Archive for the ‘Where in the World is Jamala?’ Category

In the summer of 2009 I traveled to the Greek Islands with a large group of friends. It’s amazing how organized a group of MBAs can get 🙂 We began our journey in Athens under the cover of the amazing Acropolis. It never fails to amaze me that structures are still standing from centuries ago. I always find myself wondering about the people who built them: what were they like, what were their dreams, and did they think they were building something that people would travel thousands of miles to see?

Sometimes in the midst of our crazy modern lives we forget that the things we do may indeed just be what becomes a lasting impact on history. I’m sure the builders of the many ruins didn’t think they were doing anything spectacular they were just doing their jobs. Gives you something to think about the next time you wonder about your ability to make a difference.

 This was my second trip to Greece, but unlike my last visit this time I made it to a place I have been dreaming of going for quite some time…Santorin! It was as lovely and beautiful as I had imagined. I found that even I could take postcard worthy pictures 🙂 Our island tour began with a bang…of sorts…we rented matching tiny yellow cars for a wine tasting extravaganza. Let’s just say that only one car made it through the day in one piece and some of us got to experience the joys of a Greek police station! Yes one of the lucky ones was me. We were involved in a hit and run accident. And yours truly got pictures of the runaways. We were taken to the station to give our statements, trying our best to wait patiently while they translated from English to Greek while ignoring the cat calls from those behind the jail cells. Something we found interesting is that the prisoners get their food from friends and relatives that bring it by, very different from our US system. Finally we were released thanks to one of our classmates coming to our rescue…never underestimate the power of a woman’s smile!

With its black sand beaches and hidden treasures, Santorin is truly a place I could keep going back to time and time again (minus the police encounters). One of my favorite memories is of finding this small church; I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I felt upon spotting it in the distance. It’s located on the back side of a mountain that juts out from the island. It can only be seen from the sea….after 3 attempts we finally located it. Honestly no easy feat, it involved everything from climbing rocks to following crooked dirt paths to undetermined locations. Definitely some prayer involved along the way, for those faithful followers I’m sure they are ready for church upon arrival. With its white walls and blue dome it was one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve seen. Our excitement gave us the courage to climb up to the very top of the mountain, scaling what believe were once stairs. I’ve had very few occasions in my life where I found myself in a place where it felt like it was just me and God, yet that’s how I felt that day.

 

And there is it…the whole point of roaming round the world in a nutshell…seeing the wonders of the world that God has made through time. In journeying outside of our local comfort zones we open ourselves and our minds to so much more than we may even realize.

For some the idea of a family vacation may be similar to a horror movie, with chainsaws and grisly times, but in our family we usually have a ball and more people than we can handle! I was fortunate to travel on such a trip with my family and friends to the beautiful islands of St. Thomas and St. John. Overall we had a wonderful time, warm sandy beaches and even free rum 🙂 There were 8 of us, a girls trip, spanning 6 states across the U.S, we all came together in the Cyril King Airport.

Travel tip #1 we found on this trip was to remember the name of the driver of your cab from the airport. When one of us forgot their iPhone in the van by some stroke of luck from the backseat I recalled his name card on the dashboard and we were able to track down the driver, and even get the phone back! See there are some honest people still around!

While I have been to the Caribbean before every time I go I am amazed at the clearness of the water. Growing up on the East coast, most of my experience has been with the cold Atlantic waters, where you can’t see a thing past your ankles. Not so in the Caribbean, you can actually see your toes!

Going in the off season has it perks as well. The beaches were certainly less crowded; we practically had Trunk Bay to ourselves! Trunk Bay was by far my favorite beach that we visited; they have a self-guided snorkel path that you can follow at your own leisure. (for those of you like me that are not comfortable swimming, not to worry there is a lifeguard in a canoe in the area)

A couple of other things to note for those thinking of traveling there: (1) bring your bug repellent, I was eaten alive on those nights that I forgot to put on my Skin-so-soft! (2) there are no economies of scale when it comes to transportation, the cabs charge by the person not the distance! We found a really cool driver to take us around, which was pretty neat 3) don’t forget about the simple pleasures, there was something about the joy of a child chasing a beach ball that really summed it all up.

