Monthly Archives: May 2013

Dubai: A Desert City

Ever wondered how a desert city looks like?

Here is a bird’s eye view of the gleaming metropolis of the city of Dubai in one of the driest places on Earth…


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Some Facts about Dubai:

 1. Dubai is not a country.
2. It is a city located at the Emirate (state) of Dubai.
3. It is not part of Saudi Arabia. It is one of the emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the eastern Arabian Peninsula. UAE is a country consisting of seven emirates (states): Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
4. Dubai is not the capital of UAE. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. Dubai is the commercial center of UAE.
5. UAE is located on the Arabian Peninsula, south of the Persian Gulf.
6. Arabian Peninsula is not part of Africa but is located in the continent of Asia.


Categories: Asia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Tags: | 10 Comments

On Understanding the Purpose of Life


As I depart tomorrow for a humanitarian mission in a high risk country, I am leaving you this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.  Her words have inspired and motivated me to take on yet another journey to an unknown dangerous place

…a new beginning…another life changing journey.

Photo taken with People Living with HIV and AIDS in Southern Kalahari District, Botswana.

Categories: Africa, Botswana, Weekly Travel Quotes | Tags: , | 5 Comments

The Almost Perfect Cone Volcano in the World

A tragic day in Albay. The bodies of 5 mountain hikers who died during the Mayon Volcano ash explosion were recovered today.  Four of the casualties are foreigners (3 Germans and 1 Spanish, a resident of Germany) and a local guide.

Yesterday, May 7, 2013, the Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines belched out ashes declared to be as phreatic explosion. The steam-driven explosion spewed a towering cloud of ashes hundreds of meters above its summit.  About 30 hikers were approaching the summit when the disaster happened.

I am currently on my holiday break in the Philippines and was in Albay when the imminent volcano eruption happened.  On that same day, I woke up early and decided to have a walk. Around 6:30 am, I stopped at a rice field with a good view of the volcano.  It was a clear beautiful day.  There were no clouds covering the volcano, no signs of impending disaster.

I was surprised to hear from the news that the Mayon has exploded at 8 am, an hour after I came back from my morning walk.  I immediately went to Legazpi City to have a glimpse of the volcano.

 These are the photos I have taken around 10 am, two hours after the explosion:


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Categories: Asia, Philippines | Tags: , | 11 Comments

Gasm Travels’ Fifth Blogger Award Nomination


I took this photo during our HIV AIDS awareness training given to local coaches and youths in Botswana. Dubbed as the Coaching for Hope, said training integrates football as a tool in disseminating HIV messages. Aside from improving their football skills, local coaches learn also how to deliver HIV awareness and life skills sessions to young people in their communities.



very-inspiring-blogger-awardI would like to thank Joan Frankham for nominating me for    The Very Inspiring  Blogger Award last April 25, 2013.  In her blog, Retirement and Beyond, she narrates how she is spending her free time after retiring last year:  travelling to new places, taking a new hobby like photography, her passion for hill walking and golfing and many more.  Joan and I both love Zimbabwe and South Africa and this is one of the reasons I like visiting her blog.   Check out her adventures, from Africa to Europe – Retirement and Beyond

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Categories: Africa, Botswana, Unexpected Recognitions | Tags: , | 11 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

This week’s Photo Challenge is about changing the perspective of shooting a subject. Instead of taking a photo from the usual angle (front of, to the side or from behind), take a shot from directly above.

As usual, I wanted to feature a different interpretation of the theme. I was searching for photos I took directly from above.  There were many but mostly landscapes shot which I have already featured in my past posts.

I decided to feature macro shots taken directly from above just to give the theme a different perspective.

Here are some macro photos of flowering shrubs taken on top of  Cape Town’s Table Mountain in South Africa:


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Categories: Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

An Early Morning Surprise

I was having coffee in the garden one morning when I saw a unique little creature crawling along an orchid’s stem.
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I went closer.  I was not sure what it was…a caterpillar perhaps?


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Categories: Asia, Philippines | Tags: | 11 Comments

Modern Buddhist Heritage of Sri Lanka’s South



The Weherahena Temple situated close to Matara town in the southern part of Sri Lanka, is famous for its iconic 39 meters high Buddha Statue which sits in the samadhi or squatting position in front of the temple.  A 600-foot tunnel is decorated all over with paintings and murals that describe the life of Buddha.  The temple is a multi-story building with lots of Buddhist statues created in the modern era.  The ancient nature of the place gives a calming and peaceful setting and an amazing view from the top.  The short ride from Galle to the Weherahena Temple passes through a picturesque road to Matara where one can enjoy a long stretch of beach flanked by swaying coconut trees along the way.  

Categories: Asia, Sri Lanka | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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