Travels with Lisa

Travels with Lisa

adventure awaits

The Latest

Argentina Bound

Argentina Bound

I’m heading to Argentina with Habitat’s Global Village program in July. This is my 11th Habitat trip, but my first time with Habitat in South America. It’s also my first Habitat trip in an urban environment. I’m used to being in small communities, where we have to bring pretty much everything we need, so this will be interesting. Any ideas or recommendations for Buenos Aires or siteseeing after the trip are welcome.

I’m really excited that I’m going with a friend who is also leading a team at the same time, and almost everyone on my team has been on a trip with me before. That means they know what they are getting into and have decided to come back again. We are really excited to meet our families and get to work. If you would like to donate to support our trip, please use the donate button in the sidebar. That goes to Habitat’s secure donate site. Funds are used to support our work, purchase building supplies and pay the masons who supervise us (we aren’t left on our own to build the houses thankfully). Every donation and good wish is deeply appreciated.

Kusama Exhibit

Kusama Exhibit

Sometimes, you get lucky and the big thing is in your own town. Right now the hot ticket is the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum. Through sheer luck I scored tickets for the opening weekend. Despite some logistical hiccups that made for long waits, it was well worth it (especially since the tickets have been even harder to get since the exhibit opened to such rave reviews). It’s here in DC through May and then going on the road. I’d think about joining the museums where it’s headed now to make sure you get the chance to see it.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Eve, but this year the new MGM Casino at the National Harbor had Duran Duran as their special musical guest. Betsy and I decided to make it a fun night. We had dinner at the sports bar restaurant to watch the Clemson game, then spent some money on the slots (I won almost enough to pay for the night). And then we saw the show and counted down to the New Year with the always fabulous Duran Duran. We’re hoping that bodes well for a great year. Betsy and her son are joining the Habitat team in Argentina since they had so much fun in Nicaragua.

Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America

I have volunteered the past few years with Memorial Day Flowers and wanted to do Wreaths Across America this year – placing wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Of course, this year coincided with a major ice storm and a metro meltdown, so we arrived a little late.

Despite the weather over 30,000 volunteers still turned out to place wreaths. Arlington never fails to humble and amaze.

Kenya Safari

Kenya Safari

After our Global Village build was complete, I took a couple of days for siteseeing (since I didn’t know when I would be in Kenya again). I stayed at Ololo Lodge in the national park in Nairobi. Staying in the park was great – early morning and late afternoon game drives with no other cars around were a rare treat. And I was lucky enough to be by myself on all my drives – no other passengers. (I got totally spoiled). And one morning this lovely girl lay down on the road in front us, so we had to just stay where we were and enjoy.

We Have to Do Better

We Have to Do Better

On one of our drives, Sylvester and I came across these two teenagers. We had them all to ourselves in the quiet as they grazed. I kept expecting to be inundated with other sightseers but no one found us. We just sat there with them for about 40 minutes. It was incredibly peaceful but it also made me sad to think that if we don’t do something soon, people won’t have the opportunity for very much longer. And that would be a shame.

As we drove back, we ran into the rangers that are tasked with staying in the park overnight and keeping watch over the rhinos and protecting them from poachers. It is an incredibly dangerous job, and they don’t make nearly enough. But the people who do it think it’s important. And I’m glad they do.

A Table with a View

A Table with a View

I have mentioned that Ololo Lodge is inside Nairobi National Park, and it’s hard to convey how incredible the views are except to share that this was my table for breakfast and lunch. I even had a monkey visitor. (He wanted to see what was in the bottles on the table.) Aside from the fantastic food (much of it grown on site in their own gardens), the view included buffalo, baboons, giraffes, and even a couple of lions in the evening. I wish I could have stayed longer, and it is definitely on my list to return to.

Evening Game Drive

Evening Game Drive

One of the best parts about staying at Ololo Lodge inside Narirobi National Park was being able to stay in the park a little later since we didn’t have to make our way back to the main gate at the end of the day. On our afternoon drive, Sylvester and I had finally given up hope. “No lions today,” he said, turning back toward the lodge. Just as it turned to twilight, we saw two lioness stretching and getting ready for their evening work of hunting. And the zebras knew it too as they headed for the road to get a smoother path to escape.

Bird People

Bird People

Our driver and guide in Kenya, Saidi, is also a bird watcher. We both had our binoculars and he had his guide book. (I didn’t realize before that bringing your own binoculars marks you as a bird person, but now I know). We were driving through Ruma National Park and suddenly Saidi hit the brakes to point out the Crowned Cranes to me. We’d seen a bunch feeding a day earlier, but much further back from the road, and these were much closer. I waited until they were close enough to get them both in the picture together and got this shot. Then he said almost to himself, “Now where did those giraffes go?” That’s when I thought everyone else in the jeep was going to kill us both.

Kenya Hotel

Kenya Hotel

While our build site was quite remote, our hotel was right on Homa Bay which leads into Lake Victoria. The hotel had a large outdoor space and we could walk down to be near the water. There were trees full of weaver birds, a gazebo and an outdoor bar. It definitely seemed like a relic of a by-gone era. It was a great oasis to come back to each night and have lovely outdoor space to relax each evening.