Photos, a marathon, a trip to Victoria

I once again find myself horribly behind in blogging!

One of my goals for the summer is to take my camera out to practice taking photos. While it is a used camera I bought from a coworker, it is new to me. I’ve had it sometime. It was actually the camera I took with me to South Africa, but alas, I did not bring the correct lens so was unable to use it. I am enjoying using it.

I have been taking it with me and going on walks. I have been keeping a list of places I want to visit. So far I have been able to go to Kerry Park (I do want to go back in the evening), Volunteer Park, Pioneer Square, and just wandering about here and there on the waterfront, Capitol Hill, I.D. and Central District. You can find the pictures I took in the link below. I will do an Instagram post of some of my favorite murals from my wanderings soon. There have been so many popping up around the city.

 

https://latonjab.shutterfly.com/

Password: italia

In June, I did the Rock and Roll Seattle. It was my sixth half marathon. Next stop is the Seattle Marathon. I am still tracking to do two a year. I wouldn’t mind finding ones that are flatter though. I live in the wrong place to detest hills as much as I do. But it is part of my overall health journey: walking to witness.

 

In May, I went to Victoria for Memorial Day. My friend Alice has moved back to North America, so it was nice to see here. I was able to stay with her, and I plan on returning this summer for another visit. It was nice to have some downtime and catch up with a great friend.

I was able to drive up to the Vancouver area with Kim and Katherine to take the ferry over to Victoria. We left Friday late afternoon to catch the last ferry, but alas, we missed it. We expected the border to be crazy, but also kept running into traffic. We ended up staying the night in Vancouver. I need to go there soon because I forgot what an awesome city it is. It has such a great vibe.

 

You can photos in the same link as the Seattle photos.

I will try to get better at posting! I posted articles from the July issue of the Scroll.

LBC

One of the good things about work travel is spending time with colleagues who have become friends. We have quite the family. It’s always a joy to find some time between lunches, dinners, sessions, receptions, networking, etc. to spend quality time with these amazing people.

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With Louanne and Alix at the GCT booth. I need to plan a trip to Shanghai to visit Alix.

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With my buddy Randy (one of my favorite people – ever) at the Queen Mary. I liked his spirit immediately.

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With Dr. Walter Kemmsies. I was literally in a conversation with a coworker when I saw Walter and dashed off to talk to him. I am not a sport or music groupie. But I would chase after him and another economist, Dr. Nariman Behravesh. Both absolutely brilliant!

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With Kathleen and Jim. After all this time, I learned that Jim is a fellow writer and quite talented.

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With my buddy Randy.

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Taking an afternoon break and stroll with Louanne.

And  of course catching up with friends who live in the area.

With Mary (left) and Samarah (right). I need to plan a trip to Southern Cal just to visit these two ladies who I miss. They are a short two hour flight away.

And of course the pure beauty of the beach and being on the water. I don’t like heat, but I am tired of being cold this winter. It was a joy to feel the sun.

Pictures!

I posted the pictures I was able to recover from my Google account and the ones Rachel took to my Shutterfly account. The password is italia (all lowercase).

https://latonjab.shutterfly.com/

I am glad I took today off.

I worked out with Brenda, and I was pleased to discover I lost the weight I had gained from a summer of overeating (blaming Trump for stress eating – lol).

I got a new phone. Please text me your name and number.

I voted.

I bought groceries.

I ordered pictures.

I checked off my “To do” list.

I read.

I relaxed.

Plugging back into the Matrix tomorrow.

 

The Long Journey Home…There and Back Again

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Yesterday, I slept in. I organized and packed while Rachel was at church.

We had lunch.

My flight from Gaborone to Johannesburg was supposed to leave at 5:00. Then we I checked in, I discovered the time said 5:50. Air Botswana, being Air Botswana was late, so we didn’t leave until 6:30. I should have had three hours to make my connecting flight, but I ended up with an hour and a half to get to the international hall, get my boarding passes (Air Botswana could not print them) and go through security. When I got to my gate, they were well into boarding. I was stressed, but it worked out under the wire.

I thought my flight from Jo-burg to Atlanta was 15 hours, so I was surprised when the captain announced the flight time of 16 hours and 22 minutes. Lawd! We ended up getting in around 30 minutes early, so I had plenty of time to get to my gate for the Seattle leg. Though I will add that TSA still loves to search my hair.

