Monday, 30 March 2015

My 100th Blogpost!

I'm so Happy - this is my 100th blogpost!

I never really thought I would reach this point with this blog and I'm so pleased with myself for sticking with it!
Okay firstly, I want to say a big thank you to all my readers and all of you who have shown an interest in my work! It has been a long journey since I started this blog; it really does feel like I started it yesterday; I can literally picture myself writing my first blogpost all those months ago, (okay noted it wasn't the longest blogpost in the world.) I feel very proud of myself, looking at where I started from to the point I've reached in these 100 individual blogposts.

I've learned so much from starting up this blog and of course I have so much more to learn, but I really do feel that it is the beginning of something beautiful and I am so excited to continue this journey with all of you!

Here is to another 100 posts!

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

New Parcel!

A parcel just arrived for me! Could it be an early birthday present? Who knows!

I will have to wait and see what it will be!

(another plus - the box is recyclable!)

Some other great news, this is my 99th blogpost! I cant believe that I've been blogging continuously since May last year!! I'm really proud of my self because keeping up this blog has been a struggle but all this hard work has paid of! 

I'm sure my 100th blogpost will be posted sometime soon, so keep a look out for it!

In the mean time, you can always check out my previously 99 blog posts, starting with Number 1!

Day 10: Hasta La Vista, Mombasa!

This will be my last blog post from Mombasa, well from this trip anyway. i have had a wonderful time here as you must know from reading my blog posts!

This morning started off a little differently, I don't know what happened, I just had to have those extra 10 minutes of sleep, but then remembering it was my last day here I quickly snapped out of the beautiful dream I was in, grabbed my camera and rushed down to the beach but the gate was locked! Where was Nicholas?

When the lights suddenly turned off, I knew he couldn't be far. He strolled over and we quickly took to the beach looking for the right composition. The clouds were morphing into interesting shapes as they moved along the horizon, I finally found the right compositions so I set up and waited. And waited. And waited.

6:30 came and went and there wasn't any sign of the Sun, then after a few minutes, it suddenly broke free from the clouds and stood up tall in the sky and said, 'Here I am!' It shone so bright it illuminated the clouds beautifully.

I varied my composition, experimenting with different shutter speeds and apertures too. I wanted to try a shot we did similar to our Barcelona shot of us writing in the sand, but I think I will keep that little picture a secret for the moment.

After that we headed back and my Dad was sitting on the beach so we all went in and I gave Nicholus a few T-shirts for his family. I've officially finished packing; I just have to somehow fit my tripod and shoes in! That's going to be tricky as I don't have space, but when I change into my coming home clothes there will be more space in my bag for them.

We all went for a walk around 9, my uncle and parents decided to get a massage near the hotel we visited last night. On the way to the massage parlour, I stepped on something and cut my foot open, I looked down and whatever it was, was stuck in my foot! I pulled it out and it was like that scene from that film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where the guy pulls some coral out of his leg and then all this blood pours out! It was bleeding so much I left a trail of blood in the sand as I limped, all the way to the parlour!

The massage parlour was behind some apartment flats, the area around the flats was beautiful, there was so much rich plant life and animal life too, we saw many different birds crossing our path and different lizards too!

But the parlour wasn't there, so we turned back and went around the other way, along the way a dog came up to us and then ran off, he was really cute. There were also hens with their chicks, a rooster clucking away, another dog, it could have been the same one for all we know! And lots and lots of lizards!

We finally got to the parlour and I took a seat, my parents and uncle went in for their massage. It was a really nice building, with a roof on the entrance and then open at the back. A cat had adopted this place and made it his home; how do I know it was a he you ask? Well because below his tail, were two very blue balls! He was making the cutest little meowing sound; a few German people were also getting a massage and had brought some food for him.

