Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm working on it...

But until then, I am going to give you a few more Africa pictures. I know it is a total cop-out, but I wanted to still post every day. Besides, Miss Norah interrupted the Africa report. I have a few posts that I started when I got back.

We went on lots of airplanes during the trip. They were all small planes that seated between 6 and 20 people. I am a TERRIFIED flier and I was just fine. For some reason, being able to see the ground was a good thing (I think the Xanax helped too). This was taken out the window on the way to the Maasai Mara. The Mara is a protected area in the south part of Kenya, right on the boarder with Tanzania. The Serengeti technically ends at the river that creates the boarder between the two countries. We were staying about a mile from that river on the Kenya side. It is some of the best safari country in Africa.

I also took this from the plane. This is a little Maasi village. We saw about hundred of these types of villages from the air. The "fence" of this village is made of thorny bushes. This is to keep wild animals out and the cattle in. The center circle is where all the activities take place and where the animals are penned at night. The big circle on the right side is another animal pen. The little huts are where the people live. Typically a village of this type will have a husbands hut, a first wife's hut, a second wife's hut, an older son's hut, etc. It was pretty cool to see them all from the air and to see that they were basically the same.

This is the landing strip and "ramp" at our airport on The Mara. The long red dirt road is where we landed and walked across this little wooden bridge.

This is what was on the other side of the bridge. This is the shelter where you wait for the plane. There are 4 or 5 safari camps out on The Mara. The plane leaves Nairobi and then runs a route like a bus. You go up, and then down to let people off at the first stop, then up again to the next stop, etc. We were the last stop. On the way home the plane was running about two hours behind. At least there was shelter..........

And shopping....... This was (like all airports) the most expensive place to buy anything!!!

We arrived at the camp in the afternoon. Just in time to meet our driver, Nafatali, and take a quick drive. You cannot be on The Mara past 6:30 pm. After that, they assume you are a poacher and you will be shot at. Seriously. Even though the landscape was sparse, there was still a beautiful picture everywhere you turned....... These trees are where you often can see the big cats.

Sunset on the Mara. It was so beautiful. We went during our summer, but their winter, so the days were a bit shorter. The colors were unbelievable.

Bright and early the next morning we took a balloon ride.......... that story will come in the next few days. It was pretty incredible.....

12 comments:

compulsive writer said...

Love love LOVE your Africa pics!

b. said...

Me too.....I'm looking forward to reading and seeing more.

tracy m said...

I am totally living vicariously through you right now!

Bek said...

This is all just a sneaky trip to get you all to come with me (or at least donate supplies) when I go in the spring.......

AzĂșcar said...

Well it's WORKING.

Julie said...

I want to go!!! Have you thought about selling your photos?

Susy Q said...

We went to Kenya in February 2005. We, too, went to the Mara, as well as some other places out there. It's astounding how some of the same pictures you took (the Duty Free shop at the Mara airport, for example) are the same ones WE took!! It's a small world, isn't it?

I actually do have some Kenya pics posted on my blog (http://www.bigsisdiaries.blogspot.com) Maybe you'll recognize some of the scenes!

Looking forward to reading more! I just LOVE Africa, and I'm so looking forward to going back later this year!

Bek said...

I am sure that picture albums all over the world have the same few pictures. The same Maasi dancers, etc. We must all be struck by the same things, huh?

What camp did you stay in? We stayed at Kekorock. It is one of the oldest, but it burned down a few years ago and was recently rebuilt. It was very posh. I loved it. :-) It is the last stop that the plane makes....just past Governers Camp.......

I am going to look at your pictures right now....

Susy Q said...

Hi,
In the Maasai Mara, we stayed at the Siana Springs tented camp. We liked it there (but we had a situation one night where we THOUGHT there was a monkey in our tent...long story :-))

We liked better, though, our lodge at Lake Nakuru- it was called Mbweha Lodge. Did you go there?

I always think it's fun when I talk to people that have gone to the same places/done the same things as we have. I'm interested to hear more!

b. said...

Bek...what takes you there? I would so love to go on a medical or humanitarian trip there!

Mandy said...

I love love love the pictures!!! I so want to go with you!! It would be such an awesome experience. I am watching a show on travel channel where a group of mom's go on a trip to Africa. They are from all different cultures and backgrounds and it's so neat to watch.

We want to find out what tribe Asha's great grandpa on her birth fathers side was from so some day we can take her there. We think it would be an amazing trip.

I am sooo tempted to go with you but I just couldn't leave my girly.

Emily said...

I love everything Africa. My brother just got back from Kenya, but I have not been there. I spent a couple months in Namibia, and traveled to Zimbabwe and S. Africa. I missed the reason you went and what work you are doing there. Can you tell it again for us late-comers?