I have under-responded a few times today, which lets me know how tired I am.

On the long flight, I mostly slept. I did watch a few movies and a few episodes of Game of Thrones. On the shorter flight, I watched a movie. Attempted to watch a second but fell asleep.

While waiting for my flight in Atlanta, CNN was playing on the screen. I am so glad I have been gone to miss the circus. I plan on completing my ballot tomorrow. Funny how people on both sides seem to think Armageddon will occur if the “other” candidate wins.

It’s always good to get home. I am looking forward to crawling into my own bed. I am hoping to stay up until 8:00 or 9:00.

I do need to go grocery shopping, do laundry, and buy a new phone. It’s been interesting not having a phone. The world did not fall apart. I think I mentioned I got off of Twitter. I am not planning on adding some of the apps like Facebook on my phone. I can check it at home. I still need Instagram though.

Oh, and I am going to stop playing Words with Friends. I was getting random requests because I was on the leader board. But I notice some of the men want to chat. A while back one of them asked me where I lived and he got crickets. While I was traveling, I changed my FB picture (which links to Word with Friends). This random told me I was “spectacular gorgeous,” which was a fine compliment. Then he told me I had nice legs, and that he hadn’t seen a pair of “pins” like that in a while. Or something like that. He got the crickets too. And I have never had my legs referred to as “pins.” He may have been Scottish cause he called me lass. Basically, I am not trying to get off the grid, but I am trying to limit my time on it.

I have tomorrow off so I can spend a day relaxing and getting my mind right to go to work on Wednesday.

Many thanks to both Gideon and Rachel for opening their homes to me. It was a great vacation!

More Gaborone

Yesterday, I worked more on the short story. I have been working on it while Rachel has been at work. I posted part one yesterday. I am not sure if the rest of the story will be Parts Two and Three or Parts Two A and Two B. I noticed that Janiah’s voice changes quite a bit after the text from Damien. I am not sure how I feel about that, but here’s a link to Part One:

https://latonjab.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/following-janes-advice-part-one/

Last night, Rachel and I went to dinner with her friend George. We did a celebration dinner for her birthday, which was earlier this month.

Today, I braved the heat (and it is hot) to go to a couple of markets. I have a new appreciate for the phrase “Africa hot.” Rachel’s friend Tapiwa (question on spelling) came with us to the second one. After looking around, we sat and listened to live music played by Rachel’s friend Cedric from the other night.

Tonight, we went to hear more live music from her friend Cedric. It was a concert called the Summer of 79 and music was played from the 70s. It was cool and a great way to spend my last night in Botswana.

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The band and singers were all excellent. They played everyone from David Bowie to Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd to Toto. They played “We are Family,” and I immediately flash backed to childhood singing that song with my sisters with towels or shirts on our heads so we could swing hair. Fun times! Was reminded to “Hold the line…love isn’t always on time.”

The Toto song was cool because the original singer for the band was there and sang. He also sang another song that I don’t remember which one.

Perhaps the most special moment was a Prince tribute where they sang Purple Rain. Snaps fingers at memory. The song took me back to the two times I saw Prince. And remembered how it felt like I was intruding on an intimate moment as he made love to the guitar. Tears. I still can’t believe he is gone (shakes fist at 2016).

It was also fun to dance. I really need to go out dancing more at home. Whenever I do go, I am reminded how much fun I have doing it.

Tomorrow, I start the long journey home.

Gaborone Chronicles

I went to bed relatively early last night, but I woke up in the early morning because the fan was beeping because more water was needed. Long story short, I couldn’t get it closed. Rachel showed me the trick when she woke up, and I went back to sleep. I had some very bizarre dreams after that. One of them felt familiar, like I had had it before. I didn’t enjoy it the first time and this time was no better.

I woke up late and got organized. Then I went online. I was trying to go to this webpage that wanted me to sign into my Google account. Long story short, Google had my pictures! The only pictures missing are the ones I had taken the day my phone was stolen. I’m guessing because there was no internet sync. I was so happy.

I have a love hate relationship with technology. This is one of the times I love it. I had some videos clips to when I saw Guns N Roses that I was able to recover as well as some other random photos. Woohoo. And big kiss to the Google developers. I just need to go through and clean out the dud photos and then I will be able to download them into my Shutterfly account. Score! Doing happy dance.

