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Exploring Namibia

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 25, 2014, 10:46 AM
This is our (Christina and my) first trip together to Africa! I lived in the Congo for years and have always wanted to go back to Africa, but Christina resisted...having heard all of my scary stories. But that was Zaire under a crumbling dictatorship....we could choose better....So off we go to one of the most remote places in Africa, Namibia!

friends keep watch for lions! by Mikobi

Where? Everyone here in the US asks. N-A-M-I-B-I-A. You know, the Namib Desert? The Skeleton Coast? (crickets....). The southwest coast of Africa...... Oh...OK. As Ewan McGregor in The Long Way Down calls it, "The last mad place on Earth"..... I'm sure he means that in a good way.

Why? Unlike Kenya and South Africa which were all about pricey tours, Namibia fit our style perfectly since it is will suited for do-it-yourself vacationing. And that's what we did! We rented a 4x4 for a few weeks and just headed out on our own self-guided adventure! Here is our approximate  driving route, followed counter-clockwise:

Driving Route

It was a long long way from Seattle to Namibia!  They're not exactly antipodes, but close! Rather than do it all in one slog, we started our Africa journey with an overnight flight to London, where we had a day layover (7 hours only).  Then another overnight down to Johannesburg (5 hour layover) and onto Windhoek  (arriving two days later).  Whew! 

This trip we also brought money and medical supplies for an animal welfare organization run by a friend of mine, Karen Menczer called Animal Kind International.  Check out their work!  (Add them to your donation list!)

Christina had never visited Africa before and was super excited to do so!  I lived and worked in the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) 30 years ago (yikes!) as a Peace Corps volunteer.  I worked initially as a secondary school science teacher in the middle of the jungle in Kasai Occidental, then later at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Bukavu.  I've been wanting to return to Africa ever since, and this, finally was my return! 

Namibia was a photographer's paradise!  We saw, literally, 1000's of animals!  Epic landscapes!  Met friendly people and enjoyed good food and beer.  What's not to like?  Enjoy these sample photos!  -Karl  

Namibia Gallery

  • Listening to: Lana Del Rey
  • Reading: Rilke
  • Watching: Orphan Black
  • Eating: blackberries

Exploring Cambodia

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 15, 2013, 7:15 PM
Guardian Monkey Soldiers at Banteay Srey Temple by Mikobi

It's been ages since I posted!  I spent much of August exploring Malaysia and Cambodia...had a blast!  I took over 400 photos, but thought I would upload some of my favorite part: biking around Angkor Wat Archeological Park.…

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers over 1000 square kilometers with over a hundred temples.  The temples were built from about 800AD to about 1300AD and range from small jewel boxes like Banteay Srey (above) to the magnificent and famous Angkor Wat (below).

Angkor Wat by Mikobi

We just biked on our little one speed bikes with a basket up front....winding through rice paddies, saying hi to kids and farmers along the way.  Stopping for a cool split coconut to drink, or lunch of fish amok. The Khmer people were overwhelmingly friendly and fun!

I cant wait to go back!

You should definitely put Angkor Wat on your places to spend some serious time.  Sooner not later, not "someday"...go soon!


  • Listening to: grimes
  • Reading: Osip Mandelstam
  • Watching: cloud atlas
  • Eating: lychee fruits

on the road...

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 8, 2010, 2:16 PM
Hello Friends!

I haven't posted in quite a while...I've been on the road.  I put a few shots up from a trip to Kuala Lumpur and the Island of Borneo.

I think my favorite moment was an evening swim in the South China Sea...the water was warm and crystal clear...tropical fish all around....the sounds of the rainforest behind us on shore....truly amazing!

   la luce della mia vita VIII by Mikobi  

Such a fantastic trip!  Can't wait to go back.

  • Listening to: hybrid - disappear here
  • Reading: borges
  • Watching: the amazing race
  • Drinking: not so much these days

they're all that's left you

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 19, 2010, 6:45 PM

time it was, and what a time it was, it was
a time of innocence, a time of confidences
long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
preserve your memories, they're all that's left you


I am in an odd place lately...I recently found friends from long ago (high school...over 30 years ago) online...they seem happy, with families, many still live in my hometown, or nearby.

I lead such a different life it seems.  I left New Mexico when I was old enough...lived in Africa for several years, then Boston, then here in Seattle.  Chose not to have kids.  I don't regret my life, but wonder what it would have been like had I stayed.  Had I taken that path. Would I have that contentment I see in their photos?

At the same time, for other reasons, I have started exploring photos from my college years...some are already online like these...

   on the road by Mikobi macro by Mikobi morning light by Mikobi  

...some I am working on now to post later this week.  With my problems with memory, all of these events, friends from long ago, and memories from college have put my thoughts on end.

