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Kiara's Amazing Travels

SAFARI!!!

KENYA | Monday, 22 June 2009 | Views [949] | Comments [1]

Hey everyone,


Sorry I haven't been in touch much lately, have been really busy exploring Africa and working with our beautiful kids at the orphanage. Got back this morning from our three day safari in Masai Mara which is a national game park and where you find all the Masai tribal villages.


Our first day wasn't amazingly exciting as we had to drive approx 7 hours to get to the Mara. We did stop off at the Rift Valley lookout which is huge and absolutely gorgeous, hard to capture properly on camera. The valley apparently stretches from Jordan to Mozambique which is pretty mind boggling!!!! On arrival in the Mara we settled into our accommodation which was like luxury camping. We were in safari tents with actual beds and even a little front porch to relax on ahhh how nice!! Hot showers, flushing toilets and meals that included meat were definitely added bonuses – lol see the things I appreciate now!!!. I don't think you understand how we are living here in Kenya. The water and electricity cut off randomly and for periods of time which can be a massive pain in the butt. Also Sara and I spent about 45 mins today scrubbing our clothes, rinsing and wringing them out because I don't think anyone in Kenya owns a washing machine. A laundromat here could be a business idea for all the mzungus like us who aren't really partial to raw knuckles!!!


Anyways back to the safari.... So the first night I drank my first ever beer (Dwayne you are officially allowed to call me a bogan once for this lol and jess you should be proud of me). We sat around a camp fire talking and swapping stories with the local Masai tribesmen. I can't explain to you how surreal and fascinating this was. It was like stepping into another world, the way they live is so primitive compared to what we are accustomed to. Mind you this wasn't part of our safari, I just started asking them questions and they asked us some in return. I doubt that many other people get to experience something so different so I count myself very lucky for that. They pity us for the amount and regularity of divorce in our countries, they were shocked men only have one wife and that it is illegal for us to keep sheep in our houses!! One guy asked about travel to the stars and when we briefly explained travel to the moon he was pretty confused – asking how we get there and how we know when we arrive. One of the girls in our group is originally from Sierra Leone and they questioned how Africans got to other countries, to which she replied “Um we fly” !!!!


Now a bit about the Masai people and how they live. Initiation processes into manhood involve traveling in the wilderness for 5 years, hunting and killing a lion, circumcision and marriage. Female circumcision is now illegal in Kenya but some families still travel over the border into Tanzania to be able to carry out the ritual. The going price for a wife these days is 10 cows, unless the man can 'jump' really high, then he can lower the dowry to about 6 cows. Men are expected to have an even number of wives and usually minimum 4 who all live in different villages. The women build the houses by the way – power to the women woo hoo!!! But on the other hand it is very common and socially accepted to beat women to ensure that they are obedient. The tribes literally use everything from nature and don't waste anything. They drink blood, sometimes boiling it and mixing it with milk. For anyone who's interested, I've been told it's quite tasty but took their word for it!! When we were shown through their village we were welcomed into some of the mud huts. Literally made of mud, grass, wood and cow dung!!! After they eat meat, they like to smear some of the fat and grease into their skin so you can imagine the flies they attract. We saw kids and adults just covered with them, pretty disgusting in all honesty but they seem quite immune to it. The women also are renowned for their bead making which is so vibrant and rich in colour. That's something else I find fascinating. That they live in mud huts with the most simple tools and way of life, yet their clothes, jewellery and body decorations are insanely intense. It's a huge contrast but just have a look at the photos and videos. I could write about this for ages because I think it was such an amazing experience but I migrht be boring you all so I'll move on plus I'm starting to feel like I'm writing an essay haha


So the actual safari was cool but a lot of driving. First day we saw giraffes, wilderbeest, zebra, gazelle, lions, crocodiles, hippos and elephants. Probably the most exciting and scary thing to happen was when I was kinda leaning out of the top of the van to take a photo of a huge male lion and it woke up and gave me the death stare! Needless to say I was back in the van quick smart but with some good shots on my camera lol. The scenery was divine thats the only way to describe it. It's exactly as I pictured Africa in my mind but even more stunning. On the second day of safari we woke up really early so we could see the sunrise. Got some awesome pictures and we were very lucky to see three cheetahs which are pretty rare and hard to find. I must say I think they were my favourite animal and we all got a bit excited when they started stalking a group of gazelles. Sadly we didn't see any hunting in action though :(


So another adventurous weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend to anyone. Learning first hand about the Masai way of life was my highlight, I don't think there is any better way to experience a culture that has held onto its traditions for such a long time.


So until my next entry – I love you all and advise you to appreciate washing machines, beds that don't squeak, meat, constantly running water and electricity!!!

enjoy every moment, I definitely am

ki xoxo

Comments

1

Hey Ki
I am so proud of you. What awesome experiences you're having and I'm enjoying seeing Afreeka through your eyes.

I'm thinking of getting rid of our washing machine and putting in a big bucket. Do you think we really need to keep the fridge as well??? And don't worry, of course I'll fluff up your straw mat when you come home.

Love ya
Mummy

  Mum Jun 23, 2009 11:08 AM

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