Tag: kenya

We Have to Do Better

We Have to Do Better

On one of our drives, Sylvester and I came across these two teenagers. We had them all to ourselves in the quiet as they grazed. I kept expecting to be inundated with other sightseers but no one found us. We just sat there with them for about 40 minutes. It was incredibly peaceful but it also made me sad to think that if we don’t do something soon, people won’t have the opportunity for very much longer. And that would be a shame.

As we drove back, we ran into the rangers that are tasked with staying in the park overnight and keeping watch over the rhinos and protecting them from poachers. It is an incredibly dangerous job, and they don’t make nearly enough. But the people who do it think it’s important. And I’m glad they do.

A Table with a View

A Table with a View

I have mentioned that Ololo Lodge is inside Nairobi National Park, and it’s hard to convey how incredible the views are except to share that this was my table for breakfast and lunch. I even had a monkey visitor. (He wanted to see what was in the bottles on the table.) Aside from the fantastic food (much of it grown on site in their own gardens), the view included buffalo, baboons, giraffes, and even a couple of lions in the evening. I wish I could have stayed longer, and it is definitely on my list to return to.

Evening Game Drive

Evening Game Drive

One of the best parts about staying at Ololo Lodge inside Narirobi National Park was being able to stay in the park a little later since we didn’t have to make our way back to the main gate at the end of the day. On our afternoon drive, Sylvester and I had finally given up hope. “No lions today,” he said, turning back toward the lodge. Just as it turned to twilight, we saw two lioness stretching and getting ready for their evening work of hunting. And the zebras knew it too as they headed for the road to get a smoother path to escape.

Bird People

Bird People

Our driver and guide in Kenya, Saidi, is also a bird watcher. We both had our binoculars and he had his guide book. (I didn’t realize before that bringing your own binoculars marks you as a bird person, but now I know). We were driving through Ruma National Park and suddenly Saidi hit the brakes to point out the Crowned Cranes to me. We’d seen a bunch feeding a day earlier, but much further back from the road, and these were much closer. I waited until they were close enough to get them both in the picture together and got this shot. Then he said almost to himself, “Now where did those giraffes go?” That’s when I thought everyone else in the jeep was going to kill us both.

Kenya Hotel

Kenya Hotel

While our build site was quite remote, our hotel was right on Homa Bay which leads into Lake Victoria. The hotel had a large outdoor space and we could walk down to be near the water. There were trees full of weaver birds, a gazebo and an outdoor bar. It definitely seemed like a relic of a by-gone era. It was a great oasis to come back to each night and have lovely outdoor space to relax each evening.

Kenya

Kenya

In Kenya our build site was down the highway, then two dirt roads, then a path, then a field, so there wasn’t even a town – just a small community. They were incredibly welcoming and we had a great time. They build brick houses from locally made bricks and that meant a lot of brick lines and rock lines as we moved the materials and placed the rocks in the foundation. The mason has the final say over where things belong. Then comes a lot of cement to make the floor. We passed a lot of rocks and mixed a lot of cement.

Driving Across Kenya

Driving Across Kenya

The whole team arrived in Nairobi over a couple of days. Once everyone was together, we had a group orientation, then split up into two vans to drive across the country, from Nairobi to Homa Bay by Lake Victoria where we would be building. They did a great job of breaking up the trip (no coincidentally at places with great bathroom facilities). We had opportunities to shop at a few too, and I got a hat and a drum for my friend Tony. One of our first stops was at a Rift Valley overlook. It was pretty hard to match that view for the rest of the drive.