1/6-1/8 Protest, Van crash and safaris....Oh My!
Who knew Africa could be so intense? At first I thought the whole day was a sign I shoudn't be here...but I'm alive and still coming back. So let me explain this weekend in "the bush".
So 15 other volunteers and I are planning to take two vans to a safari journey for 3 days. Saturday our plan was to go to Rift Valley and Masi Muara village before arriving at this "hotel". We got Rift Valley where I tried to purchase some souvenirs but the dude tried to shake me down! $115 USD for a bracelet and a little painting, all because I was a tourist. I called his BS out on him. Sorry, not sorry. At the mall I got 5 bracelets, 2 paintings, a jewelry dish and 2 figurines for $25 USD! Who did this dude think he was trying to scam me?
That has nothing to do with the interesting weekend but was funny. Rift Valley was gorgeous and you could see forever! So we all pile into the vans to drive 2 hours for lunch. That turned into 5.5 hours. Turns out there were Masi people (a tribe) protesting some Chinese company for taking their land or not employing them (I don't know). So we were stopped dead forever in 90 degrees! We had to wait till the protesters cleared but then a police shot and killed a Masi. So we had to wait even more for the governor and their SWAT to intervene. However, I made the most out of it. I walked around the highway and met some nice locals but also mischievous kids. They laughed at my height, glasses, tattoos and braces. They would tease and ask questions. It was very entertaining to be honest. The road then opened for 5 minutes but we didn't make it. Next time we did and finally made it to lunch around 4pm.
Next section of the story takes place after lunch, driving to our 'hotel'! Setting: middle of Kenya Bush, no roads, and raining! We are driving on not even a road, there was no one out there except us! Remember it is already dark, raining and on a mud path. I am asleep when I wake up by flying out of my seat! I hit my head on the boy next to me. At first I thought we hit a big bump. This path is called "the free African massage" and it is none stop bumps for hundreds of miles. I am talking HUGE bumps. Then I realized we were in the bushes and I thought we flipped. Turns out our 'driver' fell asleep and we ran off the path. I also think I have a concussion on top of that the van was stuck. We were in the middle of no where, at night, in the rain, stranded in the African plains. But we were in a group so we wouldn't be attacked by animals. But we were assaulted by big, big dogs that were scarey. We knew we had to wait for a car to pass which a slim change during the day let alone at night. After long enough a van came and took us to our hotel, 20 minutes away. The 'hotel" was really TENTS! TENTS!! And the showers didn't work. A long long day.
The next day was the fun day...safari time. As soon as we entered Masi Mara *the savannah) there were two cheetahs eating a wildabest. It was so amazing. Then we saw lots of zebras, lions, leopards, elephants, gazels, impalas, water buck, buffalo, antelopes, jackels, hyenas, giraffes, and wildabeasts. Breathtaking is an understatement! Being able to see these animals not in zoos but in their natural environment is beautiful. Then on the way back, the other van broke down! On top of all of the hoopla it was a once in a life time opportunity.
Glad I took a break from teaching in the slums to take in the nature. Please check back for more updated. If you would like to donate please click on the "Bringing music to Kenya" tab. Thank you!:)
What a view!
Me and the volunteers I teach with. Four friends from Lebanon
Our stuck van!
The cheetahs eating
The Tanzania and Kenya border.
Entrance of the hotel
All of my fellow volunteers helping in Kenya doing child care or teaching.
A wild cat I befriended with chicken skin