It’s Monday, and normally that would mean it’s time for a new Monday Mantra, but I think I’d like to carry last week‘s over for another week. I kinda fudged that one and really need to commit myself. In lieu of something new, I’ve decided to share the final installment of my Kenya series.
In case you’re new or somehow managed to miss my last posts mentioning it, I took a big trip to Kenya last month. Posts one and two of the series can be found here and here. I think in the future I’ll be better about taking a more abridged approach to a trip like this, but because it was the first time I’ve traveled that far, and to a place kind of off the grid (seriously, Meru is out there), a little extra oversharing is okay! 🙂 Here it is, part 3, and the final part of this travel series!
We left Samburu to head toward Nairobi (where we’d ultimately fly out of). It was a long 4 hour ride mostly full of me napping because I can’t handle long car rides. We made a pit stop at a restaurant called Trout Tree that was literally in a tree house, in the middle of the jungle. From what I understand it’s a trout farm, but I don’t eat fish so that’s kind of lost on me. All in all this day was mostly full of traveling between destinations, and not as much about sight seeing.
I’m not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the hotel in Nairobi that we checked into, but it looked like something from the future; it gave me a very Tokyo-sleek vibe.
This sign is funny. A staff member saw me trying to take pictures of vegetation and told us to follow him as he… fed the monkeys.
It looks like he has a little beard!
The avocados in this caprese were massive. I wish I’d brought a seed back with me.
See? Tree house.
We got to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which aids in rehabilitating elephants (and rhinos!) that have been orphaned either by poachers or just natural selection, and helps reintroduce them to the wild once they’re ready. It was probably the first time the whole trip we actually saw other tourists too, which really stood out to me.
After watching a presentation on the elephants and learning all their names, we drove across the street only to visit giraffes! Then we saw lions, tigers, and bears!! Just kidding. But really, the giraffes were pretty rad, because WE GOT TO FEED THEM.
Hello look at those perfect creatures.
Look at that little trunk.
Everyone was nervous to feed them. Their tongues were crazy.
Crazy as in, at least 5 inches longer than that.
We also decided to go on a little nature hike which was kind of rad. Everything was very similar to what you’d find at home, except that there were GIANT wild aloe plants everywhere.
Oh and also this random Dr. Seuss looking puff ball. A quick google search just now tells me this is a “blood lily” which is so metal. Also it doesn’t look like a lily at all.
That flag stayed up until everyone had completely had their fill of the meat choices. They just kept bringing more and more to the table until you were done.
Sorry for the bad quality, but ribs!
Creme brûlée. Obviously the most important part.
Our last day. We ventured to the outdoor market, which was actually the most stressful experience I had in Kenya. I had to sleep with a giant bug net around the bed and worry about malaria, so being stressed by shopping should speak volumes.
I found that all people really wanted to do is see how much they could try to get one over on us, and haggling over prices got really tiresome. Sometimes I’d turn around from trying to complete a sale, only to find half a dozen people standing behind me, either listening in or maybe offering moral support to the seller? If I turned someone down at one booth, sometimes they’d follow us to keep trying to finish the sale, continuously lowering the price. One man did that with a tapestry I was initially really into, but his persistence got to be beyond irritating. Oops.
All that aside, the jewelry was beautiful. If I had a bigger suitcase with me (and didn’t have to barter so much), I likely would’ve grabbed more to take home!
Maasai fabric colors.
So much beading. Some of it was clearly hand made, and some clearly bought in excess.
The tapestry I loved then hated, all within an hour.
Women hand beading! Such crazy intricate craft(wo)manship.
Just looking at this I see 3 necklaces I wish I’d purchased! (Guess which.)
People selling along the fence outside as you leave the market.
We left immediately from there, stopping only to take a 10 minute trip for Pauline to meet a newborn family member at the hospital, then head to the airport.
It’s just as difficult to get out of Nairobi as it is to get into it, which I guess is both a blessing for safety, as well as a curse for travelers. At that point, we were just ready to fly home! And stop in the Doha airport again! I wish I had’ve slept some on our 19 hours of travel, but there’s really just too many movie options, and Qatar airlines offers a lot of decent food (considering it’s flight food). Re-adjusting took about a week, mostly because I never fully adjusted to a sleep schedule in Kenya, so there was no rhyme or reason to when I got tired once back on American soil.
Sunrise (or set?)
I learned a lot from this trip, both from being on it and from how I tried to handle the post-trip… post. I mentioned here things I definitely think are important to bring on future trips, but I also think it’s important to go in with a different mindset than I did. I have such an American mind where you expect to just be accepted and for things to be all inclusive, and really until we were in Nairobi, we were very much outsiders. Our skin tones alone made us stand out immensely, and it made the trip somewhat lonely in a way I didn’t anticipate, and will have to better prepare for mentally in the future. There’s only so long you can talk to the same 4 other people before you’re like “Hey, anyone else out there?? Bueller?”
I also think I need to really be better about handling my recaps of trips! I was kind of losing my fire, and I don’t want that to happen on something as exciting as this, so I’ll definitely try to work on getting travel blog posts up in a more timely manner. That said, here’s to even more trips in the future!