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Bikes And Bananas: Our Weekend Road Trip In East Africa

It’s funny how the strangeness of a place can slowly become ordinary. Once when we arrived home in Durban, South Africa after 9 months of being away, the smell of that tropically-heated-world hit me like walking into a wall would have. It was a physical smell that I felt just as much as I smelled, but when we were in the midst of living there I barely ever noticed it. That smell was our strange ordinary, but it was extraordinary once I had been away from it.

What will my kids think is extraordinary about Burundi if we ever walk away from it? I don’t know, but I want to take images that help them remember their childhoods here. I think I would want that no matter where we lived. In East Africa, I no longer crane my head at the sight of a goat or a pig or a cow being grazed on our neighborhood verge. It just is. It is our new strange ordinary and I want to document it in case it’s one of the things my kids want to remember in the years to come. Last weekend I challenged myself to taking a photo every 10 minutes during a family road trip to the beach down the Lake Tanganyika coast. It was a great way to document our journey there and create some images that will help our kids remember what their lives in East Africa were like when they were small. Some of these photos were taken out of the car window and others I quickly hopped out of the car for.

  • This little part of town is in our neighborhood, just a five minute walk from our door… brooms and car parts galore. 1 of 25
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  • On our way out of town. 2 of 25
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  • Political colors painted bright. 3 of 25
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  • A roadside hair salon. 4 of 25
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  • Banana trees are everywhere. 5 of 25
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  • The Burundi staples of rice, beans and oil are here. 6 of 25
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  • One of the most decorated hair salons I’ve ever seen. 7 of 25
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  • Cows grazing in the cemetery near Lake Tanganyika. 8 of 25
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  • Roadside shopping. 9 of 25
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  • I love these mountains. 10 of 25
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  • Roadside pitstop. 11 of 25
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  • A goat is being made into brochettes (kebabs). 12 of 25
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  • Reading along the way. 13 of 25
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  • Lakeside cows. 14 of 25
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  • Loading the banana bikes. 15 of 25
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  • Palm oil for sale. 16 of 25
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  • A dugout canoe on the shore. 17 of 25
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  • Fishing. 18 of 25
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  • Town life. 19 of 25
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  • A man harvesting palm seeds to be made into oil. 20 of 25
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  • A palm oil refinery makes for smokey light between the trees. 21 of 25
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  • The magical Blue Bay on Lake Tanganyika. 22 of 25
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  • No hippos today which means we can… 23 of 25
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  • jump off the pier… 24 of 25
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  • and dry off before round 2. 25 of 25
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