As everyone was finishing, an American guy was at the front talking to the ladies about getting his laundry washed for the next day. I started thinking, ‘I love your accent.’ Then I remembered that joke from the beginning of Dumb and Dumber, where Jim Carrey is talking to a foreign student and he’s like, ‘I love your accent, let me guess, New Jersey?’ and the lady replies, ‘Austria!’ I found it hard not to burst out laughing.

On the way back to the beach we took a different path; a flash of blue to my right caught my eye. When I turned I saw the most beautiful bright blue lizard with an orange head, it was nodding (I’m not sure what it means when they nod, but it looked so cool!) I was so annoyed I didn't have my camera with me!

You must be reading this thinking, ‘you missed a lot of moments you wished you’d captured, why didn’t you bring your camera with you wherever you go?’
And yes, truthfully there are moments I’ve missed from the holiday, but I have to think about my safety first, it isn’t safe to show off your gear.

Anyway, we hit the beach and found the tide to be all the way out. We walked up away from the shore, stepping on a few more bits of coral here and there, we also saw little sea crab and tiny fish! It was so hot and needed to cool off but the tide was out so we found a little paddling pool and lay down. It was so shallow, the top of my t-shirt didn't even get wet!

I ran back to the cottages, counting how long it would take me to get dry, I calculated it at about 3-4 minutes, which is really cool, (well hot!) because a tumble dryer takes about an hour to make your clothes dry.
I enjoyed my last madaf of the holiday, and then ran inside to get my camera ready for a family portrait.

The Sun was shining down on us making it a little hard to see, I wanted to get a picture later on but feared we would run out of time later so I took it. I wanted to take the picture with all of us on the beach, with the ocean in the background, it's not the perfect picture in the world but it depicts our holiday! We took another one underneath some shade, I set them up and then asked Nicholus to press the shutter for me, he got a little snap happy but I'm sure there will be a good one in the selection!

After the picture taking, we needed to shower, my uncle went in first while my Dad and I physically jumped in the pool! I don't know why I'd never done this before! I jumped in at least 9 times after that, I had so much fun, then I thought, my girlfriend isn't going to believe that I, Jamil Teja, actually jumped into a swimming pool that wasn't heated. I set up my camera and got Nicholas to press the shutter again, they came out better than I thought they would!

After everyone was showered, ready and packed we said our goodbyes, packed the car and set off on another journey. We had to stop to pick up the cake for my auntie, it's her birthday at the end of March and since we are not here then, we are celebrating it while we are here.

We are sitting in the living room of the flat, watching some DVDs and waiting for my uncle and My Dad to hurry back with the food. Our flight from Mombasa Airport leaves at ten past seven and we need to check in at least 2 hours before it departs but they still not back from picking up food! I am starving and need to eat before we fly, as we won't get much to eat on the airplane!

Links to the rest of the holiday are below!
Day 1 || Day 2 || Day 3 || Day 4 || Day 5 || Day 6 || Day 7 || Day 8 || Day 9 || Day 10

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Dau 9: My last full day in Mombasa!

 I woke up this morning and realized I’ve only got today and tomorrow left in Mombasa, so I want to make these days count! I’ve got to plan my time out and do all the things I’ve been planning to do that I haven’t done!

When I ventured onto the beach with Nicholus today, the clouds were blocking out the Sun and we didn't see the Sun til way after 7! That’s 30 minutes late! I wonder what tomorrow’s Sunrise will bring!

I wanted to try something new, I asked Nicholas to write the word ‘Kenya’ in the sand and experimented with some pictures. As you’ll remember from yesterday’s blog post Day 8, I tried climbing the palm tree but the pictures didn’t come out great.

I wanted to try again with a different palm tree, and see what pictures I could capture. I set up my camera and asked Nicholas to press the shutter. I started climbing but as I got a bit higher up I started slipping! I climbed back down.

The second time was a little bit better, but when I got half way I was starting to get vertigo, I took a few moments to relax and climbed back down. I didn't want fall or jump off because I didn't know what was lying underneath the sand.

