Although it’s been almost a week of returning to the Middle East, I’m still not over my excitement of visiting Nairobi. Leading up to my trip, I questioned many of my colleagues and friends who were from Africa about things to do and places to visits on my journey. I looked at pictures on the web, watch small infomercials on YouTube but of course watching videos could never compare to visiting the country in person. There were so many special moments to treasure, from meeting new friends, to dining at one of the best restaurants in the city, to visiting Nairobi’s National Museum and learning interesting facts about Kenya. I listened as the locals, who were bilingual, communicated in their native tongue Swahili. I was impressed with how getting around the city was easy by taxi. I experienced a small taste of Nairobi’s nightlife by visiting a lounge frequented by the locals and famous for its live West African music performed by various house bands and authentic African cuisines. From there, Joseph our taxi driver took me to another club and later drove me to a spot where I was able to watch the stars shine bright over Nairobi’s beautiful skyline. I looked forward to the next day as we were off to capture parts of Kenya’s wild life and camp on the Masai Mara Reserve. On route to the game park, I stared out of window to scenes one could only see in a National Geographic Magazine. There were small African children hurdling cows, mothers walking along dirt roads with their children wrapped up on their backs and miles and miles of families working in the fields.
When we reached the reserve, there was a traditional African greeting by the Masai Warriors and later we settled into our cozy tents before setting out on our first morning game drive.
We spent two days in the game park capturing amazing photos of wild animals in action and taking up all that mother nature had to offer with conditions of the weather from bright sunny mornings to gloomy raining evenings. We were also welcome to visit their primary school facility. The village consisted of ten man-made homes with a total of 150 individuals altogether. I was happily invited to listen to a short story inside a home where I learned that each family member slept on mud concrete bedding padded with a Masai cloth. They have no running water or electricity and a small fire pit in the middle of the floor, which needed coal so that the home could stay warm. The nearest market is 13 miles away, so families only have time to shop once a week for food and supplies. A typical school day hours are from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Students must arrive 30 minutes early, to help clean the classrooms before they could have breakfast and school grounds to make space to play for their afternoon break. There are eight classrooms readily available to educate 600 students with hardly any resources and a devoted teacher who’s only paid $250 American dollars a month. My tour of the village ended as did my trip with the lights in the entire reserve shutting off to prevent any wildlife or ambush predators attacking the animals, warriors or tourists in the middle of the night. I must conclude by saying that everyone must place Kenya on you places to visit list and GO TO AFRICA!! I enjoyed Kenya and felt very welcomed and appreciated on the Masai Reserve, my experiences on this travel went well beyond my imagination and are now a part of my life forever.