Gary and I arrived in Addis Ababa via Dubai late, and after changing money immediately began making delirious ‘Hamilton’ currency puns (would you like some birr, sir?), eventually finding our way to the hotel to crash for a few hours. The next morning we set out for a full day around the capital, starting with the National Museum to visit Lucy, a 3.2 million year old australopithecus afarensis. Fun (and challenging!) to say or spell, it was cool to see and learn about one of our oldest relatives, even though her skeleton is only 40% complete.
Somehow I have already been in Arabia, specifically the United Arab Emirates and Oman, for exactly one month, although it feels more like one week. I’m sitting in my courtyard taking my first lazy day off since I arrived, coincidentally the first day that the weather has been pleasant enough to sit outside anytime after 7am or before 7pm. As I enjoy the breeze while bingeing on snacks left over from last week’s student group, I guess I will attempt to rewind to day one.
With Flores it was love at first sight, truly. My short flight from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo offered views of volcanic islands surrounded by perfectly clear turquoise waters, and by the time I landed on a runway practically built on top of the sea, I was all in. Our main motivation for the visit was to stop by neighboring Komodo Island National Park to say hi to the dragons, but one of my best friend’s best friends, Anna, who manages a dive shop in the area insisted that diving was a must, and she couldn’t have been more right.
The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing familiar is taken for granted. -Bill Bryson
i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping green spirits of trees and a blue dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes -e. e. cummings