After climbing down, Nicholas showed me the proper way to climb the palm tree, next he showed me how to split a coconut. He took a sharp metal post, probably from a fence and bashed the coconut against it, tearing the fibers of the fruit to reach the tasty fruit inside. I wanted to try to, It took him 5 minutes and about 20 minutes for me!

My parents came over and we went for walk down the beach, but when we got to the beach the tide was out! We saw captain Ali, when he came over, My Mum who wanted to try a pedal boat, asked him to sort something out for after my windsurfing lesson.

Before my lesson, we walked out towards the ocean. It started to hit us that this was our last full day in Mombasa. We saw a few crabs and some beautiful shellfish, then out of nowhere we saw a little yellow and black puffer fish; It was really cute, well for a puffer! It inflated and deflated, I started to chase it with my Mum's slippers hoping it would puff up again but it was a really fast swimmer, darting to hide behind my parents before swimming off.

We walked half way out and then all the way in to the shore and by that time the water had come in a bit more, I went up to Killian's office and we brought the windsurf board and sail and shoes down and got started. The wind was a little stronger than yesterday but I feeling prepared and confident that I could do it. I climbed on the board and took off, with the wind in my hair I headed up away from the shore; I must have rode the water for a good 20 minutes before a rogue wave blindsided me and knocked me off!

I hadn’t realized just how far I’d travelled until I tried to stand up in the water and it reached up to my neck! I clambered back onto the board and rode towards the shore, the wind was blowing me back out towards the ocean but luckily over the last few lessons I’ve managed to manipulate the wind into turning the board. I had to battle with the wind but eventually I was able to sail towards the shore.

Upon reaching the shore I had to walk the board all the way back to the starting point as the wind was blowing down the beach and I wanted to go in the opposite direction. I managed to do this a few more times, successfully turning so by the end of the lesson I was feeling really pleased with myself, that feeling was definitely worth all those hours of hard work and it was a great way to finish my series of windsurfing lessons! Maybe next time I will be able to pick it back up!

My parents decided to get the pedal boat half way through my lesson so after I finished with Killian, I climbed aboard and we went off with Moses, oh yeah I forgot to mention that before finishing I was coming in to the shore and my parents pedal boat and I crossed paths and I crashed into the boat! Luckily no one was hurt!

We took the boat down further to the end of the beach, it was really hard work, the seats on the boat were uncomfortable and there wasn't enough legroom but we managed it in the end! We climbed off the boat and kept walking down the beach, as far as we could go! When the tide is out you can walk all the way round to the sea caves, it'll probably take around 2-3 hours, but as the tide was in, that bit was cut off.

We turned back and started to walk back, all of a sudden a wall of hunger hit me! I hadn't eaten all day and had been up since 5:30 and had just done some heavy duty work so I needed food QUICK!! We raced back, it still took us like 45 minutes to walk back to the cottages, on the way we saw a really big puffer fish but it was dead, we decided to give it a quick burial.

Upon arrival at the cottages I was so hungry I had to have a madaf, I quickly slurped up all the water inside and ate the mali, (the creamy flesh on the inside!)
I devoured the samosas, chapattis and papaya, (in that order.) The samosas were really hot, even squirting lemon juice on them didn’t help. I only had one option. A jug of passion fruit juice to extinguish the inferno in my mouth!

After extinguishing the inferno, we all took a little cat nap. When we woke up we took a walk back along the beach and it hit home again that this time tomorrow we would be leaving the beautiful beaches of Mombasa. We have had such a wonderful holiday as we always do when we visit Kenya. I am going to miss the culture, the people but I think I will miss the food and being so close to the beach the most! I hope that we will return very soon!

After returning to the cottages, I started packing my bag, it made me reminisce about that day when we first arrived in Mombasa, 8 days ago. It also made me think about all of the new people I’d met and all of the new experiences I had and all the memories that I could share when I returned.

