I can't believe it is December 21st. Time seems to fly even when one day sometimes seems like three - i.e. yesterday. We went for a short hike in the AM, back along a road out of town, up a makeshift trail to the top of a hill where we could look over Kasulu. I once again had to stop myself from taking 100 more landscape shots of the same group of rolling green hills that I see here everyday. It is just really gorgeous. I have obviously been nature-deprived for a long while. After the hike, we all did our own thing - napped, listened to music, headed to the office to check email - or packed, in the case of my co-workers headed off today for two weeks to Burundi/Rwanda. There was so much downtime yesterday, it seemed like it was two days later by the time we ate dinner last night. Even still, I am amazed at how quickly time has passed overall. It will be 2010 next week - crazy.
It will be Christmas in Kasulu this year. Though luckily Kelly will be flying out from Dar to join me, and most of the rest of the international UNHCR staff, for Christmas. It will be an eclectic Christmas for sure, with staff from Iraq, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, and other places around the globe - can't wait for the food either. yum.
If all goes as planned, Kel and I will be heading off to see some chimps in Gombe National Park - where I believe Jane Goodall did most of her research on them back in the day - after Christmas and before New Year's. Though sadly I have heard their numbers have seriously dwindled, we are hoping that we might catch a glimpse of them. The journey should be interesting, as the only way that you can access the park - I believe - is by boat from Lake Tanganyika.
My colleague Lisa and I are still hoping to get on a Burundian convoy tomorrow as well. Will let you know if that pans out...