The holiday bit
Although my trip to Kenya was really about volunteer work, there were short bursts of holiday in there too. For example the drive to the inland community went through Tsavo West National Park (where I saw giraffes, kudus, elephants and an ostrich), and I spent a weekend visiting Shimba Hills National Park (where I saw buffalo, sable antelope, and more giraffes, as well as a pair of African wood owls). A late afternoon visit to a lodge in Tsavo West also added more elephants, hippos, crocodiles and a zebra to the list.
There’s not much to say about it really, as you all know what elephants, hippos, etc look like, but an excuse to post a couple of photos here (and a nice yellow-billed stork at the end).
I also got to see my Mum, of course, spending a weekend with her when the rest of the volunteers were off getting drunk together. In fact they seemed to spend a lot of their time getting drunk, and swearing, and falling about laughing about farting. Are all young people like that nowadays?? They were nice people, but showed no respect at all for the sensitivities of those around them (Kenyans generally being polite, respectful, well-mannered people who I’m certain will have been horrified by such behaviour) and at times I actually felt embarrassed to be with them.
Finally my five weeks were over however, and GVI drove me to Mombasa airport. I arrived many hours before my flight but decided it wasn’t worth paying $30 to transfer to an earlier one.
Big mistake! Waiting in the departure lounge an hour before scheduled take-off, I was approached by an airline representative to be told the flight had been delayed by three hours to 11pm. Which would mean arriving in Nairobi after midnight. Conscious of the city’s reputation, I asked her if it wasn’t dangerous for me to take a taxi to my hotel at such an hour. She told me it was dangerous, so I asked her what I should do. “Pray” she said.
Finally on the plane, I relayed this conversation to the man sitting next to me. He immediately offered to transfer some credit to my phone so that I could contact my hotel and/or a taxi company, but then also offered to give me a lift to my hotel. I decided that he was lower risk than a random taxi at that time of night, and sure enough he (in fact his driver) took me to my hotel. I didn’t even need the phone credit (which he would not accept payment for). It was very typical Africa – things appear to have gone wrong and you are feeling miserable about it, then something good turns up, usually due to the kindness of African people.