Ailsa’s travel theme this week is walls.  Above an Eastern Orthodox monk descends steps beside a wall at the Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kiev, Ukraine.

See more “wall” themes from Ailsa at Where’s my backpack.


IMG_6635_SnapseedThe Japanese Friendship Garden, San-Kei-En, represents a bond of friendship between the peoples of San Diego and Yokohama.  Situated in Balboa Park in San Diego, the garden was named after the San-Kei-En Garden in Yokohama.  Above is a picture of the Zen Garden where seven large rocks imported from Japan serve as meditation points in the raked gravel.


A week ago Kongo asked for help in naming the newest member of the monkey troop.  Many gentle readers provided some outstanding monkey name suggestions and the decision was difficult.  As Kongo scampered about the country this week between San Diego, Washington, Tampa, and Omaha he pondered all the nominations before settling on Kede (kay-day), suggested by Patrick, Kongo’s youngest who is finishing his doctorate in linguistics at MIT and has become somewhat of an authority on Kinande, one of the Bantu languages of Central Africa where there are indeed a lot of monkeys.  (I’m not making this up).  Read on for a short dissertation on monkey words in Kinande and all the suggested names.


Kongo’s Monkey House is getting crowded and there are monkeys everywhere!  This big guy came home from a dinner Thursday evening at the home of Betty and Kim (Betty is Kongo’s travel agent) who found him wandering the aisles at Costco looking for light beer.  The addition brings the total number of primates in Kongo’s troop to ten!

Now the problem here, and this is where Kongo needs some help, is that this big monkey can’t remember his name.  (Perhaps there were too many beers in his rear view mirror) So Kongo is seeking advice from his gentle readers on picking out an appropriate name for this guy.