Peter Kowalke

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Going to Africa

By on September 2, 2022

Sometimes I forget who I am.

The pandemic was this strange bizarro world where everything was different. But I’m slowly remembering the life I lived before the pause, and getting back to me. Part of this reboot is resuming travel and my globetrotting ways. So this November, I am heading to East Africa for the first time.

My Plans

I’ll spend a little more than 3 months in Africa before coming to the USA and rebooting that part of my life. This means I’ll be away from Bangkok for a considerable amount of time, but that is just balancing things again; I still have a permanent homebase in Bangkok (and a guest house), and I will be returning to Bangkok once I reestablish travel and my homebase in San Francisco.

Nov 1-15, 2022
Ethiopian culture and history fascinates me deeply, but there’s a civil war going on in Ethiopia right now. So I’ll spend the majority of my time in the capital, Addis Ababa, and possibly explore the historical areas of Lalibela, Gondar and elsewhere if security permits. This will be a first stab at Ethiopia, but not the last.

Nov 15-Jan 15, 2023
My main objective for the trip is understanding East Africa and making it feel like home. So I’ll spend the lion’s share of my time in Kenya (and Africa overall) living and working in Nairobi. This is one of the most developed cities in Africa, with a sizable tech hub they call Silicon Savannah. I’ll also probably go on safari in Masai Mara because you can’t visit Kenya without a little Lion King.

Jan 15-28, 2023
Understanding a country often starts with its cities, so I’ll spend time in the increasingly popular Uganda capital of Kampala. Depending on how my trip goes, I then might do a Dian Fossey at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and visit gorilla tribes up close in their native habitat. Technically Fossey worked in Rwanda. But Uganda is similar, and gorilla trekking in Bwindi is half the price.

Jan 29-Feb 8, 2023
Finally, I’ll spend a relaxing week and a half exploring Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and probably take an excursion to see the chimpanzees at the Nyungwe Forest National Park or head to Akagera National Park. This will be a light-touch exposure to Rwanda while I’m in the neighborhood. Rwanda also will be my safe fallback option if things get rough in Nairobi or elsewhere.

United States
Feb 9, 2023-?
After East Africa, I’ll directly move to my USA trip (more on that later). I’ll start in Washington, DC, head to see family in Cleveland, then go onto San Francisco and other major cities where I need to reestablish.

Have you visited East Africa or know someone who lives there?

I’m currently building the trip and making friends for my arrival. If you know someone I should talk with, or have tips, contact me and let me know. I’d love some introductions or sage advice.

Peter is a relationship coach, writer/producer, and R&D monastic. He splits his time between San Francisco and Asia. Read more about Peter.