Saturday, October 1, 2016

Final wrap-up: #JulyJourney #AfricaAdventurers

This shot sums up our time together - Lots of fun and smiles. Never a dull moment. Simple pleasures. A whirlwind of activity. Hold on tight. Don't miss the moment. Making memories. Family bonding!

We played a lot of competitive Scrabble games, even traveling with the board

“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together.”
~ Sarah Dessen 

All three kids read numerous books, at various and sundry places

We didn't go camping but we enjoyed s'mores at my house, roasting the marshmallows with my chimney jiko

We cooked several meals together. Family time!

We went to a cute 3-D movie, Finding Dori 

We rode a fair number of boda bodas (motorbike taxis)

When at my house, the kids slept on the floor

We had a fabulous breakfast at a restaurant with a trampoline!

Waiting at my house for our taxi to Naivasha, one of the girls with a neighbor and the other with a book

We bought sugar cane along the highway, so the kids could try out new foods

They saw some of Kenya's random and crazy sights

There was always time to try out something fun, and silly

We crossed the equator twice by road, and they flew over it twice by air

They weren't too fond of one aspect of traveling - getting a Typhoid immunization 

They were surprised by the prop plane for our 45-minute flight to the Coast

Such great travelers!

Saying good-bye to Kenya's amazing Diani Beach...

... and eventually saying good-bye to Kenya, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (with our taxi guy, Jack)

The kids had become 'truly international' travelers!

Many of my friends referred to Naomi, Aaliyah, Tony, and Mia's visit to Kenya as 'a trip of a lifetime'. It's actually quite accurate.

And, as for me, it was so, extremely amazing to have them here with me in my second home! At times it seemed like it wasn't even real; but mostly it just seemed very natural.

Be sure to see the posts of our upcountry visits on my regular blog page. We saw Margaret, Robai, Nathan and his family (including Deb), Martin, and Agnes' family. Just click here!

Mia, standing at a viewpoint overlooking the Great Rift Valley

Maybe one of you looking at all these photos and fun might want to consider making a trip to Kenya to visit me. Let's talk!
It's impossible, said Pride.
It's risky, said Experience.
It's pointless, said Reason.
Give it a try, whispered the Heart.
- - - - - - - - - -
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime."    ~ Mark Twain
- - - - - - - - - -

Be sure to click over to my main blog page, where I posted photos from our fun picnic in downtown Nairobi plus visits upcountry in Eldoret, Matunda, and Kocholia with Robai, Margaret, Nathan's family, Deb, Martin, and Agnes' family.

Exploring the Lake Naivasha area: hiking Hell's Gate gorge and enjoying Olkaria Geothermal Spa

Checking out a large group of buffalo (not in photo)

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
~ Helen Keller 

Hiking the gorge, and carefully touching the hot water coming out of the rocks

Our guide painted our faces with red ochre pigment, a common Maasai tradition

We eventually climbed up out of the gorge and reached the top for a beautiful view

A couple of tuckered out kids!

The hike had many challenging spots, including going up and down with ropes!

Some places were difficult, but we encouraged one another and conquered all the challenges!

After the hike, the kids enjoyed the quite warm geothermal spa, located within Hell's Gate National Park

The water comes out of the ground at a high temperature and goes through a cooling system before reaching 98 degrees, the human body temperature.

The kids loved playing and swimming in it, while Naomi and I opted to just dip our feet in the water.

Newly-washed shoes drying in the sun after our adventurous hike

Exploring the Lake Naivasha area: hanging out at Ole Itiko Cottages

Lake Oloidien is a smaller lake next to Lake Naivasha

Lake Oloidien changes from fresh to alkaline-saline, depending on the level of Lake Naivasha (a fresh-water lake)

Zebra at sunset

One of numerous Vervet monkeys near the lake and cottages

A giraffe wandered into our compound one evening, much to our delight!

Tony, ever alert to danger, scans the area for hippopotamus - a very real threat.

(internet photo)

Hippos are very aggressive and are one of the most dangerous animals in the world, killing more humans than any other animal. They can weigh up to 3.5 tons and stand 5 feet tall. They sleep in the lake most of the day, and graze through the night (approximately 80 pounds of grass each day).

We could hear their grunting all through the night, as they grazed right near our cottage! Click here to listen to their loud trumpeting noises, making it a bit difficult to sleep.

It was an experience that I'm sure the kids will never forget!

The kids cooked a delicious dinner one evening

Everyone had a great time during our three days in the area!