Sunday, January 31, 2016

Indian Point Loop

Today Emily and I decided to get Leo out for a hike.  We had skied the weekend before with Ian at Meadows ($80) so we didn't want to spend the money again for ski tickets.  Instead we picked a nice 8 mile loop in the Columbia Gorge that we hadn't hiked yet knowing that we might encounter snow but risking it anyway.  Read on...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Phoenix Work Trip

I'm not going to go into too much details about this business trip because it involves clients I should not be talking about in a public blog.  But... I will say that it was an amazing trip.  We got to demo our UAS platforms for clients and got a lot of positive interests from some big industrial companies in the southwest from it.  

Friday, January 15, 2016


Emily and I returned home from Africa to something very unpleasant... Rats.  Yup.  I vaguely remember possibly hearing some noises under us in the crawl space before we left but not having any time to do anything I put it in the back of my head.... Poor choice.  Rats and/or mice had eaten half our box of ramen noodle packages in the garage and had clearly chewed their way into our vent system on our lower floor.  After literally seeing little paws sticking up through the vent grades of our AC system in the floor I decided it was time to call pest control.

Turns out they entered our crawl space through a fist size hole left in one of the vent holes along the side of the house... The same one that the TV installer had ran cables through and not re-sealed... Grrrr.. Better get a good deal on a tv after that...  Well, we ended up catching two rats in traps and turns out the ramen was from mice.  $600 in exterminator costs and $1000 in air duct repair later our house is now sealed up like a fortress and all our air ducts have been replaced and vents cleaned... $800 per rat... Annoyed...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zanzibar to Seattle. 52 Hours of Travel

Our trip home was quite the journey.  Instead of flying directly back to KJO from Zanzibar we instead had to go through the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam where we had a 3 hour layover.  Then we had a 2 hour layover in KJO before departing back through Ethiopia, then through Dublin to Dulles and finally back to Seattle!  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sailing the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar

We were picked up this morning at 8am from the resort with a new driver and after almost a full 2 hours of driving we arrived at a boat launch into Menai Bay Conservation Area just south of Stone Town in the off the small town of Fumba.  Interestingly, our driver had to “pay off” some officials that stopped us along the way (apparently, this corruption is quite common).  This area was known for it’s turquoise waters and abundant marine life. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cheetah's rock, Zanzibar

We were able to get a hold of Eco & Culture late the night before to cancel our visit to Jozani Forest.  This allowed us to sleep in a bit (as much as we could with the heat) and then spend a morning and early afternoon relaxing by the pool.  If you know me, you know this meant about 20 minutes floating in the pool before getting stir crazy so I walked up to the dive center and grabbed a mask, snorkel and boots and headed off into the Indian Ocean for some snorkeling.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sunshine Paradise, Zanzibar

Today was scheduled as a down day for us with no tours planned.  We simply needed to be transported from Stone Town to Sunshine Paradise.  Well, this turned out to be more difficult than we thought it would be.  We were picked up at 9am after a nice breakfast in the Tea Room (always rough climbing those hot stairs to the top).   The hour drive turned out to be a full 2 hours as our driver took us to the wrong hotel.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Spice Tour and Prison Island, Zanzibar

When I say I had rough night I mean it.  I was up 2-3 times to the bathroom not knowing what was wrong with me.  When we eventually all got up to get breakfast I thought I had passed through the worst of it and was able eat a decent amount of food, once again at the Tea Room up a hot flight of stairs.  I had coffee and a little bit of juice as well.  I took some Cipro and headed out with our guide on our scheduled Spice Tour, a 30 minute drive away.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Stone Town Tour, Zanzibar

We weren’t sure who was going to pick us up to drive us to the airport for our flight to Zanzibar but we were delighted to see Shange again!  I really do think he grew to like us a lot, evident by his big hug for me when he saw us.  On the drive to to the airport we finally got to see Kilimanjaro cloud free for the first time from the valley.  It was hard to believe that 6 days earlier we had been at the top!  My chest still remembered though!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lake Manyara National Park

It was really hard to say goodbye to a teary-eyed Emy this morning.  Last night’s beautiful sunset had marked the end of the year as well as her trip.  She had to get back to the states for a school trip to NYC and she was being picked up by Stacy’s husband (co-owner of Duma) to be driven to the airport right after breakfast.  She had put all her imagery and footage on a hard drive that Eric had and I promised to get her edited photos as soon as I could after returning home.