August 29, 2018

Comoros Island Tour

A beautiful, sparely populated island w/ minimal tourism. I would have like to visited the other two islands, Mohéli and Anjouan. Too many countries in the world, not enough time. I'm guessing they would be very similar to Grand Comoros.  The main island, Grand Comoros, reminded me a lot of Mozambique Island and Zanzibar.  There's lots of banana and coconut trees; spice and perfume plants like vanilla, cloves, orchids, ylang ylang (80% of the world's supply), etc. There are also baobab trees and mangroves. The island is entirely volcanic with the last eruption in 1977. The volcanic soil limit agriculture production.

Mount Karthala or Karthola (in the back ground) is an active volcano and the highest point of the Comoros at 2,361 m (7,746 ft) above sea level.

Vanilla Plant

ylang ylang

Baobab Tree

Baobab Tree Trunk

August 28, 2018

Golden Tulip Hotel, Comoros

A perfect place to escape to for an basic off-the-grid slightly primitive rest stop after nine months in Africa and a whirlwind trip to the US. I’ll when in the US, I had dinner and/or lunch plans everyday for three weeks followed by five days of reunion/wedding activities in Nairobi.

August 25, 2018

Alfred's and Grace's Wedding

My first Kenyan wedding! Very fun, even though there wasn't any alcohol. :) 

An entire steer roasted.

August 24, 2018

Cornell Grad School Friend's Reunion

Meeting up with Bart (from Belgium, now living in Ethiopia) and Tebogo (from Botswana, also living in Botswana, where I visited him earlier this year), both prior classmates from Cornell, for a reunion weekend the corresponded with Alfred's (also from Cornell) and Grace's Wedding was a lot of fun.  Since I was the only one familiar with Nairobi, and I enjoyed the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center  on my previous visit, I took them there.  

We also visited the National Art Gallery which is largely a result of the effort of  Joseph Murumbi and Nairobi National Museum which contained an impressive collection of early human archeological finds "cradle of mankind" from Kenya.  Lastly, we visited the Florida Night Club, a nightclub I visited twice before when visiting Kenya in 1985 and 1994.  Overall, there was  lots of laughing, reminiscing on old times, catching up on each other's lives, food and beer. 

August 20, 2018

Action Packed 2.5 Weeks back in the USA

8/3 - Drove CT to collect my 9 months of snail mail

8/4 to 8/5 - Drove to Corning NY to have lunch w/ Valarie in Corning, then dinner and overnight with Suzanne and Devon in Ithaca. Sunday a quick visit to Ithaca Farmers’ Market

8/6 Fishing w/ Stanley and Theresa, Watertown, NJ

8/7 Dinner at Ryland Inn w/ Alex, Josie and Joe

8/8 - Philly Lunch w/ Alfred and 2nd Lunch w/ Denita - then Sea Isle, Jersey Shore overnight w/ Mark and Renata

8/9 - CT Jury Duty and summer lawn cleaning house in CT

8/10 to 8/11 - Weekend in Boston with Leigh, Stacey, Eric and Stacy - outdoor fire, beers and hot tub!

8/12 - Dinner w/ T'Shawn - Le Bernadine, NYC

8/13 - NJ State 4-H Dairy Show w/ Gianna- Hunterdon County Fair Grounds, Ringoes, NJ

8/14 - Dinner w/ Joe and Gianna - Sergeantsville Inn, NJ

8/15 - CT House - More Summer Cleaning!

8/16 - Lunch w/ Cousin Deb and Nathanial, then Baltimore and dinner w/ Chris and Donna

8/17 to 8/19 - DC weekend - Chad, Rehan, Ayo, T'Shawn, Watani, Abdi, and Chris.

August 18, 2018

DC Weekend

We also had a evening BBQ at Chad's and Rehan's house with Ayo and T'Shawn and his friends,  but I forgot to take pics!

Pho! I was craving it while traveling. 

Walked by my "old" house at 1455 Swann Street.

Rooftop happy hour with the ladies!

Portrait Gallery

Burning Man Exhibit at the Renwick

August 14, 2018

NJ State 4-H Dairy Show

Gianna's (my niece's) Passion! 

August 13, 2018

Berndarin Restaurant, New York

A huge difference from the food in Africa! The restaurant is ranked 26th in the 2018 world rankings and specializes in seafood. All excellent dishes except the Dover Sole w/ almonds (not for me). The service was very efficient, not very chatty, very “New York”.  If you like this NYC style, you'll love this restaurant. An additional highlight of the meal was the sauces added to the dishes at the table. They were very delicate in flavor.

Hamachi-Osetra Caviar Tartare; Sea Lettuce, Dash Gelée

Seared Langoustine; Foie Gras Crouton, Balsamic-Truffle Vinaigrette

Ultra-Rare Smoked Sea Trout, Pickled Red Onion, Citrus-Miso Emulsion

Poached Halibut, Radish Medley, Daikon-Ginger Dashi

Sautéed Dover Sole, Lemon Potato Mosseline, Shallot Emulsion 

Grilled Walu and Seared Wagyu; Tomato Summer Roll; Spiced Red Wine Sauce 

Smoked Yogurt, Maple-Macerated Blueberries, Grahm Crackers

 Rhubarb Marmalade, Mascarpone Cremeux, Limoncello Sorber