  • Listening to: max richter
  • Reading: raymond carver - will you please be quiet, please?
  • Watching: the time tunnel
  • Drinking: sometimes

mother's day

Journal Entry: Fri May 7, 2010, 12:05 PM
I have been thinking a lot lately---and especially this Mother’s Day---about my Mom who died five years ago this year. When she died, my father went through her cedar chest and set some items aside for us kids but also he shredded many things. At one point, when he looked away, I rescued a small bundle of envelopes which only this week did I have the courage to look at. In the bundle was a set of old 2¼” and other odd-sized negatives, in very rough shape, that I started scanning in and restoring…and in this set were these photos of my Mom.

   as a child by Mikobi as a teen by Mikobi
   wedding day by Mikobi square dancers by Mikobi
   me and mom by Mikobi

A lifelong smoker, my Mom’s lungs failed her.  In her last week, I sat by her bedside as she was on a respirator, somewhat conscious but unable to breathe on her own.  We watched Animal Planet together. The family decided the respirator should be removed, given her prior wishes not to be on life support.  One evening, alone together, I explained this to her and said she may not be able to breathe on her own, and was this ok?  She nodded yes. On the day her respirator was removed she was sitting up in bed, alert and able to speak, hoarsely. We had a wonderful day together. It was fantastic! Sadly, though, over the next several days her lungs continued to fill with that brownish-black sludge from the smoking they had been draining off every day…and by the end of the week she lost consciousness and suffocated.

I treasure the gift of time we had together.  I’ve been so sad in these days leading up to mother’s day. Finding these negatives of Mom’s early life brings me some peace.  The first is of her as a child. The next as a teenager.  Then her wedding photo with my Dad the day before he went off to war. Then a wonderful photo of Mom and Dad at a square dancing competition in Arizona in 1952 (this negative was in very rough shape and took quite a bit of work to restore). The last is of Mom and myself, at 1 year old.   I think of her at this moment also because she was the only one who encouraged me when I was a child learning photography. She was an artist, and when I was young she would take me out on her painting trips…her with her easel and oils and me with my Kodak Instamatic 50.  I remember one of the first photos I took on a trip near Santa Fe (below) she kept enlarged on the wall where she painted, saying it cheered her up. For that reason, this photo, too, cheers me up.

  • Listening to: deep dish - toronto
  • Reading: raymond carver - where i'm calling from
  • Watching: supernatural
  • Drinking: sometimes

il livello certoso

Journal Entry: Mon May 3, 2010, 10:02 PM
today was my I played hooky from work and explored downtown seattle for the day...ended up again at the fantastically designed (by Rem Koolhaas) seattle library....

these shots are from the chartreuse level...who could resist?


il livello certoso 2 by Mikobi il livello certoso 3 by Mikobi il livello certoso 5 by Mikobi  
   il livello certoso 4 by Mikobi   il livello certoso 1 by Mikobi

  • Listening to: digweed - bedrock 11
  • Reading: ben okri - the famished road
  • Watching: 24
  • Eating: chocolate cake
  • Drinking: amarone - zenato

il livello rosso

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 15, 2010, 7:15 PM
rather than moan about not being somewhere more photogenic, christina and i decided to trek out into our own front yard (or rather, downtown) here in seattle....

had a great day shooting at the seattle public library....spectacularly designed by rem koolhaas....if you are in seattle and enjoy photography, or great architecture or just yourself a favor and explore!

who knew my hometown (for now) could be interesting?  

christina sets up her shot by Mikobi stairs by Mikobi exit from hell by Mikobi christina descencding by Mikobi entering and escaping by Mikobi redroom by Mikobi me at work by Mikobi

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast
  • Listening to: my life with the thrill kill kult
  • Reading: julio cortázar - all fires the fire
  • Watching: magnum p.i.
  • Eating: pumpkin seeds
  • Drinking: a martini

dreaming of italy

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 7, 2010, 10:22 PM
I've been getting the winter-is-dragging-on-much-too-long-in-Seattle-again blahs and have been obsessing over Italy all week. Of all the places I've lived and been, I think Italy is where I would most want to live.

Please show me your own favorite Italy photos from DA!


A journey to Caprera by soulm4n Paradise by Mikobi stepping into a fairytale by Mikobi Piazza d. Popolo-Ascoli Piceno by Mikobi passeggiata a padova by Mikobi happy in burano by Mikobi :thumb63727594: Rome 1 by travisty Papaveri... by mocav Padua 2 by Lefthand666 Tuscany 4 by lonelywolf2

  • Listening to: superunknown - soundgarden
  • Reading: julio cortázar - hopscotch
  • Watching: supernatural; comme d'habitude
  • Eating: chocolate ice cream
  • Drinking: red wine


Journal Entry: Sat Mar 20, 2010, 4:43 PM
i inherited the spirit of the sun
i'll meet you when the day breaks through
it's time to shine
and make all your dreams come true

-hybrid / i choose noise  / dogstar

(can't wait for the warm joy of spring!)

  :thumb157636279: Sunny by poppies-for-you
   hello spring by nieTomek Spring by kiskocka  
   Rosemarie by joni-lynne   glow by imbierius

  • Listening to: deep dish - junk science
  • Reading: jorge luis borges: the book of sand
  • Watching: supernatural; comme d'habitude
  • Eating: pbnj
  • Drinking: red wine

thinking of sun

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 26, 2009, 9:16 PM
...another gray, drizzly day in Seattle...
take me away....warm my skin..........make me whole again


  • Listening to: deep dish - toronto
  • Reading: kundera: the unbearable lightness of being
  • Watching: supernatural
  • Eating: pumpkin pie