"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nairobi, Where are Journey Began!

We arrived in Nairobi, Kenya around 2am I believe… We were picked up by a bus and taken to Sandavvy Guest House. The lady running the place woke up to greet us and was so welcoming and sweet. We had one full day in Nairobi before we headed to Masai Mara and we took full advantage. We woke up to a fabulous breakfast made by the guest house’s cook Moses (one of many Moses’ that we would meet on our trip). After our mango-pineapple-pancake filled bellies were ready, we headed to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant Orphanage.

Alright, brace yourselves for this awesomeness. Now folks, THIS is the elephant orphanage on the new IMAX film Born to be Wild. Check out the trailer (Morgan Freeman is a true gem) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv2Af-H7ZnI
These loving Kenyans feed, care for and raise orphaned baby elephants. They sleep by them in stalls and wake up 2-3 times every night to feed them milk, it’s incredible. We were able to pet the babies, and ask the caregivers questions. My purse was even broken into by one of the babies. They were all filled with uber cuteness and I wanted to take one home.

While we were taken pictures of the elephants I was lucky enough to have my very first real life sighting of some dung beetles! And yes. They were busy rolling dung at the time, and it was at this moment I fell in love with AFRICA! It was great to say the least. On the way back out to the car we stopped by and saw the trust’s one and only orphaned rhino. This was the only rhino Mitch and I saw the whole trip but he was a cutie! After our elephant excursion we headed to fulfill my biggest dream at a giraffe home.

We went to a giraffe education center in Nairobi, where kids are taken on field trips and people go generally to learn more about the gentle giants. This was everything I hoped for and more. We were given food to feed the giraffes, we got to hug them, and even kiss them!

Our whole group was brave enough to do this and if you put one piece of food in-between your lips and a giraffe will stick its big blue tongue out and take it from you for a kiss! I loved it!! However, Mitch may have gotten even more excited than I did. My sweet husband thought it would be a great idea to put the food on his tongue and have a giraffe go there. And oh did they!! So yes, I fulfilled my dream by kissing a giraffe, but Mitch one-upped me by getting tongue! After our giraffe-lovin time we headed to a cultural place where we looked at some different hut styles people live in, and coerced to spend way too much on souvenirs. Next we went back to the guest house and the group went to their laptops and i-touches while Mitch and I headed straight to the bedroom ------- for a nap .

After resting we walked to a nearby Ethiopian restaurant which everyone who was feeling good loved.

Sadly this was the first night of many that I had some yuckiness in my stomach (cue traveler's diarrhea). The salad I had was great though! The second night in the city we decided to walk to find a more local restaurant. We knew it wasn't wise to walk at night in Nairobi so we headed out early enough. We walked to the city center and could still find no food, so we decided to ask a hotel. They gave us some options but they sounded very "touristy" so we asked for a more local place. Finally the kind concierge suggested Buffet Park. We agreed to try it and said we would just walk when she offered to call us a cab. She looked panicked and refused to let us "Mzungus" to walk a block in the dark in Nairobi. So we took a cab to preserve our lives apparently. Buffet park was.... an experience. There was loud music, some pool tables and plenty of people present, all good things, but then it went downhill. To order we went to the butcher and picked our meat.

Waited about 2 hours to get food (little did we know this was just a hint of what every restaurant would be like in Africa), and then when it did come out there was no silverware.

Luckily it was dark so most of the group could get the questionable meat down (I probably only had one piece). Oh and bone marrow is apparently a delicacy there? Good stuff. The next morning we packed up in a safari van and headed for our next adventure: the beautiful Masai Mara.

Explanation for the Disappearance

My husband and I are failures. We came home from our Uganda trip (3 months ago), with high hopes of blogging galore about our amazing adventures in Africa. We decided the only possibility of telling all of our experiences was to divide and conquer. I would write the blogs for Nairobi, Masai Mara, Murchison Falls, and the Babies home while Mitch would tackle the blogs for Istanbul, Jinja, Mt. Subinyo, and the Cranes Game.

3 months later I have written 3 of my blogs (not posted yet) and Mitch has done none. I guess he IS in med school and what with all the money that goes into this glorious education he should probably spend time on it. I was trying to wait until he had done Istanbul but I can wait no longer. Long story short: I am going to start posting about Africa. I may try to post other happenings in our life between these posts but we will see how that goes since we all know I am such an avid blogger. We shall start with Nairobi. Stay tuned! I should be able to post a few with Mitch being out of town for the weekend so wish me luck!