Off on Safari to Kenya

I am excited.

My first trip to Africa in July 2003.

My first trip to East Africa was in 2003. It was all new and kind of scary to be in a world that seemed quite different from what I was accustomed to. Little did I know as I set out on that trip with a friend that I would return multiple times over the next few years and develop friendships and associations that have enriched my life incredibly. My travel with McGill students into rural East Africa took me to small villages and rural campsites as well as larger cities like Nairobi and Kampala and Dar es Salam. I have snorkeled in the Indian Ocean, wakened to the sound of lions grunting just outside my tent in the Maasai Mara, met folks in the Kibera slum, flown as “copilot” in a small plane over large herds of elephants, lived like one of the family in homes in Kenya and Uganda and learned so much about life and culture and society in East Africa from the many Africans I have met. I have lived in small communities without seeing another muzungu for a week. Tomorrow I am finally heading to Kenya to visit with friends who are like family to me and whom I have not seen in over four years.

Alex and Judith Adam at the opening of the Nkuyan School in 2009. One of our first CanAssist projects.

In April 2008, along with Canadian friends, Judith and Alex Adam, Marie Richardson and Mark Waldron, I started a small charity – CanAssist African Relief Trust – to help provide sustainable infrastructure to schools and hospitals and villages in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania. We had no idea that this small charity would still be working in 2022 and will have sent over $1,500,000 to help multiple East African communities.

Tomorrow, after a hiatus prolonged by the COVID epidemic, I am finally heading to Kenya to visit with friends who are like family to me and whom I have not seen in over four years.

This week I have reread my pencil-scrawled journals from my earliest trips. So much will have changed from those earlier safaris, and likely much will have remained the same. As I travel over the next three weeks, I will reflect on those changes, and also on things that don’t change. My tip this time is mainly to visit people I have come to love and respect in small Kenyan communities. I will share some of those experiences here as they unfold.

And, of course there will be pictures.

So join me, if you like as I rediscover Kenya. I will try to post something every couple of days. If you want to flow along you can enter your email address and click Follow in the column on the right and you will be notified when I publish a post.

12 thoughts on “Off on Safari to Kenya

  1. Dear John;

    You still amaze me! I am in awe of your spirit and adventure as you travel to places I can only dream of. I have always enjoyed your posts from around the world and look forward to receiving updates on your latest travels. Have a wonderful trip – (though I guess it is much more than a “trip”). The interchange between two such diverse cultures must be exciting. Enjoy your friends as I am sure they will cherish your friendship. Stay safe and healthy.

    Eileen Berst Tucson, AZ

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