Countries Visited

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Myanmar Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fasso Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria
Map Legend: 28%, 75 of 263 Territories

Monday, August 29, 2011

Flashback: First Day in Ghana

The blog lives!

Andy and I have finally wrapped up our domestic travels (check out the "Where Have We Been?" column on the right if you'd like to know, uh, where we have been this summer) and made it back to New York...just in time for Hurricane Irene! Luckily, my parents' house was not flooded, which means that the meager remains of our worldly possessions are still intact.

Anyway, as we take breaks from looking for jobs, we hope to bring you a last few blog entries here, reflecting on our round-the-world experience and offering some final advice to those of you out there who are considering doing this one day.

Here's a brief entry to get things (re)started. I wrote this 250-word essay for a funny-travel-story contest sponsored by Budget Travel magazine...but then decided not to submit it, because apparently they take ownership of your writing and photo submission, even if you don't win, which means I would have to pay them if I wanted to publish them later in a book or something. Bah. But now that means you get to read it for free!

First Day in Ghana

Every time we go over a bump, the goats scream.

My husband and I are bouncing down the road in rural Ghana in a crowded minibus. Our hips dig into our neighbors’, our shoulders jostle for space, and everyone’s sweating—especially me and Andy, who failed in our mission to get window seats and are now cut off from even the tiniest breeze.

Bump. Bahhhhh!

Most of the passengers came to the station that afternoon with a few bags, like us, but one brought a dozen goats. With the driver’s help, he strapped several to the luggage rack up top, then started shoving goats inside, under the seats.

Now every time we hit a bump—about every 10 seconds, or just long enough for your brain to start recovering from the noise—the goats get jostled and bleat bloody murder. A year into our round-the-world honeymoon, Andy and I thought that we were used to sharing public transport with livestock (they don’t call them “chicken buses” in Central America for nothing!), but this is taking it to a whole new level.

Hog-tied and stuffed into a dark space, the inside goats protest loudest, but it’s the roof goats who take the ultimate revenge. A man at the end of our row, trying to get more shoulder room, has his torso hanging halfway out the bus when a stream of yellow liquid runs off the roof and hits him on the arm. Suddenly, we’re glad we didn’t get those window seats.