Travelling in Kenya
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Travelling in Kenya was an experience of a lifetime. Being there with work was a bit of a bummer as it restricted me to stop me doing a lot of things, however, Kenya as a whole was unbelievable. I experienced many different things from interacting with the locals, being in and around wild animals in their natural habitat but probably best of all was going to help a school build tables and seats to work from.
During my time in Kenya, I traveled around quite a bit. I saw many different towns but spent time at Archers Post, Empala Farm, Nairobi, and Nanyuki, spending most of my time in the latter town of Nanyuki. To find out the top ten things to do in Kenya read here.
Interacting with the Locals
Interacting with the locals in Nanyuki was quite an experience as some are genuinely nice but others just want your money. In particular, the courier shop owners always try and rip you off, so bargaining with them was something I learned I had to do very quickly otherwise I would be down a lot of money. Do not get me wrong some of the carvings are masterpieces especially when you see them carve a chunk of wood to an ornament right in front of you. These people are very, very talented.
The same cannot be said for the people working in the shopping mall. These people were in a variety of jobs from security guards, to waiters, to till workers. However regardless of their job and regardless if they were having a bad day they would always say hello.
Now, this is something most people that get to do have to pay thousands for but I was lucky enough to get to see some beautiful animals going about there daily business in their natural habitat for free. I saw a range of animals from Baboons, Elephants, Giraffes, Zebra’s and a variety of deer as well as a variety of insects such as Spiders and Scorpions. I saw the vast majority of the wildlife on the plains of Empala Farm.
While travelling in Kenya the best but very frightening encounter with one of these animals was an adult Elephant that had a baby with it. One night I was driving along a road, then before I knew it this huge bull Elephant, standing at least ten foot tall, ran across the road in front of me. I slammed on the breaks to which then the baby ran across the road to join its parent. I sat in amazement staring at this bull Elephant. However, he was staring right back, flapping its ears constantly. This was concerning due to knowing if it charges its tusks are coming straight into the vehicle no bother at all. Now for those that don’t know, when an Elephant is flapping its ears, that is a warning sign to move away as the Elephant feels threatened. So when the Elephant started flapping its ears at me I began to feel like it was time to leave, however, the four guys in the back of my land rover decided they wanted to get out and get that million dollar photograph of this incredible creature. After a few seconds they jumped back in and we reversed back and took a road just of to the right where we drove past the two Elephants and were on our way.
What a feeling that experience was. A mixture of emotions from adrenaline to being a bit scared, truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
There was another close encounter with another very dangerous animal. During a night safari, our tour guide stopped the tour. Everyone was confused as to what was going on. Then it came over the radio that a pack of Lions had surrounded us and we had to stay still and wait until they moved on. I had never been so scared my whole life. Knowing these ultimate killing machines are watching your every move and have been for a while but you cannot see anything but darkness. The Lions eventually moved on after about five minutes but which felt like days. Quite an experience I must say.
The worst thing about my whole trip was the poverty in Kenya. Poverty was rife throughout Kenya but worst in the capital. Nairobi. This truly saddened me, seeing young kids, some older than my son but many younger and this broke my heart.
Before coming back to Nairobi I went on a community project to a primary school in Nanyuki where I wanted to help the local kids. The project I was part of was installing a gutter system which ran into a huge water tank. This enabled the school to catch any rainwater that fell as doing this was crucial due to the drought in Kenya at this present time.
After tearing down an old gutter system, installing the new gutter system and helping attach it the water tank, it was time to try and restore an old pile of wood into something the kids could use. So that’s what I and a few of my friends did. We managed to build a few more desks the kids could use in the classroom, we also built a huge table in which the school dinner lady could use to help put containers on while cooking. We also managed to build the kids two football goals so they could play the beautiful game of football.
The best part of my trip was seeing how appreciative these kids were towards us. After their lunch, we invited them to play football with us which was amazing. Doesn’t matter which colour, race, sex you are, sport always brings people together and it was so special to see. At the end of our day, the head teacher got the pupils of the school altogether and thanked us for our work which was great. The head pupil then also thanked us before the head teacher got the kids to sing for us. This was really special and something I will never ever forget. They almost made me cry, it was beautiful.
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