My uncle returned to the cottages and we headed of to one of the neighboring hotels for dinner, it was pretty late by the time we arrived and they had switched off all of their ovens except for one, the pizza oven! I know what you’re thinking, MIRACLE!

Now I have just finished packing my bag and just getting everything ready for tomorrow, we plan on waking up early tomorrow to utilize the time we have left in Mombasa.

Links to the rest of the holiday are below!
Day 1 || Day 2 || Day 3 || Day 4 || Day 5 || Day 6 || Day 7 || Day 8 || Day 9 || Day 10

Friday, 20 March 2015

Day 8: Wherever you go, always always always bring your sandals!

The clouds were sitting upon the horizon this morning; light was pouring in onto the sea, creating two puddles of light, it was a beautiful sight, combined with the shape of the clouds. I patiently waited for 6:30 - that's when the Sun was supposed to rise; 6:30 past, 6:38, 6:42, but where was the Sun??

The clouds looked as if they were getting ready to part and frame the Sun but instead, they kept rising and rising, hiding the Sun behind them! Then just as the Sun poked it's head over the cloud cover, I get a message in my camera.


I was so annoyed! When I checked this morning before I went out I had 2 bars of battery power left… It's okay, I'll just get up and do it all again tomorrow! Hopefully there will be another beautiful sunrise to capture!

After watching the sun rise above the clouds, I went back to the cottages, I think all of these early mornings finally caught up with me because I fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until right before my Windsurfing lesson. I rushed down to the beach, waved to my mum and aunt who were paddling in the sea and headed off to my lesson.

Upon arriving, Killian was busy, so I started to practice what I'd learned over the past few days; there wasn't a great deal of wind so it was quite easy for the most parts but I'd forgotten to ask for the shoes which grip the board so it was a quite slippery and I fell off a few times. After attempting a few turns I was feeling put out because I was struggling turning in the right direction and was getting swept down the beach by the wind.

When Killian arrived he brought the shoes, and he showed me a few tricks on turning, like placing the sail low near the water to help turn, then after a few more practices, I was successfully turning, moving away from the shore, turning down wind and then again! I felt really pleased with myself, and we ended the lesson on a high!

I was so exhausted from the windsurfing I had to have a madaf, (the coonut straight from the tree with the coconut water in) to replenish my energy! When the food came I devoured the whole plate of samosas and then a quarter of papaya! After my hunger was finally satisfied, we went for a short walk and had some ice cream (in a cone of course) for desert.

Over the past few days I’ve been really inspired to try more natural light portraits and I wanted to take some pictures of my parents just before Sunset I took them for a quick photoshoot. Afterwards, my Dad challenged me to climb the palm tree and see if I could remember how to do it. My friend, Mohammed had taught me how to do it last year and I was eager to try it out again!

It was quite hard to begin with, (it kills your feet!) But after a few attempts I managed to climb an impressive 6-foot! My Dad took some pictures of me but  I had my 50mm lens on my camera so it doesn't look very impressive in the pictures but I will try to take some more tomorrow!

My Dad wanted to walk to the front and take some pictures, I’d forgotten that the ground by the front was covered in weeds and prickly things, so I kept walking barefoot and learned the hard way!

We met another security guard his name is Danson; he guards the front entrance. He showed us the well where the water from the cottages comes from and the water pumps and the borehole, where the seawater comes in for use only in an emergency.

For all of you who are thinking of visiting Kenya, you have to a local dish called Ugali, it’s like rice but more like bread, if you get the chance to have it with an Indian Dal it will be a date to remember for your taste buds!

After eating, I saw Nixon was sat on the swings, I sat down next to him and we spoke for a little bit, he told me he was working on the promotion of their band, they had performed today and secured an event for next Friday which I was pleased to hear.

I am charging my batteries as I write this to make sure they are ready for tomorrow!

Links to the rest of the holiday are below!
Day 1 || Day 2 || Day 3 || Day 4 || Day 5 || Day 6 || Day 7 || Day 8 || Day 9 || Day 10