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Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Nanyuki
February 4th 2014
Published: June 5th 2017
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Alarms rung at 7 am, it was time to get ready. At 8 Speck was by the car and by 8:10 Caroline was onboard and the first cow was being shooed from the Way. The drive to Nanyuki was so swift they Daniel stopped at the corporation shops that Mr. Kimathi had invested in, and the three of them had a wonderful breakfast of tea (Kenyan style with milk and sugar), doughnut, mandazi, and a plate of chips and sausage. This really hit the spot and it was with eagerness on their faces and food in their bellies that Daniel drove Speck and Caroline into Nanyuki.

At the main turn off to Muthoni's, Karuoya and Muthoi were picked up. Back up the road the turn was made to the safari camp. Since there was time to kill before the tour, an additional turn as made with the intention of meeting a family friend. This is where Speck looks back to see that the adventure has gone off the rails.

Enroute to the family friends school (she is a primary school teacher), the car pulls off the road so a phone fall can be made to alert the parties arrival. When there is no answer the car is restarted and backs onto the road. When it faces the direction it came from, a soldier comes out and directs the party to enter the military police station. If you ever find your self detained by any sort of police, military or otherwise, call your Embassy immediately. Speck tried to let the situation sort its self out, in truth, he could almost see the humor of the error the soldiers were making, but when everyone had been questioned, and no offenses had been clearly defined, and so much time had passed that they had missed their tour appointment, Speck started to get frustrated. With the encouragement and help of his wife, Speck called the US Embassy and explained their worries and frustrations, the fact that the humor was gone and the worry was starting to set in. Mike at the US Embassy was wonderful and if you are ever in Kenya and meet an American named Mike then buy him a coffee or beer for me. Mike contacted the Department of Defense, who contacted the Defense attache, who got in touch with the Kenyan Defense Force. This action inspired them to release the 6 of them so fast they they regretted it. In fact the Kenyan military regretted their release so much that they recaptured the Mercedes just short of exiting the military perimeter. They returned to the MP station and required to submit statements of their treatment and the situation. Finally they were again allowed to leave. By this time Caroline was thoroughly incensed. Her ire was expressed by announcing that she is "Becoming a US citizen ASAP...done with the Kenyan bureaucracy & no longer proud to be Kenyan after this moronic experience".

After their final escape, the car went to the Mount Kenya Safari Club, their original destination. On the way again a cow is blocking the road. While they were there they saw pygmy hippos, bongos, a mongoose, llamas, a baby buffalo, cheetahs, a porcupine, and several species of monkey. Speck was given the opportunity to interact with them and was so excited when one sat on his shoulder and ate from his hand, another monkey jumped and grabbed a banana from his hand. Afterward the car drove to Muthui's local (neighborhood pub), again having to urge a cow from the road and then drive quickly from a second angry cow that was throwing his horns. The travelers celebrated their freedom while fielding a call from the army base. Mrs. Speck, as she identified herself when the base commander called, told them that they had left Nanyuki and had no intention of returning. The soldiers wanted them to come back for some vague reason but the US Embassy had told Speck to stay away from all army bases for the duration of their trip. Best as they could figure, the soldiers wanted to use them as hostages again to cause the teacher to return and submit a statement since she had successfully escaped the first time.

On the way back from Nanyuki the car stopped to take pictures with Mt Kenya as the backdrop. Upon seeing a mzungu Jacqueline, James, Muthoni, and Thairu climbed the hill. Speck would like to think it was to meet the mzungu and not to beg for shillings but he would likely be wrong.

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