Singapore

Posted: May 10, 2012 by baki3626 in Where in the World is Jamala?
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Let’s see..welcome to Where in the World is Jamala! Hopefully, you’ll enjoy traveling the world with me and don’t ask to revoke my passport! For my inaugural post I’ve decided to start off with one my most recent trips around the world to Singapore. While last year I had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong, this year I made it all the way over to Singapore, where I then traveled to Indonesia, before heading up to mainland China, and finally ending up back in Hong Kong.

Traveling to Singapore was by far the longest flight of my life! There is a whole day of the year and my life that I never got to experience. I left on the 7th and arrived on the 9th, what happened to the 8th is a mystery to me 🙂 One thing that I learned on this flight was that if you sit in the window seat say no to the drinks because you will only get a bathroom break when the person next to you is either A) not sleeping B) not eating C) doesn’t have a dozen things out of their carry on, or D) have gone to the bathroom themselves. In the case of D, you better hope you’re not sitting next to a camel-like individual or you’re doomed!

My first impression was that it looked just like a major U.S. city. Think New York, but with a lot less trash! There are skyscrapers lined up along the waterfront, with Central Park thrown in weird places. I found parks on the side and tops of buildings, who are the engineers over there?! The most impressive of which was the Marina Bay Sands hotel! Ironically about a year ago my mom had sent me a photo of a hotel in Singapore with a park on top of it. I would have never thought at the time that I would get a chance to see it up close and personal. It’s spectacular! How on earth do you get palm trees to grow in the air? Not only is there a park at the top, but there is an infinity pool. It really looks like you’re dropping off the edge of the sky! To top it off the whole top is in the shape of a boat, try to imagine a cruise boat on top of a 50 storied hotel, and you can get a sense for the mind boggleness of it all. Between the floating parks and the awesome food courts it’s a tough call for which I enjoyed more. Believe it or not but they have some awesome food courts. The one closest to my hotel included every kind of food you could imagine from dumplings to Turkish kabobs, everything from picking out your own fresh veggies to selecting your favorite fish.

While it may remind me of New York it’ surprising how small the city really is…I discovered this when I took the opportunity one night to go to the Night Safari at theSingapore Zoo. Turns out it’s right on the border, only took 30 mins by cab. It’s the only nocturnal zoo in the world, doesn’t even open until 7:30pm. Apparently many animals that are typically found in a zoo would naturally be up at night. This zoo gives you a chance to see animals like lions, tigers, and…giraffes in their natural state. Imagine riding along through a forest in an open-sided tram and 3 feet to the left is a giant crane walking next to you. Or a hippo hanging out ten feet to your right. That’s how close we got to these creatures that are most often viewed from a distance. My first thought? This would never work in the US! One can only imagine the number of lawsuits a place like this would have on its hands! One bad stretch of the hand towards that crane and you may find yourself left with “fingers numbering nine”. Besides, would you really want to be left alone in the dark with this snake wrapped around you? Happened in Singapore!

***ALL PHOTOS WERE TAKEN BY JAMALA***

Earthlings and literate extraterrestrials, welcome to a very special Thursday on Man-Made Murphy! A few weeks ago, my childhood friend Ferne Emery came into the fold and brought some much needed class to the blog. Well apparently, lightning is about to strike twice! But this time….it’s personal.

Dear peoples, please,pretty please, please with bacon and chocolate syrup ontop join me in welcoming someone that needs absolutely no introduction! Introducing Jamala K. Massenburg! Yes, thee Jamala K. Massenburg!

Jamala and I go way back. Like maternity ward back. She is my older/vastly superior cousin. If I could’ve been born a smarter, more talented and much shorter female with a borderline European fashion sense, I’d probably been born as her. She accomplished more before puberty than I have since! But amongst her cavalcade of degrees, advanced degrees, accolades and shrines erected in her honor, she has remained as humble as she is beautiful. And that’s saying quite a bit.

Jamala has decided to grace our itty-bitty blog with stories of her world travels and oversea adventures. With a passport enamored in stamps, there’s not a continent been built this girl has not yet been to. Whether by car, plane, boat, pack mule or rocket pack, she’ll find a way to get to her next destination. Or write a blog while trying!!

So please strap on your snow-shoes, put on your smallest bikini and stock your cameras with extra film and come back next Thursday to circumnavigate the globe with the pinnacle of my family’s gene pool! Don’t worry, I promise you won’t even be able to tell we’re related. I can’t!!