Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm a "Glamper"

We were invited to attend a camping trip with my friend Jennifer*and her family and another American family during the first weekend of Ramazan (6 adults, 9 kids).   It was a good time to get out of the city.

Do you get forecasts like this?

The second family was providing us with transportation, and they could only stay one night, which meant we were only staying one night, which meant I was happy.

I grew up camping with my family, but I have been informed by my husband that I am a "glamper."   (I'm guessing this is like a glamour-camper)

As a child, I thought that since we were in a pop-up and not a nice RV, we were really camping.  And I thought that since we used a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket to go to the bathroom in at night instead of walking to the community showers, that I was a real camper.

I have since seen the errors of my ways.

No showers.

No potties.

Hello, my name is Kathryn, and I am a "glamper."

I was a little nervous when we went to buy camping equipment.

Our friends helped us buy the right blankets for padding to sleep on, the right tent (believe me the "US Army" label is just a brand - see picture below), an ice chest, and stools to sit on.

They told us that they had a grill, a blanket to lay out to eat on, a tarp to make shade, and a shovel to dig holes for going to the potty.


Did I hear you correctly?

I've gone to the bathroom countless times on the side of the road or in the bush in Africa, but I hadn't considered the #2 option.  I even showed you pictures of some of the awful squatty potties I used in Africa to go #2 in.

(Here's a picture of a clean one, but in this same post, I also shared how bats flew out of one while I was using it!!)

But don't remember even having to "dig" my own potty.

I started praying for constipation (and I was secretly glad that Keira is still in diapers).

We left for the mountains at 8am.

I don't think I ever showed you my gaudy curtains for our front sitting room.

Your welcome.

When we drove out, the streets and city were dead.


We arrived.

We set up.

(How many girls does it take to set up a tent?)

I'm just kidding.  The rest of our tents popped up.  They had to actually put theirs together.

These girls did a great job reading Chinenglish instructions, and they produced a fabulous house for themselves.

Also, take note that they are all wearing jeans in very hot weather.  Shepherds bring their goat herds through this camp, so we all had to be dressed appropriately; however, we decided we could splurge and some of us wore short sleeves.


And we had sandwiches for lunch by 11:30.

And then we drove to a cave to explore.

It doesn't look that high, but OH!

And you can see how all the little people (and all of the other big people just flew past me and made it to the top a good 10 minutes before I did.)

Of course, I was stopping along the way so I wouldn't miss all the beautiful nature around me.

It had nothing to do with the lack of oxygen I felt I was getting into my lungs.




It took us awhile to drive to this cave, and only Doug had his passport with him.

We got stopped at a couple of checkpoints and questioned.  We couldn't believe we had all left our paperwork at the campsite (with the one man who stayed behind to protect our food from the goat herds)!

After my breathing had returned to a normal rate, I took this picture as proof that I actually did make it to the top.

 Can you see our van down at the bottom?

Here, I zoomed in.

Then, all I could think about is that I would also have to go down at some point.

 This is actually a famous cave around these parts.  A few books were written about some early man remains that were discovered here, and there is still "police tape" type stuff blocking off some excavation areas.

 All the big kids (and Doug) eventually disappeared when they crawled through a hole to check out another room on the other side of these rocks.

Keira and I were content to hang out near the opening.

Although she was terrified of these grasshoppers.  They are much larger than the ones in the States, and they were EVERYWHERE!  It must have been the perfect weekend for them because they come through like a migration at a certain time every year, and then they disappear again.

This was their time.  They were all over our tent site, our food prep and eating area, near our fire, and ready to pounce in your pants when you squatted to go to the bathroom.  

(You would have to ask Jennifer* about that :)

 This post is getting long, so I'll continue tomorrow.

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