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Posts tagged ‘holiday’

laidback holiday

“Here’s a kiss and a hug for you / I love you mommy for all you do / Happy Mother’s Day!” Munchkin sang to D, ignoring S’s softly whispered exhortations to substitute “papa” into the Mother’s Day song he had learned at school. “Happy Mother’s Day, papa, and babushka, and dedushka, and mommy!” he concluded. At least the sentiment was right, and he did tenderly refer to D as “my little fuzzy papa” a little while later.

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the birds of Namibia

After two months of sorting, the final tally is in, and it exceeded D’s hopes and expectations. In addition to all the spectacular animals we saw – cheetahs, lions, a leopard, desert-adapted elephants, and much more – we photographed 170 different bird species in just under two weeks in Namibia. All this without setting foot in the Caprivi Strip – the country’s remotest region, and the one that has the highest concentration of birds.

pearl-spotted owlet, Damaraland

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Cape Town baby moon

The weeks between our Namibian travels with S’s parents and the visit to Kigali of D’s parents passed by in a flash. No sooner had we settled back into our house and our jobs than it was time to snap out of our routine again. With S scheduled to travel to Pretoria for her 20-week antenatal appointment, we took advantage of D’s parents visit to organize a miniature baby-moon trip to South Africa.

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first explorations

Despite last-minute cancellations and unforeseen delays, we still arrived in Namibia a day before S’s parents, who were due to land in Windhoek around noon the following afternoon. We had agreed to rendezvous in the Kalahari Desert for the start of our tour together, and D suggested tacking on a short visit to Daan Viljoen, located less than half an hour outside the capital, as a way to pass the time until their arrival.

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keep calm and travel on

Although there were a few moments when time seemed to slow to a crawl, the first six months of our Kigali tour flew by pretty quickly. We celebrated the midway point of our first year in Rwanda with a two-week trip to Namibia with S’s parents. We had spent a long time poring over the itinerary and were looking forward to sharing Munchkin’s affections – and care – with his grandparents almost as much as nana and zadie were looking forward to seeing their only grandson. But first, we had to reach Windhoek for our rendezvous – and inter-country travel in Africa is never a straightforward proposition.

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pleasant surprises

Despite having a long weekend at our disposal, we did not venture far from the leafy confines of Mount Gahinga lodge, where we spent our New Year’s holiday. Even so, the visit was at once relaxing and quite memorable.

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village new year

Driving north to spend the New Year’s holiday weekend at Mount Gahinga, we had a slightly unsettling – and extremely claustrophobic – experience.

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boisterous holidays

Just north of the Rwanda-Uganda border, a mere couple of hours’ drive from Kigali, lies Lake Bunyoni. One of the continent’s deepest lakes, Bunyoni translates in the local language as “the place of many little birds.” What better place to spend a holiday weekend, we thought.

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annotated progress report

Apart from our recent travelswe’ve hit the road three out of the last four weekends – the Munch has had a quiet couple of weeks at home after finishing the first semester at his new school. Following an end of year parent-teacher conference, S received an electronic progress report on Munchkin’s first semester, which was amusing in its over-the-top accolades, at least a few of which were clearly apocryphal.

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season’s greetings

In contrast to the last three years — when our winter holidays were accompanied by real winter weather — this year’s festivities feel a bit out of place given the warm, equatorial climate in Rwanda. But that’s no reason not to celebrate, especially since Christmas and Hanukkah overlapped this year.

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