Thursday, November 12, 2009

Safari to Maasi Mara!

I'm not sure what took us tso long, but Sara and I finally made it to Maasai Mara for safari. Our guide was Mike, a very talkative and determined Kenyan. We were accompanied by Kate, a friend of Mike's, and Adam, a 19 year old volunteer from SanFran. It was a good group. This sounds funny, but I liked having another American with us. It was weird at first because I'm not used to the accent (yes, it's an accent) anymore but its nice having someone who understands you all the time so there's no need to constantly elaborate (though I still love our Germans : )). We decided that between the Germans and Kenyans, we're destroying our good English. Just today Sara turned to me and said, "We go." instead of "We will go." It's bad.
Anyway, the vehicle we were in was a van with a roof that popped up so we could stand and take pictures. The very first thing our guide asked us when we started our safari on Friday was, "What animal are you most excited to see?" I immediately answered that it was the giraffe and it was the first animal we saw Friday night! On Saturday morning Mike was trying to find a lion for us and I totally spotted one laying in the bushes. I've always said I have the best eyes in the family and now I have proof. My favorite part of the day was when we were watching some elephants wash themselves when Mike suddenly yelled out, "Rhino and a baby! Rhino and a baby!" He literally put his foot down to the floor and gunned it down the hill to the Rhino. It was pretty funny because you could see other vehicles racing to the same spot from all over the park. I love it. Besides the millions of zebras, gazelles, and wilder beast, we saw cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, crocs, ostriches, and lion cubs. I definitely took the most pictures of the babies.
The scariest moment was when we saw a lioness and lion on honeymoon. They got up from where they were lounging and walked right towards all the vans and passed between them. It was crazy how close they were!!
The place we stayed was also really nice. They were permanent tents that had electricity, running water, a toilet, and HOT showers. Basically everything we don't have at the project. We were so pumped about the showers, we took four of them! Anyway, a great weekend away!
Michel, one of our colleagues from the project, left last week. He dressed in a Shuka (which is pretty much a dress) to take pictures with all the kids. We, the volunteers, gave him a tree to plant as a goodbye gift...and made him plant it in the traditional Maasai dress. : ) It was entertaining.
A new volunteer, also from Germany, came on Monday. It's really nice because the kids have exams next week so we need all the help we can get in preparing them for it. I've been working on math with the three older girls; Mary, Mary, and Agnes. I've seen some actual progress with them so I'm really excited. It's certainly an uphill battle trying to teach multiplication and division when they don't know their basics. BUT, that's good for me! The whole reason for becoming a teacher was so I could see the Aha moment a kid has when it suddenly clicks. So, I'm exhausted, but really happy. : )
Pictures are coming soon!

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