sunburnt in africa

[written 10pm Sunday Mar9]

so i woke up and it turns out my room looks out over the indian ocean. now i’m beginning to understand “sea-cliff”. i didn’t sleep long, maybe 5 hours, woke at 7am, showered again, and found breakfast. lots of fruit, bacon, eggs with very white yolks, corn bread.

i walked around the edge of the cliff, took some pictures of the water, and decided to head off down one of the streets leading away from the hotel, along the coast.

the land along the coast is pretty much scrub land, with houses on the opposite side of the road. seems like this coastal land next to the road is used for dumping various building supplies as well as plactic and glass bottles. in africa it is the custom to burn your garbage in heaps, holes, or concrete containers by the side of the road. on my walks i passed by several smouldering heaps. the ground is made up of gray, sharp igneous rock, full of holes, with striations resembling barnacles, as well as great blooms of cacti, and dry grass. i cut through the brush to the cliff edge and walked along taking pictures back towards the hotel.

africa is hot and by mid day the sun is directly overhead. i went out with catherine again before lunch and really should not have (without suntan lotion, which i did not bring). i’ve burnt my neck and my face and arms pretty badly. there is a very nice pool on the side of the hotel facing the ocean, so we decided to sit out there for lunch. we sat and chatted for a while, trying to stay in the shade.

it seemed both a little extravagant and yet essential that after arduous traveling, after Catherine’s difficult trip to Eritrea, we should be sitting by a pool overlooking an expansive view of the Indian Ocean, sipping Cokes and water and beer, enjoying the steady breeze coming off the sea.

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