My Christmas trip to Kenya was an amazing time and true blessing! It was so good to rest, relax, and have a family for a week!
Tuesday the 21st
We left about 6:30 or 7am from Kampala with our destination to be Nakuru, Kenya by nighttime. We left with excitement, but with sleepy eyes as well. I think almost all of us did some napping that first day (and most traveling days thereafter!). I set off that day with excitement and some trepidation as well! I was going camping in Africa…and had not been camping at all! Things started off well, though. Our van filled with 7 people including our driver. Our family included Terri (our registrar at school and our mom while in Uganda), Donna (math teacher and my roomie), Karli (PE teacher), Jessie (Art teacher), and Nathanael (Social Studies teacher), and myself (Grade 5 teacher). The combination of all our personalities is simply comical to start with and made for lots of fun times.
We made it to the campsite late that night, which was really really nice! My first night camping was fine other than having to walk a distance to the bathroom! Kenya is soo much colder than Uganda (at least in the Nakuru area). I loved the cool mountain air and farmland! I saw herds of donkeys and lots of carrots being sold on the sides of the roads!
Wednesday the 22nd
We left the Kembu Camp early in the morning so we could make it to Mombasa by nightfall, which we ended up doing, quite literally! One of my first exciting points of the trip was the lookout point! We were 8,000 feet up! It was beautiful, but the outhouse squatty potty was not! Let’s just say, I got a bit damp! Haha! But before all that, I slipped while handing my purse to Jessie and twisted my ankle and then got dizzy getting up due to the high elevation! So damp pants and twisted ankle were some the first things I remember about our trip!
It was nightfall or past by the time we reached our rented house! The scenery this day was amazing though! I finally got to see the amazing African savannah that was portrayed on “The Lion King”! As we drove down the road to Mombasa, we were able to see a couple camels that were in one town for tourists to ride on and a zebra! The zebra was so funny and fat! He actually just stood there and was showing off for us for a while!
Thursday the 23rd
Our big adventure truly began this day! We finally headed to the beach in Mombasa! Our driver first took us to a local beach, which we soon left and headed for another nearby beach. We spent the day exploring a beautiful beach that was mostly empty of people due to houses being built on the beach instead of hotels. We stayed nearby at Nyali beach. Let’s just say the beach looked like something out “Pirates of the Caribbean” with the rocky cliffs and wide white sand beach! One of the first things that Karli and I got to do was a ride a camel! It was really cool! It felt like riding a horse only taller and the start and ending is bit scarier because camels actually kneel down. I see now why the Apostle James was called “camel knees” because he had calluses on his knees from praying. Camels have very knobby callused knees! Later on during our journey down the beach, we stopped and saw some fish that local fishermen had caught! We saw a Puffer Fish, a Stone Fish, a starfish, and sea urchins among other things! It was so cool seeing such exotic fish!
About 2 or 3 o’clock we finally went in to get food at this funny little resort (more motel-like)! The staff actually had to go out and buy food to cook for our lunch! So that being said, it took a long time to get our lunch! While we were waiting, I chatted with our drive, Abdul, who compared Uganda and Kenya for me. He told me that Kenya has lots of money in comparison to Uganda. I think he was right. The grocery store “Nakumatt” in Mombasa had all kinds of things that we don’t usually see in Kampala. Before our lunch was finally ready, I went out to visit the rest of the gang at the pool. They were chatting with a somewhat nutty British lady, who had married a Maasi chief. She told about the horrible custom of female circumcision that the Maasi practice and apparently told the rest of the gang all kinds of interesting things. Let’s just say she was a true character!
After lunch, we learned our adventure was not yet over! We went back down to the beach to retrace our steps, but learned we could not! The tide was up to the rocky cliff and we couldn’t get back! We ended up walking through a construction site and then a young man lead us back to a main road. It felt like we were walking through a jungle on the way! We even saw monkeys! We finally made it an intersection and waited at a bus stop of sorts for our driver to go and get the van! We then drove back to our house and cleaned up for dinner.
We went to a great Italian restaurant for dinner that was about 5 minutes drive from our house. It even had a funny Christmas snow painting up! I order some amazing ricotta and spinach ravioli along with a passion fruit juice and couldn’t have been happier with my dinner! Our adventure got even more exciting on Christmas Eve! We drove down to a ferry boat and went down to the touristy hotel beaches!
To Be Continued