The Kenya Schedule - Part Three

Part 1 and Part 2, for your reading enjoyment.

By now, you have a sense of how we spent our school days. Because they ended around noon (except on Friday), after an hour's drive back to camp, we generally had free time for optional activities.

Tuesday, July 15

The first optional activity was a night safari. 

To be honest, we didn't see as many animals as we had hoped. There were a few - including a random aardvark and a hyena trying to eat a recently killed zebra - but no elephants or lions. Those came later.

But we had fun with our little van group and it wasn't an expensive excursion. Oh! And there was hot chocolate. Remember that we were experiencing Kenyan winter.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

 

Wednesday, July 16

The afternoon's optional activity was a "short" (two hours!) nature walk with a Maasai naturalist. I was beat, and so were quite a few of the others. Napping and showering happened instead.

There was also an optional four hour hike/climb. If you know anything about me, it will not surprise you that I opted out in an effort to avoid injury.

Thursday, July 17

On Thursday afternoon, we made two special stops. First, we visited Empopongi Primary School which Kenwood Rotary supported for several years in the past. Then we went to the lovely home where Mercy, her husband and son live, Rotary House. 

Friday, July 18

We spent a full day at Nkenijii, half of which was for volunteering and the other, for presentations from the students. Once again, this deserves its own post. Maybe several.

 

In the evening, we had a Bush Dinner under the stars. It was a very cool experience. 

Saturday July 19

For our final full day in the Mara, we went on an all-day safari to the Tanzania border and back. I'll share more on that experience soon, but for now, here's a sneak peek at the wildlife.


After our last group meeting and dinner, it was time to pack. We left our bigger luggage at the front desk, to be driven to Nairobi, whereas we were set to fly back on a tiny chartered plane, one small enough that bringing bags (beyond backpacks) was not an option.

Sunday July 20

Our group leader Kevin told us in advance "the flight leaves from Gate 17 at 9:00am, remember that number in case you get lost in the airport.  Be sure to write it down."

The joke became evident upon arrival at the airstrip.

airstrip

The little plane got the job done.

Upon landing in Nairobi, a bus picked us up and took us to Kazuri Beads, a woman’s empowerment project. I did a bit of shopping but did not pick up any "Yuppy Chockers." Maybe next time.

Afterward, lovely Rose hosted us at her house for lunch. We got to meet some of her friends and learn about their lives in Nairobi. Very enjoyable.

And then it was time to head to the airport for our long flights home, complete with a three hour layover in Dubai--which wouldn't have been so painful if not for the fact that our flight to JFK left Dubai at almost 3 am. UGH.

Monday July 21

Suddenly we were back in NYC. Was it all a dream?