Saturday, July 27, 2019

Kenya: Part 6

March 27, 2019

We drove back toward Nairobi.  Enroute we passed Kibera, the 2nd largest slum in Africa, second only to Soweto in South Africa. Incidentally, this is the place our guide, Eric, the owner of the safari company, grew up.  He talked to us about what his life was like growing up there.  He and his wife are still quite involved in the community.  Their goal is to help as many girls as possible.

You can see the modern Nairobi skyline in the distance.

During our long drives I stitched. ...

One thing I was intrigued by were the Boda Boda.
Think of Uber on motorcycles.  We would see large groups of them
stationed along the roadsides.  I just barely caught the back of this one, transporting
a nicely dressed woman.  I linked about them if you are interested.

And then we have donkey carts...

We visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's Orphans' Project

Chris is taking a photo of our group.  See our Safari vehicles?

The babies are taken out into the compound during the day with their caregivers.
When it is time to go to "the barn" there is quite a stampede....

It's dinner time!

These orphaned baby elephants are raised and gradually returned to the wild.
Those of us who "adopted" an orphan were allowed to go interact with the animals and stand near
the track they use to return to the compound.
It was amazing!

There were a group of warthogs running around in the compound.

baby warthog.

March 28th, 2019

This morning we went to the AFEW giraffe centre (rescue organization) in Nairobi.
each of us was given a bag of "treats" for the giraffes.

and we had fun!

Some of us put the treat in our mouth in order to receive a "kiss".

You get what you pay for!

What funny tongues they have!  I guess they have to be long and tough
so they can grab leaves off those acacia trees.

warthogs are frequently found near giraffes.
We noticed this out in the wild.

Next up:
Karen Blixen's home!

Anne and I have been excitedly awaiting this part of our tour!
Karen was from Denmark and Anne is also Danish.

Karen is best known for her books, "Out of Africa", and "Babette's Feast".

Here is Karen Blixen's photograph...

and here are Robert Redford, who played Denys Finch Hatten,
and Meryl Streep, who played Karen Blixen, in the movie,

By sheer coincidence, Karen Blixen had the same Royal Copenhagen china pattern that
Anne does!

What an interesting tour!  I am such a fan of Karen's books and I was thrilled to have this opportunity!
Here is a piece of equipment from Karen's doomed venture as a coffee grower.

One of our last stops on our tour in Nairobi was to Kazuri Beads.
Started in 1975 as a women's cooperative the clay used for their products is sourced from near the base of Mt Kenya.
Their products are found in places like Ten Thousand Villages in the US.

some of the dried clay

the clay sheet press behind our guide

beads drying in the sun

forming, then painting, the beads

firing in the kilns


Anne and I left Africa the next day and headed to Mallorca, Spain, for a few days before heading home.
Kenya left a mark on me.  I fell in love with this place.
I will return.

Thanks for coming along with me to Africa!
Sorry the posts were so long but there was so much to show you.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Kenya: Part 5 Samburu (March 24th, 2019)

We left our camp near the equator and headed to Samburu.  We were hoping to see the last of the "Big 5", a leopard.  During this part of our trip one part of our group caught a fleeting glimpse of a leopard, but I was not among them.  We did, however, see a group of cheetah.  It was thrilling!

At one point during our road trip we had to stop for this....herd?...
of baboons who were crossing the highway.  It was crazy!

The land is harsh and arid.  I loved it!

I was captivated by all the weaver nests in the acacia trees.

And we saw our first Rothschild giraffes here!
We stayed at the Buffalo Springs Game Preserve in Samburu.

Another glorious sunset!

At this camp we stayed in a yurt!

See the small structure in front of our yurt?
This is the wood-burning fire to heat our water!

Someone else was looking to stay with us....

March 25th
Early morning (pre-dawn) game drive.  
Guess who has the right-of-way?!

sunrise through the acacia tree

a young Rothschild giraffe

This is how we looked a great deal of the time!

Heavy traffic

a closer shot of the weaver nests.

After the morning game drive we set out to visit another Masai village.
These people seemed a bit more settled into the area.
Still herders, their structures looked a bit more permanent to me.
Also:  we noticed a water storage tank in the area, and we were told that
now that the government has mandatory school regulations, 
the people must stay close to a school.

The chief welcomes us

a group of older men gather.

our welcome song and dance.

first, the young men
(sorry the video is so short!)

Then, the women joined in (and so did we!).

The adornment of the people in this tribe was somewhat different.

Now, this woman is the midwife.  There is something about her.
I wanted to spend the rest of the day with her.  
Her gaze is so piercing.
She had such a presence.  

She is the midwife.  She has seen it all.
I think this is why I gravitated to her.  I cannot stop thinking about this woman.

This necklace was placed on me during the welcome ceremony so
naturally I bought it from the maker!

We had the privilege of visiting the school nearby and see some of the kids.
We took supplies to the teacher (who has her own baby in the classroom..
maybe you can see the small bed at the back of the room on the floor).

We also shopped from the women who all had beautiful beaded jewelry for sale.
Here are a few of our purchases!

March 26th, 2019
and we saw Cheetas!

And lions!  It is amazing that our guides could see them because
they blend into the landscape so well.

We did a lot of "bumping around" in our safari vehicles but this was a 
particularly bumpy stretch as we made a rocky water crossing in an effort to 
spot a leopard.  

I took a screenshot of where we were so you can see the proximity to Nairobi.
We were a long way away, or so it felt.

The cheetahs were spotted on our last day in this area...

we stopped to observe this mother patiently trying to calm 
her agitated calf who was unable to figure out how to get up onto the bank.

Over and over, the calf tried, and failed, to get up to it's mother.

Finally!  Success!

As we departed from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve we 
saw a mother and calf and we wondered if it was the same couple we watched the night

So off we went to our next destination, still in the Rift Valley.
Pit stop along the side of the road.  

We stayed at Osirua Farm, an old hunting lodge from the 1930's.
We had to be escorted to and from the main lodge each night because there were hippos on the property that could become aggressive, apparently.  Somehow I was not terribly comforted 
by the guard's stick, which appeared to be his only means of defense.

I think these are some type of euphorbia tree.
I have some but they are about 24 inches high!

The next morning we went on a boat ride on Lake Naivasha, where parts of the film "Out of Africa"
were made.

There were three boatfuls of us.

In the water is a cluster of hippos.

Can you see the cluster between me and the other boat?

It was remarkable to see them, all sleeping with their heads on
some other animal's back.
I was glad they were asleep.

We motored our way over to Crescent Island, where the filming was done.
Enroute we got to see a guide offer a fish to one of the many Fisher Eagles in the area.

We surely got a good hike in that day!

Apparently animals were brought over onto the island for the filming and never returned so now they 
have populated it.  Many giraffe, wildebeest, gazelle, and zebra.

Next, we return to Nairobi!