Friday, September 4, 2015

The wilder Side of Kenya!

I am in Kenya, y’all! On Safari! With, like lions, and wildebeests, and hyena’s and shit!

This is freaking awesome! Went on a little 2 hour safari tonight. It was so beautiful. Lots of times a picture just does not capture the real beauty of the moment. We saw, tons of wildebeests, I thought they were small! Like the size of a pig. But they are huge! Size of like a donkey with really thick necks. We saw tons of gazzelas and zebra’s and lions! Oh, the lions! We saw lion cubs too! 

There is something to be said for seeing animals in the wild. Much better than any zoo could provide. One of the cubs started stalking this bird! But the jeeps kept grabbing his attention and he finally went back to his mom. The sun was absolutely gorgeous. The light shinning through the clouds and the glow in the sky. And then the sunset, ohhhh, magnificent! 

We are going tomorrow morning as well at 7 am. And then we are taking a trip to a Masai tribe. Some of the other guests don’t want to go because they think it is too expensive, but hey, once in a lifetime thing, right?

In our tour of Masai Masa, we have an Indian couple, a Kenyan woman with her British husband, and the woman’s nephew and his new bride who are also Kenyan. Everyone seems nice and well traveled. And everyone’s older, except the newlyweds. There’s never anyone Ajenai’s age. But she is really enjoying this which is cool. She said today was good and she likes the tent we are staying in and the food was ok. Of course the animals were amazing! We shall see how I sleep tonight! The beds a little hard but I’m loving the darkness! No need for a sleep mask tonight!

Our Tent! Home for the next 3 days!

Our 5 Star restaurant!

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 2nd day visiting the Masai Mara Game Park. Today we started at 7am and were going to stay in the park until 4. I was wondering, what the heck are we gonna do for 9 hours!? I do have to admit that there was a lot of sleeping going on in our van! But just when I was thinking, yea, nobody needs to be in a game park for mulitiple hours, we say lions! Right on the side of the road, less than 10 steps away from us! It was awesome. They were just chilling, not afraid of us like some of the herbivores.

Ok, let’s see if I can name all the animals we saw today: lions, zebras, giraffes, elephants, hippos, gazelles, wildebeests, buffalos, cheetahs, mongooses, vultures, crocodiles, and tons of species of birds. Yes! I really saw all these animals in their natural habitat! It was pretty amazing. I asked if the lions are fed but no, all the animals have to hunt and live or die as nature intended. Some of the wildebeests looked really thin, could see all of their ribs. But I guess if I had just made a major however many mile migration, I would need some fattening up too.

This lion walked right towards and then around our van like it was just another bush! No fear!

I could lie here and say, wow, we totally heard him roar! But we didn't, he was just yawning! Awesome pic though!

These elephants crossed the road behind our van. A whole family, the driver said there was an Auntie and a grandmother with this group too.

Does it look like this male bull is heading right for us? Because he was! We were too close to his women, so he started walking towards us as the family crossed the road. I thought it was an everyday occurrence, but our driver said, let's hurry and go now!

This river separates Kenya from the Serengeti, Tanzania. I had no idea we were that far south!

Don't feed the animals! But of course, I did! This little guy actually took this banana right from my hand!

Last night when we were leaving the game park, we were stopped by the rangers who told our driver to get out of the car. There were about 5 vans in line to leave the park. The park closed at 6:30 and it was about 6:45. The rangers talked to the drivers for a long time and the Kenyan couple in our van said they were asking for money! I don’t know what ended up happening but after about 10 minutes, we left without giving them any money thank goodness!

So, I have a plan for the near future. I have been feeling bad about leaving Ms. Emily and the kids, I mean, the whole point of this trip was to volunteer with children. Now, here's my new plan: Ajenai and I will hang out this week, doing touristy stuff after the safari. Then I will go back to Guthyri and live in the hovel of an apartment for the rest of my stay, and volunteer at the school. Ms. Emily was very excited when I told her and said of course I would be welcome! So, yay! Something is finally working out!

