Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The community at Mamlaka Hill is open hearted. Right away I felt welcome, even though I had to stand up with a mic and introduce myself to the congregation. I proudly announced that I was a Kenyan resident, which locals love to hear. Any time I take interest in their culture, they make it well known that they approve. I have grown to love the people here and some of the ways in which they live life. While in Africa, I am determined to experience as much of the culture that I can, not live in a sheltered bubble. Some Sundays, I still struggle to find transportion, so I visit the children's orphange down the street from where I live. I am usually greeted with three or four leg hugs and one or two "please hold me". Last Sunday, I walked into the infant room only to find they were short one staff member. With 16 babies needing to be changed and fed, I was able to be of some assistance. It was nice to feel needed, plus I was blessed to be surrounded by all those precious and innocent faces.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Our safari guide wasn't afraid to get up close and personal with any and all of the animals we came across. Most creatures could care less, with the exception of this elephant. After charging at us a couple of times, we decided it was best to leave him alone.
I posted this picture of hippos for Chris. I've been here six months and this is my first time to see many of these things. One of my favorite sightings was these four lions, eating a giraffe. Our safari guide said this was an unusual find and that these guys were on day two of this one course meal.
Our late evenings were spent back at the hotel, taking advantage of the food buffet, sitting around the fireplace, listening to the chirping of crickets outside, and drinking hot tea. The restaurant we ate in was an open area, with the exception of a grass and bamboo covering. Our dinner table viewed the nearby river where crocodiles stirred about.
On day two of our safari, we visited a Masai village. I learned that this is the largest of the 42 tribal groups in Kenya. Our people were warmly welcomed with a traditional dance by the young warriors of this tribe. We spent the afternoon finding out the way in which they live life... how they construct their homes with branches and cow dung, how they build fires and hunt wild game, and why they drink a mix of cow blood and milk on special occasions. While I was fascinated by the their very different ways of life, I decided that I would not do well living in the bush.
A list of the things I saw in the Mara:
vervet monkey, stork, guinea foul, giraffe, topi, warthog, hartebeest, elephant, eland, lion, cheetah with cubs, crowned crane, plower, wildebeest, zebra, toad, cape buffalo, baboon/albino, impala, jackal, mongoose, hyena, turkey vulture, toni eagle, gazelle, hippo, ostrich, crocodile, goat, cow, monitor lizard, bat, secretary bird, water buck
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I recently completed what I would call a challenging, yet successful semester. On December 19th, West Nairobi School, began its three week holiday. I am thankful for a time of rest and an opportunity to see more of
·An all staff luncheon
·I have been volunteering at an orphanage down the street from where I live, called New Life Childrens' Home. They take in infants from the ages of 0 to 3. A percentage of them are infected by HIV/ AIDS.
·Shopping at Village Market
·Christmas Eve we went to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, and then invited some people over to watch “The Grinch” on a projector we borrowed from school. We don’t have a TV, so it was a treat not to watch this movie on my laptop.
·Christmas day consisted of house hopping. We joined the Gibson family for brunch and the Germo family for dinner. It was a blessing to be in a "homey" atmosphere for a days time.
·Camping in Hell’s Gate was a definite highlight. We spent 3 days exploring this national park and all its creatures, through hikes and a bit of rock climbing.
·We brought in the New Year with a game night that lasted until 11, and then headed over to a local hot spot/restaurant called Carnivore. We watched a spectacular fireworks show and danced throughout the night until we were completely exhausted.
·Masai Mara is a village I am headed to this week. There, I will take part in a three day safari.