Supposedly, hippos are all over Lake Naivasha. Our friends, Mike and Aliza, said they literally had one living in their garden at night. Sounded like a bunch of willy nilly to me.
On Sunday, Camille, Eric, and I ventured on a boat safari on Lake Naivasha with our two friends, Jody and Mona. We piled everyone into our new Toyota Duet, pictured below.A Toyota Duet is nice a little car that gets terrific gas mileage, is very low to the ground, and is probably the worst car you can own in Naivasha. Kenyan roads can be a little bumpy. I already broke it. To get to the boat safari, we had to drive down this long, narrow dirt road that was probably used for trenches back in World War I. Around half way down, we hit an unavoidable huge rut, smashing the bottom of the Duet. The Duet makes some very strange, loud noises now. Plus, on the way back from the safari, I had to swerve to avoid a Boda Boda driver (an aggressive Kenyan motorcycle-taxi). I smashed the left side of the car into a cactus. There is now a large thorn in the one of the wheels, and I’m not sure whether to pull it out. Anyway, we’re shopping for a new car, so let me know if anyone wants a well-seasoned right-hand-drive Duet.
The boat safari! We boarded a small blue speed boat, and off we went.
|Family and Jody. Looking good, Jody.|
Our destination was a local tourist attraction in Naivasha called Crescent Island. Crescent Island used to be a scenic but deserted island with no animals. In 1985, Universal Pictures decided it was the perfect location for the Robert Redford movie, Out of Africa. There was only one problem: no animals. Solution: ship in animals. So Universal introduced giraffes, gazelles, zebras, water buffalo and wildebeests, who now run free without predators, for the benefit of humanity. Check out the pictures to see us standing next to the animals. The giraffes were the most awe inspiring; truly graceful, beautiful creatures.
After admiring the giraffes, our guide led us down a slightly overgrown path towards the water. We were day dreaming, walking in peaceful giraffe bliss…laaaaadeedadeedadeeda… HIPPO! We surprised a hippo just ten feet away, who barreled through the brush into the water. Woah. On the ride in, our guide pulled up to a tiny island where three hippos were sunbathing.
They are huge, magnificent, dangerous animals. I pictured one rising out of the water and chomping a pelican, like the shark attacking the seal in the Planet Earth series, but then I felt a little bad. We now have proof there are hippos in Kenya.
Other notes and stories:
brought Eric to a little a preschool on Monday.
Although he was a bit young, he loved dancing and tackling a lovely
three year old girl named Tatiana. He
lost the foot race from the gate to the big tree, however. We’ll work on that.
The other little boy, Isaac, is not happy.
The nice teacher, Elizabeth, sifted flour on the table so the kids could write their names. Eric obviously destroyed them all.
- Naivashans are somewhat used to seeing muzungus, but they are not used to seeing muzungu babies. People just stare at Eric, and women routinely try to affectionately grab him. The woman at our favorite produce stand will wrestle with Camille to pull Eric away. Most people also could not tell whether he was a boy or a girl, so Camille chopped off all of his flowing curly locks. I would respond by shouting that I couldn’t tell if they were a boy or girl (!), and storm off.
- Donkeys are everywhere. They wander along the side of the road, walk through town, and they are used to haul goods. We had a stare down with a donkey in the Duet the other day. The donkey was not impressed. Unfortunately, the donkeys are treated terribly, and it’s awful to witness. People just beat them. Dogs as well. Many dogs are terrified of people because of the abuse.
out this hippo-eating spider we found in Eric’s room last night. It’s a good thing Eric caught him. Camille
and I just ran out of the room screaming.
- BEST WISHES TO ALL OF MY OPEN WINDOW STUDENTS! I miss you, and I hope you’re having a great start to the year. Send me an email at email@example.com.
|Relaxing with Eric|