My most memorable moments from 2008 -- From famine in Africa to watching my brother win a medal at the Olympics

It has been a fantastic year. Four continents, multiple countries,
many stories, both tears and laughter and everything in between. I'll
just touch upon a few of my most memorable moments from the year, the
bulk of which I spent in East Africa and traveling around the region.

Near Ruhengeri, Rwanda

One of my favorite trips was spending some time with my dear friend
Colleen - who I met as a journalism student years ago at Carleton University - in a
tiny village in rural Rwanda, made up of mostly former
poachers and pygmies. Colleen and I “danced” for the people in the
village, upon
request. We’re still recovering. Photos exist but they are not going up
here to be preserved in eternity.The men tried to teach me to shoot an
arrow, but I fear I was a poor student. The motivation was there, but
shooting arrows is a whole lot trickier than it looks. Grinding flour?
Same thing. Let's just say, be glad you don't have to depend on me to
grind your flour to survive. Things would not be good.

It was an incredible visit, filled
with many a laugh, and a trip I’ll remember forever.

Outside Goma, Eastern DRC - Unhappy on a motorcycle, but thanks to “Max” for lending me his helmet.

This trip was a bit of a disaster. I’ve had several successful trips
to the eastern region of the Congo. This, alas, was not one of them. I
got in a motorcycle accident, dislocated my shoulder and tore up my
leg. Upon arriving at a “hotel” I almost wept with joy when they said
they had hot water. But it turned out there was no water and I spent the night,
caked in dried blood and dirt with a dozen men banging on my door
yelling. All night.

 

My back porch in Ntinda, Uganda - Monkey, the cat, taking a snooze on her favorite perch.

I adopted a slightly feral, almost panther-sized cat named Monkey.
Monkey had a long history in Kampala of being passed along by
journalists (AFP, AP, BBC, Reuters) over the years as people moved away
but when my roomate and I got her, she certainly changed our lives. I'm
not a cat person. I'm trying to overcome this. Monkey also happened to
be one of the worst cats in the world. This is partially what appealed
to me.

Read more here.

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