Susie and I began our travels together a year ago today on Jan 26th! I had just finished a 14km marathon through the slums of Nairobi, and flew straight from rural Kenya into modern South Africa. I got in line at customs behind tons of other travelers and couldn’t have been more tired or ecstatic to see Susie on the other side of the guards! Unlike me, she wasn’t coughing, and didn’t appear to have black lungs/TB! Instead, she was looking bright and cheery and bearing gifts, a camera, and a new backpack! Such a fantastic day and such a fantastic start to a wonderful journey together across Africa and back into Seattle life. We found our home with the Nuns, then immediately went to coffee to “plan” the trip. And by planning, I mean catching up and giggling and babbling and talking slowly!
Susie was always better on the road about sending meaningful group updates… so I shouldn’t have been surprised to get this fantastic recap in my email this week. Made me laugh out loud, feel all warm and gooey inside, and even get a little teary eyed. Mostly it made me remember… endless stories… endless adventures… so so so many good times. A girl couldn’t ask for a better travel partner or a better friend to return home to. So much of my love goes out to Susie for making 2007 a remarkable year! Here’s her recap and here are a few of my pics. Enjoy!
Our time in Zanzibar couldn’t have been more surreal, bizarre, or full of Snickers bars!
Welcome to the one year anniversary of our reunion in Johannesburg. Or so I think – need to review the ol’ journal, but I’m nearly certain it was today. Can you believe that?
What a wild, crazy year it has been. Recap:
-Traveling. Holy shit – elephants in Addo, hilarity at Cape Town pride, meeting Brett in Windhoek, skydiving, sand boarding, basking in the rains of the Zambezi churning over Vic Falls, water slides in Lusaka, 10-hour pickup truck rides, the quiet, broken beauty if Ila, too many “samoosas,” Wimby beach parties, breaking beds in Nampula, the most amazing recuperation mission of all time in Nkhata Bay, welcoming ourselves to East Africa with “why are you so stupid? you stupid, stupid girls!” haggling our way onto the “cheapest” boat out to Zanzibar, planning our Kenya double-date from afar, Susie goes bananas trying to upload photos 5 at a time, strange walks with a strange ex-heroin addict in Jambiani, finding sweet relief from the heat in Lushoto, catching a glimpse of Kilimanjaro on the bus ride to Nairobi, reunions with Brett, discovering sometimes I felt like a plumpkin, the cheapest, most delicious steak ever in Kampala, near-fist-fights getting ourselves around Uganda, trekking with gorillas, rafting the Nile, reunions in Malava, navigating the streets of Mombasa, and the sweet life out on Lamu. Cat, we had one hell of a time.
-The return. Parties, navigating life being “back,” reunions with friends, dinner parties, saying hello to the mountains again.
-Dating. Dear lord. Susie is a disaster, and Cat discovers her knack at rocking the dating world like no one else. You really should get paid for this.
-Going back to our old jobs. Riiiiiight. Still working on that, and who knows, maybe we’ll work together?
-Staring a business. With Cat to thank, of course. Making it happen in Seattle.
-Fibroids. Screw ‘em. And say goodbye to them and hello to life with your body back. Hot as hell, Cat.
-Navigating the new challenges of living in what feels like the same city, but sure is different. Friends here and gone, the SLUT, new restaurants, new music. So much to keep exploring, which is what makes Seattle rock.
Just wanted to say, Cat, it has been such a wonderful, complicated, and exciting year, and I can’t be more thankful to have spent so much of it with you. It is one year after what was the start of a pretty amazing journey, and I look forward to seeing what the next year has in store for us.
Love you, Cat. You’re pretty damed cool.
Standard look for our travel days
World’s worst matatu minibus in Mozambique
(can’t seem to remember if this pic was from before or after the puking?)
Susie & Cat – couldn’t be happier to squeeze us plus a driver onto the back of a tiny motorbike in Kampala