I had a real taste of travel in Africa. We tried just about every mode in 12 hours… it was an adventure, to put it mildly!
We awakened in a canvas tent along a river in the Masai Mara game reserve. We had a good night’s rest interspersed with the sounds of lions roaring, zebra’s barking (in alarm), and a leopard grunting as it meandered through our camp. Pretty amazing to wake up to. :)
Jared Busl gave us (and our motorbike) a ride across the Mara until we reached the edge of the park (the National Geographic folk who dwell in this part of the world are very adverse to motor bikes and all things unnatural in general—hence the need to get a land cruiser ride out of the park boundaries).
Driving across the green Kenyan countryside with wind blowing through the hair and zebras/impala all around was a real thrill. It was SO beautiful. We followed a dirt track around the north boundary of the park and shouted greetings across fields to colorfully dressed Masai herdsman who were leading their cows and sheep to early morning pastures.
Crossing the Mara River
The lovely ride ended in a classic way—flat tire. We graduated to walking and pushing the bike until we were rescued.
Next phase of travel: Land Cruiser ride (almost) to Nairobi. That stretch was comfortable. Especially after we left the three hours of dirt road section. We were dropped off at a curio shop an hour from Nairobi and there the real adventure began. We first caught a
ride with a stranger (with a comfortable vehicle) who happened to be eating lunch at the restaurant and amiably agreed to give us a lift. An hour or so later, we were dropped off in the middle of the city. I left half my clothes (the favorite half) back at the safari camp. We made arrangements for the clothes to make it back to the States and I did emergency shopping for minimum essentials. I’ve learned we both have the knack of losing/forgetting/leaving things behind. ;) Quite the team we make in this regard! So far we’ve kept track of our money and passports.
By the time we hailed a mutatu (minibus) traffic was
clogging every thoroughfare. But no worries, the mutatu drivers are legendary for their ability to make headway in spite of traffic, using all manner of
creative driving maneuvers. We were packed in like sardines and the ride progressed as planned until the bottom fell out of the vehicle. Let’s just say that we came to a grinding halt (quite literally). Perhaps an axle broke. We didn’t take time to find out for sure in our haste to join the crowd packing into the already full bus that someone waved down. We were a sight I’m sure, toting our great 50 lb backpacks and various camelbacks and handbags in with us.
Once we were pinched in between people, the bus ride was a little more benign than our previous transportation. It was apparently in no hurry to get anywhere really fast and we wound around blocks and stopped every minute or so to let people off and on. Darkness had fallen by the time we were dropped at another busy crossing. It was all we could do to keep the taxi drivers from hauling off with our luggage as they shouted for our business.
Pretty soon we were jammed into yet another mutatu (this one kept its axles intact). After more minutes of careening through traffic, we were dropped off in another dark and busy town center. It only took only a few minutes to catch a taxi and find our way to Maxwell Adventist Academy.
I don’t know that I was ever so grateful to see a bed. It was a great day, but one I would aspire to live through once in a while… not all the time. :) A couple hundred miles and 12 hours of travel later, it was good to rest.
In case anyone is wondering, I’m loving this adventure!
Our little friends at Newstart Children's Home
Hello friends. This is Luke. Have brief internet access while doing some shopping in Nairobi. Since our last (belated) post, we have spent time in Zambia and are now in Kenya. We will post more pictures in the coming days.
The first 4 weeks of married life have far exceeded my expectations (which were high in the first place). Life with Luke is more of a delight than I bargained for. As are all of God's perfect ways. :)
This is still just the morning of a new day. A new chapter of life lies before us.
I've already come to realize that it is going to be full of fun, adventure and unexpected experiences. Like firing our handy camp stoves and spreading the ingredients for our hot burrito dinner on the curb and parking lot of Walmart on a recent road trip. It was a great
way to eat, but I admit I wouldn't have thought of it myself. What could be more charming than eating a wonderful dinner with one's new husband like a couple of upper crust hobos? Way more fun than restaurant dining (and I mean what I'm saying here... those of you
who really know me could vouch for that!).
Now we're on to a new adventure. Africa. As I write this, we're at Newstart Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe, and loving it. The children and young people are absolutely precious. I don’t think I can get enough of them. Luke has been here before and they all love him. It is a delight to watch. :) Spending time with Uncle Helton has been wonderful too. It is a privilege to be here and serve, even in small ways.
Poor internet keeps me from uploading pictures. Hopefully our next location (Riverside Farms in Zambia) will be more amenable to such activities.
Thanks for your prayers!