Little Elephants and Baby Ella

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 17, 2012

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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi,
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today we took most of the time for ourselves. Since last Thursday, one or other of us has not been feeling 100%25 and everyone just needed some downtime. We had booked a trip to an elephant orphanage for the morning (it is only open to visitors between 11 & 12) and so we had a pretty chilled out time before we went down for the taxi at 10am. It still hadn't arrived by 10:15 so I phoned the company and was assured that it was 'seconds away'...

Now, I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box but even I knew that in Kenya that could mean anything and, as it turned out, 'seconds away' translated into 'another 15 minutes' in real terms. This led to the real worry that we might not make it on time to the orphanage, given that it was only open for an hour, but our driver did us proud and we arrived right on time. We even managed to see a baboon wandering around at the roadside on the way.

They really do have VERY red bottoms you know!

The elephant orphanage was great. We got to see and hear all about the 24 elephants they look after. Some have been brought there because poachers have killed their mothers and others because they have somehow managed to become separated from their herd. Poaching for and trading in ivory is illegal in Kenya but there is a high demand from countries like China and so it is still a real problem here. One of the calfs brought in was only two weeks old when his mother was shot by poachers but none of the elephants we saw would have survived in the wild as they were all still dependent on their mother's milk. Some have been rescued after falling into wells, while others have been caught in illegal traps set by villagers trying to protect their crops and dwellings. It was really good to see them all and Ella even managed to touch one as it went by. She thought it was really hairy but on consideration not as hairy as me, although apparently our ears were a pretty close match.


After we got home we had a swim in the pool to cool down, it was really hot again today and the car journey was particularly sticky. We've invented a game where Pip and I are plesiosaurs while Ella and Zaac are ichthyosaurs. We then chase each other round the pool trying to see who can eat the most. Weird I know but we think its great!

This afternoon Pip had some meetings with Susanna and Jackie about the Ark. It is difficult to be asked by friends to look at a project and advise when what you need to tell them is that there needs to be some major changes. It is so hard that we're only here for such a short time when we can see areas in which we could really help but just don't have the time. Hopefully even just giving some suggestions may help get the ball rolling and we can always be in contact at home too.

As Pip was leaving, Susanna told her that there had been another baby brought in, a tiny little thing who is being kept in the incubator for the time being. It was Susanna's job to name her and so, in honour of our visit she came up with the perfect name.

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Meswartz on

*sniff* that is SO sweet.
(about naming the baby Ella, that is - not the elephants. although they're really cute too!)

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