Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Africa Sketchbook ~ Continued

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

It’s around this time of year every year I grow nostalgic for the perspective-changing trip I took to East and Southern Africa in 1997. To continue with my earlier posts, I opened my dogeared journal today to see where I was and what joy or angst my young self was feeling on that day. It seems like navel-gazing, but I think these experiences shape who we are as people and as makers of things. This is what I found:


I drew this at a large bench at Njaya House backpackers. When I was finished, the Australian across the table slid his journal over my way, asking if I could do a sketch for him. I ended up doing about half a dozen of them. It makes me happy to think that there are all these journals scattered around the world and that these people could be parents now, and tell their kids about their adventures in Africa.

I’m still blown away to think that when I went, I didn’t have an email address, I used film in my camera (and took too few photos), and my family and friends wrote letters to me and sent them to Poste Restante general mailboxes, hoping I’d come across them when I passed through.

Travel seems to have lost some mystique since the interweb. Now we can go on Skype and be shown around Sydney Harbour on someone’s phone! God, I sound old. It’s amazing though.

12 Years Ago Today: The Africa Journal

Friday, January 23rd, 2009


I realised a few days ago, that today is the 12th anniversary of one of the most frightening and thrilling days of my life: the day I flew to Africa.
So here begins my memoir in doodles, of little me at 20, on what turned out to be a very formative experience (to say the least).  I’m going to have fun going through my “Africa Journal”: a dog-eared, tatty bit of rice paper that was my most constant & loyal travel companion. The above is a drawing from that journal, my over-land route scribbled over a National Geographic rip-out, and the last stretch of Sahara as the sun went down on the way into Nairobi.