Congratulations to my wonderful wife on completing the US naturalization process!
While sitting with the 8th grade language arts class in the library at school today, I picked up the National Geographic Expeditions Atlas and happened to flip it open to the photo above, which shows a French expedition crossing the Ruaha River in 1925, not far from where we used to live. This struck me for a few reasons:
To contextualize this photo, the 1924 Citroën Central African Expedition crossed the African continent from north to south as a publicity stunt to demonstrate the robust nature of the automaker's vehicles. In 1924, eight halftracks custom-built on Citroën B2 frames set out southward from Algeria across the Sahara. In Kampala the expedition split into four sub-groups. One carried on to Nairobi and the Kenya coast, while the other three headed south across Lake Victoria into Tanganyika (Tanzania). In Tabora, Tanganyika these three parted ways: one heading east to Dar es Salaam, one south through Iringa to Nyasaland (Malawi) and Mozambique, and one west into Congo, and then south through the Rhodesias. All four groups eventually met up at Cape Town in 1925, making this the first longitudinal motorized transect of Africa.
After being serenaded for the past several nights, I finally managed to get a nice recording of this individual, perched atop an antenna on our apartment building.
The Wushanding Mud Volcanoes are a really cool example of a relatively rare geological phenomenon. We live in Dashe District, just about 10-15 minutes down the road from this park, which is run by the Kaohsiung city government. To get there, you turn left off of Route 22 at the sign for National Kaohsiung Normal University. When you get to the university's gate, however, instead of entering, continue uphill to the left and follow the road as it snakes uphill. A little ways on there is another right-hand turn which is signposted in English, and then you simply follow the road as it climbs up to the top of the hills. There is a recently constructed office there with clean restrooms. This building is where you are required to sign into their register/guestbook. No entrance fee. The volcanos are a very short, flat walk from the parking area/office. We got there around 9:45 AM on a Friday morning and there were a few other visitors, but it was relatively quiet and empty.