It is good to be back in Kenya. I woke up on Monday morning, after about three hours sleep, to the sound of birds outside and a bright light streaming through my window. In my jet-lagged haze I wondered why there would be a spotlight outside my room that came on near dawn. Turns out it is the sun.
Fresh pineapple and mango juice at breakfast. The pineapple here is like a different fruit than what we get at home. It is juicy and sweet and tender. Probably picked yesterday. I enjoy fresh pineapple here almost every day. It is delectable.
One of my bags took a side trip to Amsterdam. The other one, full of calendars and books and kids clothes to give away arrived safely. Luckily I threw a toothbrush and a cap and a change of shirt in my carry on along with a week supply of malaria prevention medication so I really did not suffer. This has happened to me a couple of times in my travel past. It always points out how much less I really need than what I bring along with me. I had all my electronics and camera supplies so I was able to function but it has been difficult to locate my bag and slow to get it transferred back to me.
I was thinking of sending out one of those “I have lost my bag and can you send me money by Western Union” emails like I get from I people I barely know but luckily Kenyan Airways came through in crunch and saved my friends the trauma.
Our first day here was filled with activity. A visit to the Daphne Sheldrick shelter for orphaned elephants was a delight – twenty-five elephants all under three years old that have been rescued and are being cared for with eventual re-introduction into the wild. I had been there once before and seen an IMAX film (Born to be Wild) last year that highlighted the work done by this refuge. The elephants are shown once a day and if they decide to come close to the rope dividing barrier you can touch them. Quite extraordinary. More about the Sheldrick Trust can be found here:
At lunch time we sat at the edge of the Rift Valley at a very breezy Baridi corner, one of my favourite places to visit reflect on the magnificence of nature. I will spend a bit more time there on the weekend when I visit my friends, the Moikos.
The weather is a bit cooler than usual, probably around 20 degrees C. Just like in North America, climate change has made the weather more unpredictable and erratic, with extremes of wet and dry, hot and cool. The difference is that here they have fewer resources to deal with this change and reliance on the traditional weather patterns for agriculture, for example, have made planning difficult.
I will get over my jet lag in about 3 days and feel more settled now that my luggage has been found. The adjustments to being in Kenya include the transition from winter to summer, overcoming the 8 hour time change and getting into “Africa time” where nothing happens quickly or according to schedule.