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Published: September 8th 2011
August is the European/American summer, so Nairobi basically empties out. It feels like everyone is on holiday or home assignment, and the weather is normally pretty cold (for Nairobi) and rainy. So this year we planned a few weekend trips to look forward to as Murray had a 2 week work trip planned. The Masaai Mara to see the wilder beast migration and to a Chimpanzee and Rhino sanctuary.
Unfortunately, for Murray, I freaked out, and needed to get out of Africa. So with these weekends away already paid for and non-refundable, Murray had the challenge to get me out and as cheaply as possible. We decided, as Murray transits in Dubai when he fly’s to Afghanistan, that I would meet him on his way back, and then we could holiday together for a week (Travelling with 3 little ones on my own – was well worth it!). We stayed with friends and had a blast; it was great to reconnect with a friend from our Kenyan home group who was there at the time. It was hot, but nothing an a/c bus stop couldn’t fix, and a dip in a chilled pool. It was Ramadan, and therefore illegal to
eat in public during the daylight hours (except for kids and a few other cases). You’re not even allowed to drink water in public, so we would go to the loos to eat and drink in “private”. Public toilets are particularly gross anyway, so eating and drinking in there wasn’t exactly fun, but we survived, never seen Murray eat a burger so fast! We enjoyed the water park, snow park, shopping malls, aquarium, playground/arcades. The kids really loved it all, and I felt safe as I walked around at night and in car parks, I slept soundly knowing it was extremely unlikely anyone would break into the house and hurt us. And if anything did happen, the police were only a phone call away and would actually help us. It was a very refreshing time for us as a family, and some much needed non-Africa time. We have now been overseas for 6 years, with 3 1/2yrs of that in Kenya.
The Mara Trip was good (although our friends ended up rushing their kids back to Nairobi to be admitted to hospital ), we enjoyed seeing some lions and the usual safari animals. Some zebras crossed the mighty
river, but the wilder beasts were too chicken, might have been something to do with the massive croc waiting in the river for them.
We went to Ol Pajeta Conservancy, which is near Mount Kenya. It is a privately run park, and was a very family friendly experience. We stayed in a lovely self-catering place called Pelican house, which has a traditional thatched roof, 3 bedrooms, a lovely big fireplace and a beautiful view of the watering hole metres away from our deck. We went with some friends of ours, and had a really nice time! We visited the Chimpanzee sanctuary, which is home to 41 rescued/orphaned chimps from Western and Central Africa. One of the chimps started running up and down the fence line, and then threw a branch at a big group that had just arrived. The other chimp close by stood up on 2 feet and clapped. It was very interesting to find out later, they act aggressively to uniforms, like guards, etc, which explained why they didn’t like that group in particular. Ol Pajeta is also well known for its Rhinos, however recently they have had problems with poachers, for more info check
out their website http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/node/317. We fed their blind, black rhino Barack, and saw Susan one of the white rhinos and her new baby. The Ol Pajeta Conservancy has had 5 rhinos killed this year due to poaching, isn’t that sad?!
September is back to school. Hayley has started 3 mornings a week; Charlotte is now full time, starting her first year of primary school - reception. They will both attend the same kindergarten (it is from 18months to 7yrs - British Curriculum). Emma is 8 months old, pulling herself up on furniture, crawling and generally wriggling around the room. She currently has 3 teeth, and is a delight, very cheerful and easy going. Murray will not be travelling in September, but will be studying hard, as he’s in the home stretch of his masters. He is also becoming involved in the Famine response in Somalia. And me, well I will have more time on my hands with Hayley in school, so we’ll see what I end up doing with that time.
Love to all,
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