Akaka Falls

See the World for Free

The idea here is to TRAVEL THE WORLD regardless of time or budget. It dawned on me one day that even if I had unlimited time and money (which I definitley do not), I still couldn't see everything in the world that I'd like to see--I'm simply not going to live long enough to do it.

But I had a bit of brain wave and soon after the travel envelope was born. This is an actual physical envelope. I typed the name of every country in the world, plus every state in the US on little slips of paper which I then put into the envelope. In the beginning we (myself, my husband, Dave and daugher Catherine) would draw out a slip at random at the beginning of the month and that's where we would go---at least in our minds. We grab some books about the country from the library and put them in our bathroom to look at. We also check out some videos about the country if any. We check it out on googleearth, listen to the music, try the food, maybe even attempt to learn a dance or celebrate a festival.

After the first two years we discovered that even virtual traveling can be tiring, so we travel now whenever I happen to be in the mood.

It's great fun. I especially love it when people I meet have been to the place I'm "visiting" in real life, or get excited and have some virtual adventures of their own. I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will feel welcome to come with us on the trip!

You have a standing reservation to see it all!

Jun 1, 2012


Somalia seems to have seen better days in ancient times. Wikipedia tells me it is probably the location of the land of Punt. A semi-mythical place abounding in gold, aromatic resins, African blackwood, ebony, ivory, slaves and wild animals. The Egyptians thought so highly of Punt that the great queen Hatshepsut even made a voyage there. Somalia has the longest coast line of any African country, so it probably DID have a great many things to attract the Egyptians.


Off all the atrocities in the world FGM (Female Genital Mutilation, or female circumcision) is one of the worst. Unfortunatley, it's practised all over the world, not just Africa. But it was one of the first things that popped up when I did a search for Somalia so I'll put it here. I'll never forget an article I read by an African woman who had had it done at the age of 5 by a local priest. Fron that time forward she couldn't empty her bladder normally, and after puberty her cycles were agonizing. She eventually escaped to Paris and had corrective surgery. She said the relief the first time she went to the bathroom was enormous but she'll never be able to experience sexual satisfaction. This tradition runs thousands of years deep, but work is being done to educate women and retrain the men who perform FGM's for other professions. go to stop-fgm-now.com to make a donation.

May 30, 2012

Off with a bang

Well, I had hoped to start my adventure in Somalia by looking for something non-war related. Nope. Just yesterday (May 29, 2012) the president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, survived an assassination attempt by Islamist Militants. It might take some real work to find happy things about Somalia.