Rachel and I went to hear her friend Cedric play at this restaurant. He played everything from Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit” to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.: He sounded really good. We were joined by Rachel’s friend Oliver as well as his friend Barati.

I should mention in South Africa, I had conversation where people asked me about Trump and the same is true for Botswana. Fellow Americans, he is seen as a menace and that is not a good thing. It doesn’t make America strong and it does not make America “great.” I have joked about joining a priory if Trump is elected. I can spend the rest of my days praying before the apocalypse that I am sure will follow.

We had a really interesting conversation about what a good man. And I think the answer may differ from person to person based on their needs. I know for myself there are things I desire in a life partner, and I am always pleased when I discover people who are cut from that mold. It gives me hope.

When Oliver went off to chat with some friends, Rachel, Barati, and I talked more about relationships. Barati had a great line of “bringing the ovaries back.” We meet a guy, and we click and we are subconsciously beginning to plan the wedding without fully venting the person because our emotions become tangled.

Her uncle had sent her a Facebook meme that talks about how women are conditioned to think of marriage is an achievement but young men are not conditioned the same way. In the push and pressure to get married red flags are ignored.

Rachel was telling me that in Botswana you are not considered a “woman” until you have a child, which is bizarre. So I am 40 something and childless, so I am not a woman? Get the heck out of here.

I have been working on the short story. I want to press send before I leave. The way that it is working out is that it ends on a cliff hanger, but I got inspiration for the next segment this morning and evening.

 

Hello Gaborone, Botswana

I said a very sad goodbye to Cape Town this morning, but I must go back. I have a dinner date with Jasmin next time I am in town. She took me to the airport. I am very touched by all the wonderful people I met, and I am looking forward to paths crossing again whether there, Seattle or somewhere else in the world.

I flew Air Botswana to Gaborone. It was weird because everyone had their own seat. It was a small plane so I am guessing it was for balance. The smaller the plane, the edgier I get. My mind flashed back to a flight I had with my buddy, Randy. We had both transferred at the same airport to fly into Charleston. There were thundershowers, and we had three aborted landing tries. We ended up running low on fuel and the plane had to go to Savannah to refuel before returning to try again. Randy had switched seats with the person who was assigned to sit with me, and I was glad about it since I spent most of the flight clutching him for dear life. I don’t think a stranger would have appreciated it.

On the flight over, I noticed the changing landscape. There was an area that I noticed the clouds in the skies all had what looked like water underneath them. It was a nice mirage.

First of all, it is hot here. I am glad my doctor recommend I bring some Gatorade or Propel packets to mix with water. Electrolytes activate otherwise I will turn into a puddle of chocolate milk. I may have been a little lax in putting sunscreen on in Cape Town. I am showing signs of sun burn on my arms. It’s not too bad, but I will need to lather up for sure. And for some reason the bugs here like my insect repellent. Sigh.

Rachel picked me up, and on the way to her house, I saw a lot of goats. I mean a lot and some cows as well.

Rachel and I picked up her friend Felecia, and we went to a yacht club where Rachel and Felecia both ordered a meal. Unfortunately, the order was never put in and we had waited 45 minutes thinking they were just slow. After going to several stores and restaurants it is very clear that people aren’t in that much of a hurry to be of service. Maybe it’s the heat.

But while there we saw an amazing sunset. The picture below is courtesy of Rachel. A great sunset always reminds me of the lyrics of Pearl Jam’s Black. “I’m spinning how quick the sun can drop away.” The club deck overlooks what they call a dam, but seems more like a reservoir to me. Until last week, it had been quite low, and they are having a drought. But it rained and that did help some.

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The stars are also very amazing here. I really need to invest in a nice telescope. I so miss stargazing.

We were listening to Hello by Adele on the way to the club, and we all agreed that this was the type of song that had you calling ex’s or ex’s calling you. It’s one of those songs that will have you wax nostalgic and yearning if you are not careful.

We also talked about traveling. It just seems like we are more open when we travel. Perhaps because we are not rushing off to do a, b, or c.

As my time in Gaborone starts, I am reminded of the words of Gandalf in The Two Towers. “One stage of your journey is over, another begins.”