Thursday, November 6, 2008

Water Sand and Flip-FLops


I have had a lot of requests for this one, and hope that it will be a pleasant journey today. It is a rather refreshing place to be. So get a big towel and beach umbrella, slip on the flip-flops, shorts and let's go spend the day at the beaches of my childhood and more recent adventures near the water.

My first experience near an ocean was in Long Beach, California. We had gone to this very pleasant place to visit my Aunt Sonie and Uncle Chester. You can read about my famous auntie the China Painter on my weekly article Differences Encouraged at www.takerootandwrite.com One day they took us to the beach. The seals were sunning themselves on the rocks in the harbor and it was really fun to see the huge naval ships. I had never been that close to any of this before. My eldest brother had a very strange sense of humor. While my other brother and I walked and played in the surf, my eldest brother yelled that he had lost his pen from his pocket. Like a kid had no common sense to say "so what, do you think we can find it?" We started to up and down the surf looking for his pen. Then I turned around to see him laughing hilariously at our frantic efforts. We were absolutely soaked from head to toe. All-in-all, it was a fun time. I still remember it with fondness, now having lost both of them. It was about the only time that the three of us had a time of lightness and laughter together. Of course, we were also on our way to have dinner, and that was not fun in dripping wet clothes, even if it was an outside restaurant!

We lived near a large lake and as a teenager one particular cousin and I loved to race cars on the beach and on the straight roads leading to the lake. In that era, it was not fashionable for girls to have their heads under the hood of a car, let alone race them. But then, perhaps I was a "maverick" before it became popular. In the winter, when I was younger my dad would take me down to the lake and sit on the beach building a bonfire while I went ice-skating. We were both freezing, but it didn't matter--we were outside enjoying life. My love of speed let me daydream about being in the olympics as a speed skater, my mom and dad desired me to be a lady and do figure 8s and skate to beautiful music. We couldn't come to a compromise, so I hung up the skates.

People have invited me to come visit the islands in the Caribbean, which I would love to do. But the closest I have gotten is spending hot sunny days on Manhattan Beach in New York City. Now that's a place for awesome crabs and lobster, any shellfish, and big tubs of butter. Sitting outside watching passenger ships out on the horizon moving towards some exotic place. Or cross-Atlantic voyages. That is something you will not ever hear of me doing. The thought of getting on a cruise ship and going out onto the ocean is not even a blip on the travel map. Any of you ever feel that way? Or have you had great trips?

Anyhoo, the sand is hot, the water refreshing and in spring and fall wonderful to experience. Coney Island is around the corner from the beach, but that's another story. Oh, I wish I was closer, my flip-flops, paper and pen would be sitting right on the beach soaking it all in...ahhhhh

An interesting experience on a beach actually happened in Kenya, East Africa. Lake Victoria has made international headlines since it has been drying up and the "weeds" that have taken over. Introduction of exotic fish, over fishing, and pollution have all helped to deplete oxygen in the lake, causing a disaster to certain areas of the lake. The particular beach we started at was in Kissumu. As we walked down a main street towards the lake, on the left was blue water and very inviting; in front was a green carpet of weeds.

Sitting on a hill which was once a boat ramp you looked down at huts and people that had made their homes and businesses on the lake bed. We prayed for God to change the texture of the lake to its original status. When I told that to a couple of the minsters from the area they were very mad. I asked them why they would not want the water to be returned and the fish healthy again? The local people had learned to use the weeds to make purses and sell them. It was a much better industry, they thought, than fishing.

Going to the other side of Kissumu the beaches and water were delightful and worth the trip! Three countries use the lake: Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. The water draines eventually into the Nile River of Egypt. Talipia and Nile Perch keep the fishermen busy. But rain is so badly needed. If you make it to east Africa, you must get to Mombasa and the beautiful resorts on the white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean. I didn't make it there because of the riots but during peaceful times--cheap air fares, tourist packages that are out of site easy! Tell them I sent you.

There are a lot of other beaches to travel, but maybe this has got you wanting to explore some beaches close to home. There are all kinds of places to explore close to home. I have lived near caves, beaches, mountains, and the hot desert. Hey maybe tomorrow we'll explore the "hot" spots. Below are some tourist links to Kenya. Thanks for visiting with me and check out what's hot tomorrow.

Links to Lake Victoria
http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/afr/afr-05.html
http://gorp.away.com/gorp/location/africa/kenya/ke_lkvic.htm



1 comment:

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