Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 6 Africa

Well Day 6 started off with no pictures and a lot of puke. Day 6 was also my middle daughter's 8th birthday and she woke up feeling kind of puny. She was tired and a little down in the dumps about being in Africa on her birthday which - I know - is crazy but you have to remember that normally on birthdays we do our family scavenger hunt for gifts and the birthday person gets to pick out their restaurant to eat in. Well my Noodle Bear (I will have to tell the story of her nickname sometime...) was not enjoying the African cuisine - at all and that morning she woke up and wanted to go home.

Well instead of going home - we got in a landrover and drove around in circles for I can't remember - maybe an hour? What is bad about this is that twice I almost asked "can we just go to the airport?' But for some reason I did not. Also game drives are luck of the draw kind of things so some are amazing and some are really boring. This one was, of course, boring. Anyway she is sitting in the back by Husband and all of a sudden he says, "Uh Babe - BABE!!!!!!" I turn around and her cute little 8 year old birthday shirt was completely covered in puke.


We get to the airport (read - strip of dirt with an outhouse) and I get her out of the rover (God bless whoever had to clean those seats) and get her in the outhouse. It was at this point that I was very happy that I have a strong stomach because the outhouse was  basically a little tiny wood building with three doors - changing room, women's stall, men's stall. A lady practically knocks me down as we head into the changing stall and runs into the women's stall. Pretty soon the smell and sounds told us why she hurried. The combo of the puke and the stall next door was - let's just say it again - 


Anyway - I got her cleaned up the best I could and was raiding everyone's purses for plastic bags and we boarded our 54 passenger Air Kenya flight. 

It was at this point that I thought

Oh Dear

I have to say though - she totally puked and rallied. She did great and off we went on the rest of our day. Now this part is only for you Mom's out there (and some Dad's) but it has to be told - I knew that it was just a carsick puke and not a sick puke because of the smell. You know the way that stomach virus puke smells versus just empty your stomach contents smells? Anyway - I know that is gross but I have to remember it because it goes to my state of mind. I knew that we weren't sick we were just upset so I was just mentally telling myself all would be fine and the puke fest was over. 


This is the "airport"

 This is my son who shot rocks at a trash can while Mom was cleaning the puke off his sister at the "airport" 
(can't do that normal airports - we were to find out later) 
 We made it to the Masai Mara!!! 
 Another "airport" 
 Bag unloading

 Our  chariots awaited
 The airstrip
 Our plane
 Handsome Husband
 Pretty Niece
 What was awaiting us at the "airport" 
It was at this point I started thinking

"Hey - we just might make it" 
 8 Years old
A survivor 

Watching the planes come and go was interesting in the middle of nowhere....

 The Terminal

 Slingshot - best purchase - EVER

 Purity getting a little hot chocolate in the birthday girl

 "and we are going where now?"

 We are HERE! 

 The bar area - at this point I am not going to lie - I took a couple of pictures of that area
 View from the bar to the pool
 Godfrey our safari leader
 Walking to our tents 
 Our tent - they were adding a twin for us so we could all sleep together

 Hi Husband - this trip was a bonding experience for sure. So glad because hypothetically we could have never spoken to one another again. ;) 

 The Pool
 Daddy making things better
 The ultimate in 5 year old temptation

 What? I didn't do it did I?

This is basically exactly what they told us not to do. (Nothing came of it - just some cute pictures.)

During the day there were Masai Mara warriors/tribe members posted in the middle of the camp with slingshots to keep the animals (who were docile but nonetheless wild animals) in check. At night they dressed in more traditional "tribal" dress and carried machetes and bows and arrows.

I have yet to decide if that was encouraging or discouraging......

 These little stinkers would bounce on our tents every morning coming down from the trees. They also know how to work the zippers on the tents but have not figured out how to undo the knots. I swear that I saw a couple of them having an organizational meeting to figure out how to do just that but we were unable to confirm or deny the true cause of the alleged meeting.

 A little family soccer

 The birthday girl had rallied at this point and was pretty much a total happy trooper for the rest of the trip. 
 Lots of "the second coolest pool in the world" pics for Day 7
 You know sometimes when you are short and squat you gotta do what you gotta do. 

 Walking back to our tent, after swimming, past the warthogs.

I would imagine that is the only time that I will type those words. 

