While I was limping…

I’ll get to the topic in a minute, but first:

  • It’s 87 in Cotonou
  • It’s 57 in Ashburn, VA
  • It’s 37 in Ottawa

All courtesy my desktop widgets.

Now, to talk about my R&R.  When I last left you, I was saying for about the third time I was a day or two from my feet/ankles/legs getting over their injury.  I was wrong.  Between running around every day on tours, limping thereby putting strain on other parts of my locomotion system, and just plain age, it took me until, honestly, getting back to Cotonou before I was really fully recovered.  In fact, just to be careful, I didn’t play in the field in softball this past weekend.

That aside, great R&R.  I saw friends, family and Houston and three Hawaiian islands.  I lost my camera, but not until I was leaving the last day, and had swapped out my data card so I still have (most of) my pictures.  Now, I was waiting to write this until I could aim you at http://rkolker.com/gallery and say “there are all my photos.”  But I’ve run out of time.  My internet connection is just too slow, so some of them are there, and more are coming.  In fact, six more are loading as I type this.  Here are a few to get started.

There is nothing which can ruin Hawaii.  Not sore feet, and not a tour company which neglected to tell me they cater to Chinese tourists, and I was likely to be the only English speaker on any of my tours.  Still, it would have been nice if they’d let me know before I booked the tour.  “Bilingual” doesn’t tell me one American and eight Chinese.  and, as it turns out, there’s no reason to book any Hawaii tours before you get there.  It’s easy to book them once you’re there, or just do the traveling on your own.

Get off Oahu more than I did.  I could easily have spent several days on the big island (more if my foot doesn’t hurt and I’m in the mood to hike) looking at the volcanoes and what they do.  Here’s a lava tube you can walk through, and a look at the caldera.

I’ll talk more Hawaii in a future post, but a few final notes in no particular order about my R&R.

Someone asked me what was best about it.  I said (more or less) just being back in the U.S. takes 10 points off the stress meter.  Not because Benin is so hard to live in.  Just because it’s home.

Brussels Airport has a decent full service supermarket in it, as well as a Starbucks.

If you have to fly to Africa on Brussels Airlines either:

  • Wait to go to the T gates. There’s nothing there, no restaurants, no shopping, no nothing except…
  • If you can swing an upgrade there’s the business class lounge with sleeping booths, showers, Internet, comfy chairs, snacks.  I don’t know if you can pay to just use the lounge, but if it’s at all reasonable, do it.

More later.

2 Comments

Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

2 responses to “While I was limping…

  1. Pat O'Neill

    Where’d you lose the camera? I assume the fleece arrived all right.

    Pat

  2. rkolker

    I’m not sure. I had it when I was driving around Oahu the last day. I may have left it in the car, in which case it may show up since the car rental company has my address.

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