Well, it is almost Christmas and all of the kids are home for a little vacation from their military lives. It is always fun to have noise in the house. As I strolled thru REI today looking for Christmas gifts, I found Africa to be on my mind. Just about 30 days from now, I will start my first African safari of 2008 as I meet up with Andy Biggs for another safari deep into the northern Serengeti. Following this safari I will have a few days off before I link up with my safari group, starting in early February. On the 6th of February, I will lead 12 lucky folks into many of the special places of Tanzania that I have come to know. I can hardly wait to get the dust of Africa back on my boots. Having acquired a new 500mm lens for this trip, I am facing packing challenges and find myself starting the evaluation of how much risk do I want to take by placing some of my sensitive equipment in checked baggage. In between the two safaris, I intend to explore a few new areas to include in the Feb 2009 trip. I am also looking forward to spending time a Gibbs Farm and taking advantage of their room renovations. I understand that the outside showers are a big hit with recent travelers. Looks like Rick and Judy have done it again.