 Before the afternoon game drive the kids were given very cute safari bags. They loved them and used them a lot the remainder of the trip. 

Ready to go for (what turn out to be) some of the best game drives EVER.
 Before every game drive they had a little coffee/tea area set up. 

 Off we go. 

 I would venture to guess that I won the "take the most pictures of the other car" contest but my niece would have run a close second. We took a lot of pictures of one another.
 Our driver Alice - she was awesome and funny and one of the only female drivers out there and we teased her that she used her wiles to get everyone to talk to her and tell her where the best stuff was. We really liked her a lot. She was also great with the kids. I am sure that I have better pictures of her on the last few days of the trip. 

 One of the coolest things was seeing the animals together. It is not like the zoo where you see the zebras in their area and the elephants in theirs. It is just one big happy symbiosis, eat your neighbor kind of family out there.

You remember the earlier ostrich post? Notice how my man here is bright pink?
 Now check out the look on her face. 
Still makes me smile every time. 

 These little guys keep the big guy clean and in turn they get to have a nice lunch on a nifty ride.

 These guys were all over. They just sat in their cars with their clipboards. My husband said he thought it would be cool to be a Hyena researcher.
"Hey man - what do you do?" 
"Oh I research hyenas" 

 So we were racing up to the lioness and all of a sudden our  driver goes "oh she is going to jump down - I am going to stop - take the picture - take the picture" and she slams on her brakes and turns us sideways and I go "click click click" and this is what I got.
I told you - that Alice was awesome.

 Then we just quietly drove up and got to sit by a pride with two lionesses and their babies. Man it was amazing. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

 They played
 and played

 and played

 One of my favorites - I love you THIIIIIIIIIIISSSSS much Mommy.

 It was great. These giraffes were like statues just on alert watching. They were looking at us like "ummm - psstt - people - ixnay on the ionlays...."

 You could tell who was a boy because they had more hair around the jaw line like this handsome guy
 It totally recognize this one - "hey Mom, Hey Momma, MOMMMMMMYYYYYY"
 Well maybe if I just hang on here I will get her attention

A shot of the lions in proximity to the frozen giraffes

 A shot of the lions in proximity to us
 and the other car

Look at those paws

 They were all just relaxing

This remind me so much of my son when he was little. I am going to play with this 'tick. This is my 'tick and you cannot have it. 

 My kids loved watching this Momma and her  chicks

 The elephants really protected their young. Sometimes I swear they would look at us with a look in their eye that just said


 ok all of my mommy friends
How cute is this picture? The baby is drinking Mommy's Milk and I love that the expression on her face is tired. 

 Zebra Crossing
 So our camp was SMOKING dark. Think about no lights in the wilderness kind of dark. There were normally the warriors with machete's that would walk you to your room after dinner. 
(A surreal experience if I have ever had one) 
but this was before dinner and I had to go back to the tent for something so I was grateful for Nephew who was patient and waited for me and posed for a picture with his awesome headlamp on.
 Waiting for dinner

 10 year old with the good  eating habits ate like a champ the entire time. 
 8 year old - not so much
 Jambo, Jambo Birthday Girl and Grandma
Habari Gani
Msuri Sana
Wageni mwakari bichwa
Kenya Yetu
Hakuna Matata

(we all know that great song now - watch out we will probably sing it for you)

Godfrey our Safari director dancing.
 Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Grandma and Birthday Girl. Happy Birthday to you!!!!! 

 Let me interject that at this point I was crying like a baby. Seriously - no sobbing necessarily but tears running down my face. (I would remind you it had been a long day and I get a little emotional at birthdays under normal circumstances. Much less puking birthday girls in Africa.)

 Big sister being silly and rocking out doing her silly dance. LOVE that this particular child seems to have inherited the "I am a dork and I know it" gene from Mom. She is really funny.

 What I love about this picture is that little sister is looking at big sister like "if Godfey tries to get me out of this chair and make me dance one of us is going to have to do something or I swear on Mommy's life I will be forced to do something drastic." 

 Opening gifts and cards. I was VERY grateful to my sister in law for doing all of this. Everyone had bought her gifts from various gift shops and even the drivers signed her card.

 Cool! Sister got TOYS! I miss toys! 

 Another one of my favorites 

 I cannot begin to tell you how incredible the night sky was. We could see Venus and several times Husband and I took the kids out and said 

"Look up."