Monday, 30 January 2006

We'll Always Have Paris...

M & J: On Saturday morning, John took me on a little adventure for my 33rd birthday...he surprised me with a trip to Paris!

We spent Saturday and Sunday re-visiting the classic sites (never boring) and wandering the fantastic neighbourhoods and streets. We braved the damp cold and walked for hours, working up perpetually thunderous appetites that were satisfied only by consistently stuffing ourselves with every "Viennoiserie" (pastry) in the history of French dessert-making (OK, slight exaggeration, but you get the point; Dalloyau was a classic pastry spot, see pic below). We ended our gastronomic over-indulgence tour on Saturday night with a delicious French dinner -- and exceptionally friendly service I must say -- at Le Pamphlet in the 4eme arrondissement.

Sunday morning we were delighted to find a bustling market in the Latin Quarter (Mouffetard Market). It was a foie-gras feeding fetishist's fantasy (sorry). Aside from that goosey (and uber-pricey) treat, there were cheeses with monster mold colonies that made even a fratboy's fridge look comparatively tame. The boulangeries and patisseries had line-ups out the door -- talk about French commitment to baked excellence! John couldn't resist the urge to look legit (already sporting an unwieldedly Euro-hairdo and dark coat) and decided to purchase a shock-quality baguette to saunter around with. We later enjoyed falafel sandwiches in the Jewish quarter at Marais. Finally, we ended the 48 hour extravaganza with a visit to the Tour Eiffel, lit up in all its glory.

To check out our "best of" pics from Paris and other photo collections, click here.

Tuesday, 24 January 2006

School's Out!!

M: AHHHH! I just finished my last exam yesterday (Monday the 23rd of January 2006) at 8am. So now I am (hopefully!) done my Masters of Arts programme in Conflict and Sustainable Peace (MACSP). Proclamation is apparently not until the 4th of July 2006.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)

M: I present and defend my Master's thesis tomorrow (Friday the 13th of January, 2006 at 12:30pm GMT+1:00) on "Conflict Resolution Techniques in Northern Uganda" in Leuven. Yikes!!!

Thursday, 5 January 2006

Coast of Kenya and the Indian Ocean

M&JK: Following our safari adventure, we decided to spend the remainder of our trip checking out the east coast of Kenya (Mombasa, Malindi, and Watamu).
What we didn't know was that the Masai and Samburu warriors of interior Kenya would be replaced by Prada, Chanel and Gucci warriors of Italy! Little did we know that the Italians have cornered the market. Never could we have imagined that original Prada, Chanel, and Gucci would be so pervasive in East Africa, neither did we know Italian was an official language of Kenya!!

The hotel we stayed at (Aquarius Hotel) included buffet breakfast and dinner. Needless to say, we gorged ourselves silly.
It was located on the Indian Ocean. Every day for several hours, the tide would go out and you could walk all the way to the little islands.

We went on a "tour" which involved dolphin spotting, seeing mangroves, a seafood barbeque of scrumptuous shrimp and lobster, Meda Creek, spotting a baby white shark, and ending the whole day adventure snorkelling in a marine park with little fish and coral abound.

But other than that, we relaxed by the three pools at the hotel and worked on our winter tan.