Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 3 Africa

Jambo from - AMERICA! Phew - we are back home and now my posts will come with pictures. A LOT of pictures so - well sorry. I am thinking that the blog is the easiest way to show the pictures along with the stories for my friends and family. I am also going to sort of focus my report as a "here is how we survived a 10 day trip to Africa with three kids" sort of report.

Here is what we traveled in for the most part. Landrovers.

 The actual date for these pictures is July 11th I believe and on this day we left the Nairobi Serena Hotel and headed on a 5 hour drive to Nanuki and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Now you can judge me all you want but my husband and I just took three kids (ages 10, 8, and 5) on a grand total of more car and landrover rides than you can count (literally a gillion hours in a 4 wheel vehicle of some kind), multiple bus rides, and 6 plane rides (the shortest being 45 minutes and the longest being 9 hours) so yeah - we had portable games, post it notes, and crayons in every pocket. The kids actually invented this cool game with post it notes that I will have to post about later. Anyway - I digress......

It was very cool to see the country side and the people as we drove. I just sat and stared out the window. I even got to plug my headphones into my nook (the best invention ever created and the most amazing pre Africa purchase that we could have made for the Mommy by the way) and listen to Andrew Peterson as I watched the world go by. I have a small albeit I would argue healthy obsession with Andrew Peterson's music and it was an amazing experience to be driving down a road in Africa listening to songs like God of my Fathers and Many Roads and holding hands with my husband in the back of a landrover listening to Dancing in the Minefields. 

Anyway - once again I digress......

Here was a "rest stop" where the kids got to buy a snack and shop for stuff. One thing we found. They like to sell their stuff in Africa. Everywhere you go you will pretty much get hit up to buy some of the stuff. We got some neat things but I was so glad that we had packing restrictions because it was a great way to keep us from buying too much stuff. I just kept saying, "no I am so sorry we don't have enough room to pack that". Worked the entire trip.

Here we stopped at the equator and got to see a demonstration of the Coriolis Effect. Teacher friends we video taped the whole thing just email me if you want a copy. Here is a link to explain the Coriolis Effect  (click on the word Coriolis Effect and it should open in a new window) if you are interested so I don't take up time in what is already going to be the longest post ever to explain it. Needless to say the kids were interested and it sparked great conversation after about how big our world is and we all had a TON of great science and research conversations throughout the trip.

Here we are a the Equator

My three standing on the Equator Line

The whole family standing on the Equator Line
 My ladybug and her certificate from the Equator (6 bucks American) 
 Sometimes when you are going to spend a lot of time in a car - you gotta get creative with your physical activity ideas.....

 Ahh here come the pictures of the animals. I just downloaded 2,177 pictures from ONE camera. I am not even waiting to start blogging for the other pictures. I like separating my posts into days because it makes my editing seem less overwhelming. 

Hello baby Zebra. This is a common Zebra - see how is stripes wrap all the way around his belly? That is how you tell. 

Now here we are at our tented camp. We stayed here for one night. I am not going to lie here folks - keeping up with three kids, 4 cameras, 1 video camera, multiple handhelds, remembering to bug spray every time we went out, remembering to brush our teeth with bottled water, and switching hotels/camps  5 times was a lot to keep up with. I am VERY pleased with the system that I used for both packing and keeping up with kids clothes along the trip. I won't bore you with it here but please feel free to ask if you are going on a trip similar to this. It worked really well. 
 One cool thing about the tented camps was they put hot water bottles in your bed every night. So comfy. When we first arrived they had one tent for me and my 8 year old daughter and one tent for Husband and my 5 year old son. You have to tie your tent closed at night because the monkeys have figured out how to work zippers but they can't undo knots...


I was like um....

 So 4 of us slept all together VERY happily in this comfy tent. My oldest slept in a tent with Grandma and she liked that so the sleeping arrangements wound up being great. 

Below is the view from inside our tent to the watering hole where the animals gathered across a ditch and a hot wired fence of some sort. 

 Hands down one of the best parts about this trip was experiencing it with family we don't get to see all the time. Unca Jim is the bomb diggity and you guys here in I Heart Bowheads land know I don't just throw that word around. 

My little family ready for our first Safari game drive

Here we are walking to a Chimpanzee area with our Safari guide Godfrey who is without a doubt one of the most interesting, intelligent people I have ever met. 

I really heart my niece and nephew.
A lot.

I heart Husband a lot also. A trip like this could be (I guess) either very hard on a marriage or very good for it. It was good for ours. We remained a team the entire time and I LOVE that just like I love him. 

I know it seems like these guys are "caged" but this is just a fence that separates the conservancy. I can't remember why they hang around the fence. The grass is always greener on the other side I guess....

Turns out field trips are universal. Fun for me to see. 

These two are Crown Crested Cranes. I loved them because they mate for life and you can always find them in pairs of two. 

I guess they have literate elephants in Africa.......

So we were just driving around, driving around and then our driver was all shhhh and we were all what and then.......
 yep - RIGHT next to our rovers

 Sisters (or sister wives - they have both in Lion prides)

This is a good view of what our rides were like. 

Cape Buffalo - basically in the dictionary under "looks mean and ugly" could be a picture of these guys.

There are two kinds of rhino - black and white although they are not really black or white. I will tell that story later. Remind me someone please. 

Husband is carrying my 5 year old here because he had just finished his first of what would be many "afternoon game drive naps". I have no idea how he slept in those things because it was SO bouncy but he managed. 
 Meet Baraka. What I LOVED about this is how much he loved his people and how much his people loved him. The man walking above in the picture was one of the Rangers responsible for his care and the one who took my camera out in his area to take the pictures that our below for us. He was such a kind man. 
 Here we are feeding Baraka alfalfa hay. 

 "Daddy - can we go to dinner now?"

Good night Giraffe
 Walking back to our tent. No need for warriors with weapons at this camp. Warriors with weapons you ask??? That is a tease for future posts. Keep coming back to find out more. ;) 
 How much do I love this big girl? 
a lot. 
 One two three four. I declare a thumb war. 
Only beer in Africa (I think - don't quote me on that one)
Unca Jim bought a Tusker shirt before we left
 Time for night night
 More from Africa from America later!!!!! 

Today's words to learn 

Jambo - Hello 
Asante - Thank you
Asante Sana - Thank you much
Hakuna Matata - No Problem/No Worries
Simba - Lion
Baridi - Cold
Mzuri Sana - Very Good