I took more than 900 photos just on this one day. By deleting duplicates and blurry/pointless ones, I whittled that total down to a slightly less-embarrassing 582. I selected my favorites and was horrified to realize there were still 180. (ack!) I have posted a mere fraction of those here, but it's still a ludicrous amount of pictures. All that to say: you may want to settle in with a cup of tea before wading into this post. And let me defend myself with this quotation from photographer Marc Riboud:
"Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second."
Whereas Day 3 was dubbed Day of Many Ailments, Day 7 will be known as Day of Many Animals.
After seeing a monkey scamper into an apartment across the courtyard on Day 3 and then watching some monkeys on the roof on Day 6, we were delighted to have Day 7 begin with a perky little monkey right at our kitchen window! Nehemiah was especially smitten with it and begged us to let it in so he could hug it, but we didn't fall for that one. Below are the two videos of the adorable rascal. (I suggest you mute them so you don't have to listen to me exclaim!)
Had it been any other day, we might have been content to watch the monkey for a few more hours, but we had plans to visit the elephant orphanage and the giraffe centre, so off we went.
Because we would be driving about 30 minutes away and going to two separate places, Harry had planned to hire a car instead of doing Uber. Much to our grateful surprise, his friend Kanjii offered us a car for the trip. Thank you, Kanjii!
Our driver John picked us up about 10:00 so that we could arrive at the elephant orphanage in time for their Visitor Hour. (Yes, you read that right. They are open from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. only.) The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Elephant Orphanage is in the southwestern section of Nairobi National Park, directly south of where we're staying. I saw so many fascinating things on the drive down there.
One of my favorite sights was this striking fence. There's something so appealing about its mottled, askew look.
It's also a perfect example of the resourcefulness and ingenuity on display all over this city.
Even the road signs are charming.
One MAJOR answer to prayer was that my knee was feeling tremendously better on the morning of Day 7. Thanks be to God for that! It would have been a rough day if my knee had been in pain.
The elephant orphanage was beautifully arrayed with lush plants and wooden cabins, and a stone path that led to a wide, dusty clearing and a roped-off "corral" with a couple of small pools. While we waited for the elephants to arrive, we noticed a baboon in a tree a couple hundred yards away and some warthogs grazing on the other side of the corral. Then the smallest elephants came trotting down the path directly across the corral from us, right past the unfazed warthogs. As they neared the half-dozen keepers, clad in bright green coats and clasping HUGE milk bottles, the elephants picked up their pace and nearly knocked the keepers over in their eagerness to suck the milk. The tiniest elephants were clad in red Maasai blankets. They looked like little ponies ready to cart toddlers around a ring at a fair. I'm really not into animals that much, but oh, the cuteness! And watching Nehemiah absorb it all was worth the price of admission right there.
HERE ENDETH DAY 7 - PART 1.
You made it!