Ciao for now1

Friday, August 28, 2015

End of the Kenyan road

Sooooo, what I expected to come to pass, came to pass. Today, we went to the Real Wood school about 11:30 because I had to pay the lady for some fabric I bought. Then we stayed and taught in the school and then went to the field for sports. We didn’t leave their until 4:30. 

Every Friday, a bunch of schools go to this field to do sports!

Then we headed over to the other place. Justus said he had a photography class to teach. We sat there and had prayers with the kids first. Then sat some more. Then he finally taught the class, all about the parts of a camera. Took maybe, 30 minutes. 

I had the kids take photo’s with my camera cus how could you have a photography class and not take pictures?! Then we played jump rope and monkey in the middle. It was fun!

Justus' photography class

I let the kids use my camera and take some "ecletic" shots!

Then we watched some news about Obama’s arrival. Then I told Justus we were ready to leave when he was and he said we were waiting for the lady. So, we played more games. Then he grabbed his stuff and snuck out the door! About 6:30 I called and asked where he was and said I was ready to go. He said he was coming back, just wait. At 6:57 I called him again and said I didn’t know the way home, where was he. Again, he said he was coming. 7:15 I finally heard him talking and came outside and said bye to everyone.

Making the fire for dinner

On the walk home I said, so, we’re leaving tomorrow, what time can you give me my money? So he started. Basically he said something about the landlord, he had to have a proper place for us. And kept repeating that. I called him a liar and said I wanted my money. Eventually, I made him shut it and listen to me. 

I told him to put himself in my place: traveling 6,000 kilometers with my child, to a place I’ve never been and don’t know anyone trusting only his word. This place has diseases and is dangerous for us and I am placing my life and my child’s life in his hands. He of course said why did I come if it is so dangerous and basically accepted no responsibility for anything. He said I’ve been complaining since I got here and then he said that he wished I had never come!

Then I just threatened him. I know, that’s low of me and I should be above that but I really want/need my money! I said if I don’t have my money I will complain about him on workaway and try to get him taken off the site (which I am really going to do after our blow our in the streets!); and I would take all the furniture out of this apartment and sell it or trash it; and that I would go to his parents house and tell them everything he’s done. 

The only thing I will really do is report him on workaway as soon as I have internet. I knew I should not have given him all the money up front. I knew it even as we sat there on that hard ass ratty sofa and I passed over $300usd!

Now, I’d say live and learn but that’s just it with me. I never seem to learn from my mistakes! And I know that is no one’s fault but my own, but I always see the mistakes in hindsight and never while they are happening.

Anyway, we had a good last day. I taught grade 8 how to write an essay about why tourists should come to Kenya. They didn’t understand me cus they call it composition. Some of the essays were quite good and some needed help but they all worked so diligently. Then I taught grade 5 the “we are stars” lesson. They had to write 5 things they are good at and draw a star. I got the markers I brought with me for them to use and they all were so surprised and asked where I got them from. And some students from other classes came in to ask me to give their class markers!

I saw a little six year old outside of her classroom and she smiled at me and then kept fiddling with something in her hands. I looked closer and she had a razor blade and was sharpening her tiny stub of pencil with it! I just cringed but didn’t say anything. She was obviously used to using that razor and was very effective with it.

I just think of all the supplies I could have brought for them! They share chalk class to class and usually have 1 tiny little eraser between them. They have notebooks with very few blank pages in them and a handful of pens. But I have to remind myself, I am having feelings of entitlement. They don’t have a lot and need a lot but it is also something they are used to. They are not begging or unduly unhappy with their lives. It is me, looking in that is feeling so bad. And I can’t do everything for them. I have responsibilities of my own to take care of. Everyone’s situation looks better or worse than yours but you can’t know until you know that person. Would I like to give them a ton of supplies? Yes. But do I have money to use that way? Not really. I would really like to give Ms. Emily some money for the kids, but I don’t think Justus would give it to her if I gave it to him. I will have to call her and figure something else out.

The best thing about this trip has been the kids. They have been a ray of joy from beginning to end! I'm so grateful for them!

Ciao for now!