We had been flying for hours over mystical parts of the map with names that evoked ancient history and modern headlines, romantic destinations and sites of heartbreaking tragedy, ground christened as the newest country on the planet and lands where the first humans opened their eyes.
Benghazi. Alexandria. Cairo. The Pyramids. The Nile. Darfur. South Sudan. Addis Ababa. Mogadishu. Nairobi. Mt. Kilimanjaro. Great Rift Valley. Olduvai Gorge.
I felt humbled. I was journeying to a continent so rich and vast with a handful of Swahili words not even totaling the amount contained in The Lion King, my Lonely Planet book, my camera, the contact information for a few friends in Dar es Salaam, and a desire to have my eyes opened.
As the morning sun peeked over the Indian Ocean to illuminate the eastern coast of Tanzania, I was thankful for the opportunity to be humbled and glad for the upcoming adventure.
View a selection of photos from this trip in the Under African Skies gallery or view all Under African Skies photos on Flickr