A Dash Across Kenya

12 06 2010
I was sitting on a bus heading into downtown Nairobi when we cruised through a zebra crossing, just as a pedestrian ran across. The guy made it safely, but a fellow passenger heard my gasp. “Why didn’t the driver stop?” I asked. “It is better that the bus should kill one person,” the passenger responded, “then if it swerved and killed everyone on the bus.” It is a matter of numbers.

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Ethiopia at 23.6 MPH

11 10 2010
A good transportation system is like make-up on a woman’s face. Well done, it highlights the best features and makes the most of what is available, be it a strong natural brow or local paving materials. It should invite the observer to admire the overall beauty without drawing too much attention to the means through which it was achieved (waxing in the make-up situation, pavement smoothers and an excellent set of shocks in the transportation system’s case).

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Claustrophobia and Agoraphobia in Tanzania

10 14 2010
Tanzania houses some of the greatest splendors of Africa. The country contains Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Serengeti, a premier safari location, Ngorongoro Crater, the second largest caldera in the world, and Zanzibar, an island of breathtaking beaches, fascinating architecture and very good cheeseburgers.

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Safe Safari-ing

10 04 2010
The safari has wider scope than the simple definition, “a journey across a stretch of land, especially in Africa, for the purpose of hunting for observing wild animals” (5). An iconic African activity, safaris are the source of immense revenue, the subject of dozens of movies and books, the name of Kenya’s cell phone provider, and the inspiration for two of the final four clothing collections in Season Three of the fashion reality TV show, "Project Runway".

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Namibian Trails

09 20 2010
Namibia is a dry, dusty, beautifully desolate nation north of South Africa on the Atlantic Coast. The distances from one interesting site to another are large, but happily Adam and I are both passengers rather than drivers. We have joined a bus tour group which will take us overland from Capetown, South Africa to Nairobi, Kenya.

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About the Authors

Bobby Gondola
Debra Bokur

Globe Tripper
At Grand Central Station when she was 9 years old, Debra Bokur decided that a different train from the one her parents were boarding looked as though it might be going someplace more interesting, so she took that one instead. She still loves trains, and has since traveled the world as an award-winning journalist, magazine editor and filmmaker. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Debra contributes regularly to Global Traveler Magazine, and serves as the magazine website’s daily feature writer.

Debra is a contributing author to Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry (The Bench Press, 2001). She holds degrees in both Theater and English Literature, and has been the poetry editor of the nationally acclaimed literary journal Many Mountains Moving since 2002. She has also been the travel editor at national publications including Healing Lifestyles & Spas Magazine, American Cowboy Magazine, and Fit Yoga Magazine, and has been a frequent guest on Wine Country Network’s national radio program discussing the topic of international travel.

Debra once lived a double life training horses professionally in the disciplines of dressage and three-day eventing while serving as an editor and writer at several equestrian-themed publications. Her current favorite places to wander are Iceland, Switzerland, the U.K., Israel and Italy. In her new blog, Globe Tripper, Debra will bring us along on her adventures.

Bobby Gondola
Bobby Gondola

World Wanderings
Bobby Gondola serves as Director of Operations & Development at Year Up, a nationally recognized workforce development and higher education program for urban young adults. He leads both the internal operations and external relations. Previously, he was Director of External Relations at Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in New York City, the Harlem-based violin program made famous by Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart. He also worked as a community development consultant in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa.  

Bobby earned a B.A. in painting and politics from Salve Regina University and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. He also holds an M.P.P. in Political Advocacy and Leadership from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Public Service Fellow. Bobby lives in Providence, Rhode Island and serves on theWaterFire Providence Board, College Leadership Rhode Island Program Committee, and the Providence Public School Board. He has traveled to all continents, except Antarctica and Australia, which he’ll get to. Eventually.

Aaron Shapiro
Aaron Shapiro

My Driver Project
Aaron Shapiro is a 2011 alumnus of University of Maryland, College Park, where he received a B.S. in Global Health and completed a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. After graduating, he joined the Global Health Corps as a program manager for Gardens for Health International in Kigali, Rwanda. Aaron has interned for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security, the Social Justice Coalition in Cape Town, South Africa, and volunteered at St. Lucia Hospice and Orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania. Aaron has also traveled in Congo, Burundi, Uganda, and Zambia. He is currently working in Washington, D.C. and applying to medical school.

Photo of Natalia Jaffee
Natalia Jaffee

Traffic Lights are Optional in Hanoi
Natalia Jaffee is a 10th grade student at the United Nations International School of Hanoi. She grew up in Potomac, MD and attended Cold Spring Elementary School and Cabin John Middle School. While visiting Maryland in the summer of 2011, she interned at ASIRT and published a personal account of the road situations in Vietnam. Natalia enjoys traveling and has traveled throughout East Asia. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing soccer, cooking, and reading.

Photo of Laura Blanar
Laura Blanar

From A to B Safely: A Transportation Travel Blog
Laura Blanar traveled through Asia, Africa and Oceania with her husband, Adam, for 14 months. Prior to her travels, she worked at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a research scientist, and in injury and violence at PAHO/WHO as a contractor. Laura holds a Masters of Health Science from the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a specialization in health systems, and also obtained the B.A. in public health from the Johns Hopkins University. She has been published in several professional journals relating to injury and public health. In September 2011, Laura entered a PhD program at the University of Washington in public health, with a focus on injury. When not traveling, Laura enjoys running, wood carving and reading non-fiction and mystery books.