I woke before sunrise on our last day in Hoi An and walked down to the local market. The back of the market ran along the river where the fishing boats docked and dropped off their catch from previous night. Women would unload the seafood, clean it and sell it within minutes. While I couldn’t understand the negotiations with customers, the bartering was animated and terrifically entertaining. The market was crowded and confusing; sections divided by seafood, poultry, vegetables, rice/pasta and animals of all sorts – goats, ducks, pigs, frogs, and many others! The whole market was covered by hundreds of sections of wood, tin, cardboard or anything else to keep the sun and rain out.
I got home last night from an annual ski trip to Jackson, Wyoming with my best pal from college. If you live in southwest Idaho like me and want to drive east to any major town, according to GPS devices, it’s best done by taking US 84 through Idaho Falls – A lifeless stretch of multi-lane highway filled with truck stops, billboards and fast food joints. I much prefer the two-lane roads that meander through the mountains where you can go an hour or more without seeing a building, billboard or even another car. You also get to visit with folks who live in towns of only a few hundred people, where you can pull up to a local diner and get a home cooked meal and a great piece of pie. It may take a little longer but life’s all about the journey, isn’t it?
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
When we visited Africa, I fulfilled a photographer’s dream by spending time in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. We slept in tents guarded by machete wielding Maasai warriors and were treated to the most spectacular display of wildlife and landscapes we’ve ever seen. It was a powerful and very moving experience for all of us.If I never return, I won’t ever forget the stunning primal terrain of Tanzania and Kenya.