Family Vacation 2015

Tanzania.  Dar Es Salaam.  Zanzibar.

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Wow, we keep thinking, this is the Africa you see in movies!  Exotic, colorful, there are people swirling everywhere through the dust and bustle of the streets.  Orange, magenta, blue, gold; we are one step closer to India in the way people dress, and another step closer to the Middle East amidst the mosques and women covered from head to toe.  We share a road with tuk-tuks and an occasional donkey cart, and the vendors selling plantains and cassava along the road remind us that this is still Africa.  Not Zambia anymore though!

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There are skyscrapers everywhere and grocery stores selling Haagen Dazs, not to mention seafood and good beer… we could get used to this…

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The best part about Dar Es Salaam is meeting up with Becca and Erik, our old friends from Baku!  Erik brought Oscar Mayer bacon and real tortillas all the way from the U.S. so we could re-create the Breakfast Burrito Brunch we shared so many weekends at the Red Brick/Turkish towers.  Remember these guys?

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Odd as a love affair with Oscar Mayer bacon may sound, it was heaven.  We ex-pats can be so weird, seriously, who needs breakfast burritos in Tanzania?  But we were on VACATION, and as we enter our seventh year living overseas, it’s the small celebrations of home we miss and that remind us of who we are.  Long live the breakfast burrito!  And what would brunch be without a bunch of these?

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The bloody marys were a little off – ingredients are somewhat crucial to this drink and the tomato juice was a little thick, “clotted” as Mike observed – but it was nothing that a carrot, a green bean, and a little extra vodka couldn’t fix.  So here’s to the Bloody Mary, Africa Style.  And here’s to Erik, for hauling 3 cans of Xirdilan beer halfway around the world for our Azerbaijan reunion, Serengeti Style!

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Contrary to how it sounds so far, we actually did not drink the entire time, we’d just had a rough journey getting from Zambia to Tanzania.  Between the shooting of University students in Nairobi and the arrival of Zambia’s President at the Lusaka airport, our flights were cancelled, delayed, and we arrived late by over 6 hours.  It also turns out that Kenya Airlines earns the distinction of Worst Airplane Food On Earth, in that limp-canned-vegatable sort of way, with stringy chunks of steak that literally made Jake choke.  When we finally arrived at the Oasis that was Becca’s House in Dar, it was past 1AM and we needed something good to happen!  Enter our hostess!

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And no, she does not have an American flag in her living room!  We are employees of the USG but we are not crazy.  That photo is from an Embassy house we rented in Zanzibar.  But nonetheless, in the wee hours of the night, she greeted us from her pink-painted house with champagne, hummus, olives, and cold mugs of Kilimanjaro beer.

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And this is only the beginning!  Thank you Becca!

Jake and Eli love you, you know.

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