazing sunny bright happy. We love Burford.  Until one week it said that it was supposed to rain all week, I was excited because I love staying inside and in our pjs next to a fire.  

 

 

Welcome to the Hobbit House

Yay we are in England! We are currently in a medium-sized town called Bowness on Windermere (The Lake District) in Hobbit house outside of town. Now my brother Peter and I constantly have to do school to keep up, and we don't know our way around town, so we needed our little navigation system jamequtha and we need to download things so it is mandatory for every place to have WIFI but this house, It didnt. So every morning we would go down to the coffee shop literally right down the road, and every morning, we would order a hot chocolate, same buresta and the same seat. One day, we came in and saw our mom and dad talking to the buresta about our trip and how we were going to south africa, and I guess he was from south africa. The next morning the same buresta was there and literally right when I walked up to order he says, “small hot chocolate with whipped cream?" I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. I had finally become a regular customer. So we made a friend. Now I can say that I have a buresta friend from England.   

 

 

 

Goodbye Boise

I haven't written anything because, frankly, I didn't know what to write about plus we left, and it has been pretty busy and at the moment right now that we have kind of settled down I will write now this won't be your average blog post. why? Because I have a lot to write about. So let's go back way back to this picture. Thursday August 14 two days before we leave, and we had a lot to do, later in the day. We went to go get my teeth checked. We had to get this sealant's thing anyways Peter had gotten a cavity the other day, before so I was nervous, but I got in there and no cavities! However, when it was time for the sealants, another lady came in (now I had never done this, before so I was worried) then I see this syringe being pulled out I thought it was a needle, I cringed the intensely built up the suspension I held to the chair like kids cling on to candy, and. It wasn't a needle. Anyways we went Home Depot after, and my teeth felt all gummy. Well, I had just taken a nap before this so let's at this moment say I didn't look amazing, but I wasn't going to do anything for the rest of the day so I was fine or so I thought. What is that mama is saying we are going out after our Home Depot run WHAT?! This is madness! I panicked and ended up convincing mama to let me go home and fix up. After that we went to home to fix up mama was acting shady. We had to get Peter, Thomas, and Cam (Peters friends) and all the way to the restaurant Peter, and his friends would NOT stop talking about the big surprise party that Peter 's friends had for him so as you can imagine I was upset that my friends hadn't done something for me. However, we get to the restaurant and BAMB SURPRISE! After we ate we had the night of our lives. This picture was taken the morning of the party now you may be wondering "What did you do at the party that made it so great?" and my answer would simply be "What happens in the sleepover stays in the sleep over."     

I haven't written anything because, frankly, I didn't know what to write about plus we left, and it has been pretty busy and at the moment right now that we have kind of settled down I will write now this won't be your average blog post. why? Because I have a lot to write about. So let's go back way back to this picture. Thursday August 14 two days before we leave, and we had a lot to do, later in the day. We went to go get my teeth checked. We had to get this sealant's thing anyways Peter had gotten a cavity the other day, before so I was nervous, but I got in there and no cavities! However, when it was time for the sealants, another lady came in (now I had never done this, before so I was worried) then I see this syringe being pulled out I thought it was a needle, I cringed the intensely built up the suspension I held to the chair like kids cling on to candy, and. It wasn't a needle. Anyways we went Home Depot after, and my teeth felt all gummy. Well, I had just taken a nap before this so let's at this moment say I didn't look amazing, but I wasn't going to do anything for the rest of the day so I was fine or so I thought. What is that mama is saying we are going out after our Home Depot run WHAT?! This is madness! I panicked and ended up convincing mama to let me go home and fix up. After that we went to home to fix up mama was acting shady. We had to get Peter, Thomas, and Cam (Peters friends) and all the way to the restaurant Peter, and his friends would NOT stop talking about the big surprise party that Peter 's friends had for him so as you can imagine I was upset that my friends hadn't done something for me. However, we get to the restaurant and BAMB SURPRISE! After we ate we had the night of our lives. This picture was taken the morning of the party now you may be wondering "What did you do at the party that made it so great?" and my answer would simply be "What happens in the sleepover stays in the sleep over."   

 

Closer and Closer to Take off

As the days go by every single thought that goes threw my head is the trip. There has come some complications in Greece which doesn't help the fact that I am trying to think about my friends just today I realized that I cant think about my friends I can only think about this trip, and once I have most of my stuff done hopefully I can get a second to say goodbye. Some good news........ I am more than excited. My brother and I have been talking and it helps the excitement. I have always had this vision in my mind of all my friends waving goodbye there is only one problem, we have to wake up EARLY and half my friends wouldn't wake up that early if the world was ending. I will miss them. 

Dreaming, Wondering, Doing

As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination”
— Gossip Girl

When we first thought of this idea in the summer of 2012, we decided that we would go in 2016 when I would be 14 and Peter would be 16 and seeing that we are going this year and I am 12 and peter is 14 that plan didn't work out, but I kept dreaming and wondering that one day it would happen. Then two years later we made our dream come true we decided to go on the adventure that would change our lives. I of course didn't believe them I thought they were crazy! But it finally became a reality when I started to get vaccines and I told my friends I finally realized that our lives would change forever. Now I am traveling around the world for a year with the people that I love more than anything.

Horses

Buster 

Buster 

Today we went to go see horses up at my cabin. This is by far one of my favorite things to do during the summer. Its not all about the horses on the walk you can see beautiful flowers, TALL grass and flowing creeks. We didn't all go, my brother and my mom went driving so he can get his hours for drivers E.D so that left my dad and I. When we went we noticed the amazing view and we already started taking pictures of the amazing flowers. Then we observed that the grass is taller than usual and when we didn't see the cows the tall grass explained itself. When we finally got to the horses we saw my favorite horse (Buster) come running up. We havent seen them all winter because they don't go out in the fields (too cold) so as you can imagine I was extremely excited to see them again, we stayed there for awhile talking and taking pictures. We hung around Buster (because he is the sweetest) and he tried to eat my dads belly. When we finally left we started talking about the movie we watched last night. Then we left the beautiful flowers, the TALL grass and the flowing creeks behind for today.