The Ukimwi Road

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Travel writer par excellence Dervla Murphy’s The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe chronicles her incredibly journey across Africa on her bicycle in 1992. During this time, AIDS was sweeping through Africa and as Murphy traveled, she learned how AIDS impacted the people of each country. Murphy talks with healthcare professionals, missionaries, corrupt border officials, health educators, prostitutes, feminists,  truck drivers, and more.

Her plan, Murphy insists, was to have a pleasant 3,000 mile ride through Africa. Instead her ride is an intense education into the AIDS epidemic in which she seeks answers to what caused Africa’s epidemic and how can it be stopped in a place where so many men won’t use condoms or stick with one partner. One of Murphy’s strengths is that she judges herself as much as anyone else. She seeks to understand the people of Africa and critiques the role of foreigners who’ve colonized and now offer aid in forms that usually fail.

Murphy’s witty and perspicacious. She’s a keen observer and thorough researcher, who made me feel like I was right there with her listening to stories around a common dinner table as she also made me grateful that bedbugs or dirt roads on a rainy day were affecting me.

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Tour: Amazon Fulfillment Center

I almost forgot I signed up, but gladly I did and I went to the free tour of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In about an hour, I was part of a small group (since several people didn’t show up) who had a fun tour of the center of this high tech center which uses people, robots, high tech scanners that read all the codes to quickly move goods from trucks to sorting to packaging and on to the trucks that get your goodies to your home.

Our guide was informative and amusing, the experience excellently planned. First we got an introduction in a classroom and picked up our earphones. The facility is rather noisy with all these goods and boxes whirling around, but with the earphones we could hear the guide. The Amazon “ambassador” had a microphone so we could ask questions the the guide could hear, repeat and answer.

It’s an amazing place and a good tour for all ages. Click here to register for a free tour.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: In or On the Water

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Day trip in Sumatra, Indonesia

Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos with a cute factor. It’s open to personal interpretation so I expect a lot of variety. For more black and white photos from this week click here.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Like a Face

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Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos of images that resemble faces. It was hard for me, but I figure that this sort of fits.

For more black and white photos, click here.

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