14 February 2011

Today's Geography Lesson: Lamu, Kenya

The arctic weather has finally let off a bit and it's been in the balmy 30's F. the last couple of days.  This being Valentines Day, Jane displayed her abiding affection for me by poop scooping the fragment of our backyard that's been packed down enough for Floey to "take care of her business" on.  Ah. love...

We spent part of the afternoon "exploring" the countries on or nearest to the Equator.  This has become a cherished pastime of ours; we both get constant weather updates for Panama on our various smart devices.  I find this rather amusing.  Jane, being a veteran of both the U.S. Navy and world travel, has, whenever I broached the subject, made it clear that she has a decided preference for living in the U.S.  I, on the other hand, want to live somewhere else, having never yet done so.  There's such a lot of world to see, to quote the Henry Mancini tune.  So I was a little--what comes before shocked?--when the love of my life "sailed" past our Panamanian haunt and onto Kenya.  "It's even closer to the Equator than Panama" she stated as if the logic of that made her exploration merely sensible.

"Nairobi," I returned, wanting to feed her newfound curiosity as much as possible, "is apparently quite modern."

"Nairobi is inland" she replied.

"Oh, no.  That will never do." I agreed.

"Mombasa is on the coast. AND just four degrees south."

"So far, so good" thought I.

"But wait, what's this?  Lamu.  It's a city but it's on an island and there are no motorized vehicles allowed."

"What's its lat. and how do people get around?"

"Even better: two degrees south.  Donkeys.  There are two to three thousand working donkeys on the island."

(Pause for further reading.)

"And there's a donkey sanctuary."

"Now, really, how much better can it get than that?"  I quipped, genuinely charmed.

"But it's been predicted that  it will suffer damage in the near future due to lack of or bad planning."

"Then we'd better hurry and visit.  You know my policy on endangered things."

"You're horrible."

"You laughed."

"So, what's changed?  You didn't even want to take Panama seriously and now we're moving to an island city in Kenya where there's a donkey sanctuary?"

"Well, moving to Panama used to seem like a radical thing to do."

"Until we decided to live on a boat for an undetermined number of years."

"Yeah, moving overseas seems pretty tame compared to that.  Really, anything seems pretty tame compared to that."

How about that?  A win-win situation--and I'm just talking about myself.