I went on my first trip to Africa in 2009 to participate in a long distance self-supported bike tour in Mali and came home with two unexpected souvenirs: my front tooth in a small plastic pillbox and a third degree burn on my right calf. Somewhere on the dusty roads outside of Bandiagara, I closed my eyes to feel the rush of wind as I raced downhill and when I looked up I was lying on the pavement staring at my tooth. The bike accident was followed in comic succession by an unfortunate encounter with a motorcycle.
I finished the bike tour in the backseat of a cart that was being pulled by a donkey. A less than graceful finale.
Despite the injuries, West Africa quickly got under my skin. Along with two of my dearest friends, I have biked, hitchhiked, and walked my way around Senegal, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.
In September 2011, I moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to work for a legal aid clinic. My contract ended in April 2012 and I am going to spend the next six months traveling in Eastern and Southern Africa.
I have no idea what the future holds, but I hope to return to Canada with all of my teeth intact.