All things must come to an end but this time I’m a little sad to leave behind the friends who have shared this amazing trip with us.
I’m writing this in the plane on a short 35 minute trip from the Lodge in the Maasai Mara to Nairobi.
We drove in convoy to the airstrip just a short distance from the Lodge. There is something about being in a formed procession that makes one feel just a little important. The entire staff of the lodge came out to say goodbye…
I’ve never had that at the Hilton by Jove,
Its a bit of an adventure having your own private plane. We waited in the small open hut surrounded by the plains of the Masaai Mara, elephants and Giraffes visible in the distance and the air was warm and the breeze balmy.
The plane arrived in a cloud of dust and the sound of the four propellor engines increased the anticipation that we were on our way home.
Below me are thee brown plains of the rift valley The valley is deepest to the north of Nairobi. As the lakes in the Eastern Rift have no outlet to the sea and tend to be shallow, they have a high mineral content as the evaporation of water leaves the salts behind and the cenery is spectacular.
One can only imagine what walks beneath us If the past 12 days are any indication, this earth is teaming with wildlife and a world known to me only in documentaries.
We have played a small part in the lives of a few and they have given us the gift of wonder and imagination.
The plains have given way to mountains rolling in waves of elephant wrinkles, Rivers tint their borders with green and the red earth accompanies blends into the green in comfortable patterns.
A long straight road is pale in comparison to its host as it cuts through the earth and is a reminder of the life below,
Lions, Cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras to name a few. All these amazing animals have captured our imagination. To sit quietly and watch 100’s of zebras bathe, drink from the river and stand guard against a family of Lions has been extraordinary.
We were privy to the lives of wild elephants, huge, regal, gentle in nature and strong in stature. In this protected place poachers killed four elephants in the time we were there, I can’t even imagine the suffering of the animal or of their family left behind.
Rising before the dawn to go on safari and venturing out again in the late afternoon watching the setting sun for the past 8 days has truly given us the title of safari participants.
We’ve been part of a privileged experience. One afforded to a few, I can’t put aside the other side of Kenyan life where life is hard.
There is no social welfare for the 40 million people living here, unemployment is high. In our comfortable safari vehicles we are protected from the realities of life here, but if we are honest with ourselves and we take the time to observe we can appreciate that there is another side to the life we have seen.
The people walking through the aisles of cars at the stop lights selling everything from a single banana to a shoe rack have no such life style.
Men sew garments in the street on antiquated treadle sewing machines. Small stores spring out of a few pieces of corrugated iron and even in the city he roads are unequalled in their degrees of decay.
So I determine to be aware and try to do something extra when I get home. There are so many charitable associations that we can check when we get home.
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I loved traveling with you and the whole group to Kenya the end of November. I will never forget this trip. It has left me a very different person than I was before, even though I did extensive international and United States travel with my husband for the 52 years of our marriage. It will be a challenge to top my Kenyan experience. Marian Roy (Bonita Springs, Fl and Lancaster, Pa.)