Next we were going to take pictures at Karen Blixen but you had to have an expensive ticket even to be allowed to take a picture. We didn't take pictures, so our memories are only in our heads. We went to the AFEW Giraffe Center. It was 700 shillings each and you got to feed the giraffe out of your hand. Then I put the food in my mouth and it kissed me! Miles was grossed out. Then you could hug the giraffe while feeding. They had 5 giraffes including 2 babies who were 10 months old or less. We also saw a warthog, then went on a walk on a trail. We thought we left with plenty of time to get to Sheldrick on time but traffic was terrible so we were about 5 minutes late. It was only open from 11:00-12:00 because the elephants are healing. They need to keep them basically wild because they are going to be reintroduced to the wild when they recover. They brought out ten really young elephants as young as six months. The really tiny ones had on blankets. The way they arrived at the Wildlife Trust varied from falling into a well, to getting too close to the village. Some had their mother poached. After abotu 30 minutes they lead those elephants away and a new group came out of the forest. The small ones are about knee high. Their trunks were so small. They knew their place and quickly guzzled down two huge bottles of milk. These were more playful, splashing around in the mud hole, wallering on each other, blowing dust onto themselves
. We learned how important family is to the elephants and how the keepers rotate and stay with the elephants 24 hours a day, seven days a week including sleeping in the pin with them. We left before hordes of other people did. Two European boys were complaining and I wanted to strangle them. They were bored, hot, hungry, and thirsty. Apparently they did not realize that for many people this was a once in a lifetime experience. We saw a caged rhino then some wild baboons on the way out. Next, we went to a place called the Galleria. It was basically a mall. there were shops, restaurants, banks, a Maasai market, and Nakumatt (large supermarket). We had a couple hours. I split a pizza with Miles and we each had a drink for 560 shillings. We converted some money, bought two kinds of candy bars at the grocery store then bartered at the Maasai market. We got two wooden keychains for 300 shillings, then I traded two tee-shirts for a small bowl. I got cheated on this deal, but they need things way more than we do. we met James and headed to the Bomas of Kenya. There were tons of school kids there. Seriously there were over 200 kids with their adorable little uniforms and their little bald or braided heads. There was dancing and music from many different tribes. They sang, had drums, harmonicas, chimes, and even accordians. The dancers would change clothes for each tribe and the dances were different. Then a group of acrobats performed and they were great (in fact, I need to look up if they were the group on America's Got Talent.) They flipped, jumped through hoops, over and under fire, and made many different pyramids with their bodies
. After this, there were replica villages to look at from several different tribes. The huts varied but they were usually made of clay. The husband and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd wife huts varied as well. Then this Maasai guy working for the Bomas popped up out of nowhere. He took it upon himself to show us things and pose for pictures then he had the audacity to ask for 1000 shillings. Go fly a kite mister! I was ticked off, probably even more than the 40 Baht picture in Thailand.
We started back towards the hotel at 5:00 and by 6:45 we were back (remember, we were only 12 km away). Have I mentioned that I hate traffic yet. We dropped off our backpack then headed to dinner at the hotel. Miles ordered supreme chicken and kachumbari (tomato, onion, and peppers). I got wet fried Mbuzi which was goat with french fries. At dinner (before and after) the waitress brought steaming hot wash rags and told us to wash our hands. We were the only people asked to do this. Did they assume we were dirty or was it supposed to be considered a nice gesture? Perhaps I should ask James tomorrow. Now for some things that I forgot. On the way we saw one area with tons of maraboo storks wich are scavengers. When James picked us up, he asked how we liked the hotel. We told him about the fight in the night. He basically told us it was commonly used as a whore house and that the street is not safe at night. James is a nice guy who seems to have everything going for him
. He has a wife and pre-school aged son who he sends to private school. Also a niece is living with them and he and his wife sponsor 4 students. He has an uncle who golfs, but golf is considered a rich mans game. His mother was an english and business teacherso needless to say, his english is wonderful. His wife helps the African Childrens Choir and when they were dating she toured around the US for 1.5 years. The group is made of very needy, well-behaved, musically talented individuals and there is an audition. They even sang for President Bush. This is the 35th year for sending a choir. The students stay with host families in the city where they are singing.
We noticed girls with shaved heads at the Bomas so we asked and it is common for people in the countryside to do this. Apparently, not only are the teachers physical with the students but can cut off their hair if they underachieve . Caining is allowed in the schools, but James asked to be contacted before his son is beat. We saw 7 baboons but both times were brief so hopefully there are more to come.
Food- 1965 shillings
Activities- 3760 shillings
Souvenirs- 1760 shillings
Driver- 5500 shillings
Tips- 800 shillings
Today we are supposed to meet the driver at 7:00 am so the alarm was set for 6:00. We already set all of our clothes and bag out the night before. Breakfast starts at 6:30. We had a very hard time sleeping. We woke up at midnight and stayed up for about an hour reading because we were wide awake because of the time change. Finally we fell asleep only to be woken by two women screaming at each other at 4:00 am. We got to breakfast when it opened. Our guide was about ten minutes early. We made a plan to go to Kazuri beads first because it was the farthest away. It took over an hour to go about 12 kilometers. I will not miss this traffic when we leave Nairobi. Then open at 8:00 but we got there a little after 8:15. We toured where they mold the clay and paint the clay. Then we saw the kilns where the clay is fired. Then we also saw pottery pieces being poured, molded, spun, and painted. Then we went into the shop and looked and looked. We went back and bought some individual beads then got earrings, necklaces, and a hand shaped and painted giraffe and zebra