A Month In Kenya: Day 7 | Part 2 (Tuesday, June 27)

 

See the disclaimer at the beginning of Part 1's post and consider yourself warned!

The elephant orphanage was so enjoyable that we could have been satisfied if our single hour there had been the extent of our day. But we had yet another exciting stop on our schedule: the Giraffe Centre! 

Harry and I had never been to the elephant orphanage before, but we did visit the Giraffe Centre during our 2010 visit when Nehemiah wasn't yet one and Ezra wasn't yet three, and I had wonderful memories of it. Both the boys had been delighted by the up-close giraffes and I remembered having a languid tea with CuCu on the shaded patio there. I was looking forward to returning.  

As usual, even the slightest drive in the car, like the short five-minute trip from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to the Giraffe Centre, yielded many pleasant sights.  

I happened to be looking at something on the right side of the road (I don't even remember what it was) when John called our attention to the left side, where this group of baboons was lurking. So glad we didn't miss seeing them!

It made me curious about what a group of baboons is called. I love crows so I've often used the collective noun "murder of crows", and people are generally familiar with "herd of elephants", "covey of quail", or "pride of lions", but I had no idea what the collective noun for baboons was. So of course I turned to the internet and it appears no one knows for sure. This article and this article both proved interesting. (There's a phrase toward the end of the first article that may make some people uncomfortable.) Bottom line is that it's safest to call them a "troop of baboons", though I can certainly see why a "congress of baboons" seems delightfully appropriate!

One thing I enjoy about the next photo is the sleeping man. It's not uncommon to see someone catching a snooze on the grass, even on a busy street corner in the middle of the city. I was tempted to draw some larger conclusion from this, like Americans are more concerned about appearances and safety and Kenyans are more comfortable in their skin and at ease, but of course it's not as simple as that. I think I will just deem it another thing I've seen and been intrigued by, and that is enough.   

The other thing that strikes me about the next photo – the reason I took it in the first place – is the use shards of glass atop the concrete wall to discourage interlopers. Another example of a clever solution that's also beautiful. 

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Glass shards (detail)

Glass shards (detail)

Notice the tickets in the right bottom corner below. The boys (who are child Kenyan citizens) paid 50 KSh or 50 cents each. Harry and John (who are adult Kenyan citizens) paid 250 KSh or $2.50 each. I (a non-resident) paid 1,000 KSh or $10.00. Ouch!

Ezra loved the giraffes' giant purple tongues!

Ezra loved the giraffes' giant purple tongues!

Someone preferred to keep away from the feeding frenzy

Someone preferred to keep away from the feeding frenzy

Warthog in foreground, Giraffe Manor in background

Warthog in foreground, Giraffe Manor in background

 

Nehemiah thought it was hilarious when the giraffe slobbered all over him! He wanted to stay and pet the giraffe all afternoon. 

The road home took us by Karen Blixen's house, which I haven't yet toured but hope to visit sometime before we leave. Karen Blixen is better known by her pseudonym, Isak Dinesen, under which name she wrote the popular autobiography Out Of Africa and the famous short story Babette's Feast, each of which were turned into Oscar-winning films (the former in 1986, the latter in 1988). Babette's Feast is one of my favorite movies ever for its poignant combination of food and faith (and snow!) and is a must-see if you consider yourself a foodie.

The rest of the ride home was full of more stimulating sights, especially as we drew nearer to the city. Carts are piled high with bright, luscious fruits that would be extravagantly priced in the U.S. but are plentiful and affordable here. People spread their wares by the road to appeal to passing traffic, and laundry is strung like colorful banners from the balconies of apartments. 

We returned to town ready to eat, so we stopped at the Java House at The Junction Mall. John and Harry ordered Chicken Pies, I ordered a Beef Samosa, and the boys ordered American kid fare (chicken tenders for Nehemiah and a hot dog for Ezra). They both enjoy ordering chips (fries) because they're proud they know what to call them. My samosa was DE-licious, especially with a glass of mango juice. 

Although we were grubby and worn out, we took our first family photo since arriving in Kenya.

We really are having a fabulous time together. So very grateful we get to do this! 

A busy day away calls for some reflection and a little cozy-nest building. Harry spied them just sitting on Nehemiah's bed talking about the day, then they lay in their nest for a long time, laughing and giggling and reading. We even let them sleep in the same bed since we didn't have to get up at any particular time the next morning.