Monday, March 3, 2014

Baboon Cliff

A baboon tried to steal my baby!

I must be allergic to baboons, because I am sneezing up a storm today.  Possible short blog.

We traveled to Lake Nakuru National Park on Sunday with Sarah, an awesome resident.  We drove up to Baboon Cliff, which overlooks the entire park.  Similar to past safaris, Eric was sleeping.  The view was beautiful, and, true to its name, there were many baboons on Baboon Cliff.

Quick side note on baboons!  Did you know their butts swell up and turn bright red during mating season?  Can you imagine if that happened to humans?  Life would be pretty exciting. 

As we parked, we noticed a sign advising visitors to keep car windows and doors shut.  We rolled up the windows and climbed out of the car.  Immediately, a gigantic male baboon jumped out of a tree a walked straight towards us.  He strolled right by me, paused, and leapt onto the car.  I instantly tackled the baboon and gripped him in a headlock as he swung his arms toward my hea…ok, that didn’t happen.  However, I did freeze and stare at him as he climbed all over the car.  Eric just slept.  We have so many stories to tell him when he is older.


Hmmm… how about a “things not to do” list...

10 Things Not to Do:

Uhuru Highway.  Can you find our car?
1. Don’t drive through the center of Nairobi to get to the airport.  Don’t do that.  (Remember my story in last week’s blog about drivers ignoring the brand new traffic lights?  Last Friday, the city gave all traffic cops the day off to test the functionality of the traffic lights.  We were stuck on Uhuru Highway for three hours.  How far did we travel?  About 200 meters.)

2. I recently ate an entire goat leg at a “nyama choma” barbecue meat restaurant.  Don’t do that.

3. I saw someone driving a motorcycle while passing me and talking on a cell phone.  Don’t do that.

4. When Eric gets mad, he walks over to his table full of books and throws them all on the floor.  It’s hilarious, but don’t do that.  (This is his new method of expressing anger, ever since we stopped letting him smack us in the face.  Honestly, when he was mad, he'd walk up to us and smack us on the face.  We finally became serious parents and taught him not to hit.  Now, he just throws his books on the floor.) 

5.  What’s that Camille?  Don’t leave the windows open at night!  I don't want to be woken up by buzzing in my ear, forcing me to get up, turn on the lights, and stand perfectly still on the bed with a children's book in my hand, waiting for the little bugger to land so I can flatten him/her.  Luckily, all the spiders in the bedroom will probably catch them.

6.  Do not forget a bib when feeding Eric yogurt.  Don’t do that.  


Camille is very flexible. 
7.  Do not leave you wife alone in bed with her imagination running.  Don’t do that.  (I was playing pool at a nearby clubhouse last Saturday night, when my phone buzzed.  I read the following text message from Camille:  “Hi Danny, there’s something moving under the bed.  It’s making noises.  I’m too scared to move :/.  GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE RIGHT NO…ok, I made up the last part up. I immediately ran home, grabbed a flashlight and broom, and entered the bedroom.  Camille was somehow clinging the ceiling.  I looked under the bed, and there was that blasted baboon again!  We fought round two, like Peter and the chicken from Family Guy [very inappropriate show, students].  Actually, there was nothing under the bed.  But if there was, my broom was ready.)

8.  Do not NOT eat my version of Kenyan stew and sukamawiki!  Delicious.  Do not not do that.  

9.  Do not pet the water buffalo loitering along the side of the road.  Despite how cute they look, don’t do that.

10.  Do not let baboons steal your baby on Baboon Cliff in Lake Nakuru National Park.  Don’t do that.

The original entrance to Lake Nakuru National Park.  I swam out there before we realized it was closed.  The lake is rising, drowning these acacia trees.

Impalas are beautiful animals.
A white rhino cooling in a watering hole.  Please no one shoot it and send the horn to Vietnam to cure hangovers. 

Can you find the lions?
Hi lions.  A male below a female in a tree.  She might be trying to get away. 
Straggler flamingos that didn't migrate to Tanzanzia.
I always have a picture of a zebra.
A black chested snake eagle.  Although, it has a white chest...
A rock hyrax.
A red headed agama!
Check out the baboon to the bottom right.

Two cats came to visit.
Emily Ford, these pictures are for you.
Eric loves cats.

Yes, Eric already brings an iPhone to the potty.  The potty training has begun!

  It's March!  Thank you for following us for all these months.  And thanks for the comments :).


  1. Eric is soooooooo cute!!! :D And wow that rhino picture.......

    1. Thanks, Zhao Hui! Also, how are you?! I think I owe you an email :).

      -Mr. Gu

  2. Yikes - you know your Mom LOVED the first sentence of this week's blog - a baboon tried to steal my baby - REALLY! The list of "don't do's" was really fun and entertaining to read - and the photos - just fabulous. Impressed with Eric's ability to eat with a big person spoon - a bit messy, but it looks like at least half is making it into his mouth! Love you, MOM

    1. Mom! Eric loves eating with his big boy spoon almost as much as he loves throwing his big boy spoon.

  3. Nice work on the animal identification. It's thought that human females (like the females of most animal species) used to advertise when they are in estrus (fertile), but evolved to disguise this because it encourages males to be attentive throughout their reproductive cycle - not just when they're capable of conceiving.

    1. Thank you! Also, thanks for the info. Who is this? This sounds likes Conor...

  4. great writing in a fantastic blog: I was not checking my email much during our week in Knoxville--not once is equal to not much. Nice job again. You will have such a great record of your African adventure.

    1. Dad! I hope you've enjoying your vacation. It's golf season!

  5. Hi Dan! Your story reminded me of the Monkey Hill in Hong Kong. When I was little, my parents took me there and we were not allow to take any food (or show any sign that you may have food ) when we hiked around the area as the monkeys would attack and steal the "food looking thing" from you. It wasn't a pleasant hike as I felt like I was being "watched" all the time! Scary!
    Please say hi to Camille and give Eric a big hug for us! We miss you guys a lot!
    PS I'm going to let Rachel tell you what her decision on her future high school is. Very proud and excited for her!

    1. Hi Vivian! Oh man, I now want to go to Monkey Hill. Camille says hi, and we miss you all as well. I can't wait to hear from Rachel!