Sunday, July 3, 2011

Canada Day & the Maple Leaf Flies Abroad

I started a series on my Kenyan travels several months ago but for various reasons have taken a hiatus.  One of the reasons included having to continue the recovery process of most of the photos I took on my trip.  Recently, I made some time to complete the photo recovery process for the trip I took to Kenya in November/December 2010.  I hope now to re-start my travel series on Kenya.

I thought this particular post was fitting given that it relates to Canada's flag abroad and the fact that Canada just celebrated it's birthday on Canada Day, July 1st. I hope you enjoy it.

One of the delights of travelling in Kenya is crossing the equatorial line.

The latitude of the Equator is 0° (zero degrees). The length of Earth's equator is about 40,030.2 kilometres (24,873.6 mi). To calculate the actual length of the Equator would require taking into consideration that the Equator goes up and down various mountains and hills in South America, in Africa, and on various islands. The Equator is one of the five notable circles of latitude on Earth, with the others being the two Polar Circles and the two Tropical Circles: the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The Equator is the only line of latitude which is also a great circle. The imaginary circle obtained when the Earth's equator is projected onto the sky is called the celestial equator.
The sun passes directly over the Equator twice each year, at the March and September equinoxes. At the Equator, the rays of the sun are perpendicular to the surface of the earth on these dates.
Places on the Equator experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world. They are also the only places in the world where the sun can go directly from the zenith to the nadir and from the nadir to the zenith.  Such places also have a theoretical constant 12 hours of day and night throughout the year, though in practice there are variations of a few minutes due to the effects of atmospheric refraction and because sunrise and sunset are measured from the time that the edge of the Sun's disk is on the horizon, rather than the center of the disk.  (source: Wikepedia)

A new tourist centre has opened up at the Equator. Jointly sponsored and funded by the Government of Kenya and the European Union it is a wonderful addition to Kenya's growing efforts in supporting tourism in the country.

It is a beautiful site with many flags of various countries flying there in the stiff wind.  There is a stylized metal globe standing next to the flags.

I found the Canadian flag was hanging upside down and I let the tourist official know that.  He was good enough to promptly correct the problem and we shared a laugh about it.

Here is a scene of the premises and the buildings on the site.

You can see our van as we were the only tourists stopped there at that moment. The Kenyan flag is waving in the background.

The grounds are quite lovely considering that this is a dry area. These fields lay just beyond the tourist centre.
On the other side of the highway you will see the original site marking the Equator. This is where I stopped several years ago to take photos on my first trip across the Equatorial line.

Here is the tourist official re-hoisting the flag.

While I visited the site the young man called his superior on the cell phone and asked me to speak with him which I promptly did. The boss was very engaging and had no problem speaking to a complete stranger. He asked me if I would be so good as to find a new Canadian flag for their centre as the one they had was getting a little worn. I promised to see what I could do and I haven't forgotten my promise. I need to get on this and see if one of the government offices could send our flag abroad.

Here is a map I found in the centre. I wanted to study it as we were on our way to Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria.

July 1st, is the national holiday of Canada on which we celebrate the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 anniversary of the enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867).  This year the celebrations were extra special in our nation's capital city, Ottawa.  The reason is  because the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are here on their first royal tour together. I couldn't be there because Ottawa is a 5 hour flight to the east, but I did manage to catch the festivities on television. I also managed to enjoy some of the fireworks in our city. This latter part was a huge and pleasant surprise for me.

Canada Day 2011, fireworks from my patio. I wasn't aware that I could even see the fireworks from my home until after they began. It's too bad I didn't have a proper video camera for taking night shots.

To read earlier installments of my Kenyan travel series you can go to this post where you will find links to most of my Kenyan travel posts. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this series or any of my other posts. It's great to hear from readers!

Click here to see more beautiful scenery from around the world.


Diane said...

Great photos.  The only time I have been to the equator on foot was when we drove overland down through the Congo, that particular day we we were in the mountains and it was freezing cold! Diane

VaishVijay Thoguluva said...

Such a lot of information on equator, that too I haven't heard of celestial equator! And that metal globe reminds me of the one that I saw in Greenwich Meridian point.

TQ for visiting n commenting on my blogpost Melaka River by Night. I've used Canon 550D to shoot those pix.

VaishVijay Thoguluva said...

Such a lot of info on equatorial, that too am learning abt the celestial equatorial for the 1st time. And that metal globe reminds me of the one that I saw @ Greenwich Meridian point, UK!.
TQ for visiting n commenting on my blog post Melaka River by Night. I've used Canon 550D to shoot the pix in that post. 

Regina said...

Interesting facts here (glad the flag was straightened- lol)..anyway, this is good as Washington state just closed it's tourism making it the only state in the U.S. not spending any money on this. Well cheers..the fireworks are great! I have only my cell until I purchase another camera (mine took a spill). 
I did leave a response on my last post..just takes me longer these days to do so?
Very best wishes to you at this time:)

Al said...

Fascinating post with nice photos. I've never been across the equator in any way, it's something I'd love to do one day.

Fbrannen2001 said...

Keep up the good writing about your travels in Kenya!  Frances and I loved living there for almost ten full years - then I spent ten more years traveling to the 32 countries on the continent that were in my portfolio as Field Director for West, Central and Easter Africa.  I did not travel to the northern countries (that touch the Red Sea) and had no responsibility in Southern Africa.  I did travel often through Jo'burg on my wat to DRC, Botswana, Angola, etc. and etc.  I retired in 2008 and am enjoying being here in the USA near two daughters and their children.  I look forward to reading more of your archives.

Joyful said...

Thank you, Diane. I always get a special feeling when I cross the equator. I'm sure you know what I mean firsthand!

Joyful said...

Thank you for your visit , VaishVijay. I'm glad you let me know about your camera. I'll check it out.

Joyful said...

LOL, me too, Regina. I didn't hear that Washington state just closed it's tourism office. I'm sorry your camera broke down. I'm sure it really impacts on your blogging efforts. However, your photos always look great! I do read and appreciate all your blog comments ;-)

Joyful said...

Hi Al, so glad you enjoyed the post. I do hope you get to travel to the equator some day.

Joyful said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments, Fred. They mean a lot especially since you've lived in Africa and have so much experience there. I'm reading your archives about your fascinating life too!

KT said...

Interesting photos!  That is quite funny about the flag being upsidedown :)

Joyful said...

Hi KT! Thank you for stopping by. I did find it rather funny.

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