Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Things I Learned on Our Safari--Part 1

1. I learned that when traveling internationally, there are so many security checks and lines to go through--and not just at the airport--at the hotels and museums too. But the airports are the worst. I would say there are about 4 or 5 lines at each one between security--twice, passport control, customs, etc. And you have to take off your shoes! Hate that. Coming home, Jordan and I counted--we had 13 security checks just to get out of Kenya!! Crazy!

2. I learned that there are animals everywhere in Africa. It's sort of unbelievable to see them at any moment--everywhere! Really! 

3. I learned that Kenya is beautiful as far as the scenery and animals go. But...

4... I learned that they do not have trash pick up--outside of Nairobi, so there's trash everywhere which is unsettling. They supposedly prohibit plastic. We were told that we could not have any ziplock bags. That posed a bit of a problem for me as I had to leave the snacks behind and was not able to protect my suitcase from exploding shampoos, lotions, etc. I only had to learn that lesson one time. Ziplocks baby!

5. I learned that Tanzania is brown and so dusty. I know that I would not have survived the "dustbowl!" I've already told Butch that I'm "done" with the brown states. Now I'm "done" with brown countries! Oh wait, we're going to Egypt in January. After that, I'm done! 
It seems odd to me that the animals thrive in this desolate place. Our guide kept talking about how plentiful the food is for the animals. That's when it occurred to me that I guess it's exactly like eating hay.
Oh, the birds! Beautiful birds. Every size and color you can imagine from ostriches to tiny little--
okay, I've already forgotten what these are called.

6. I learned that people walk everywhere--seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I kept asking myself, where did they come from and where are they going? There is nothing as far as the eye can see. It's not even like they are in a group. It's just singular people walking about.

7. I learned that what we think as beautiful weather--70's--is cold for the native Africans. They all have on coats and even wool stocking caps! And here we are in shirtsleeves. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather.

8. I learned that the wares they sell to the tourists are things they actually use. The colorful blankets are really nice. They wear them constantly in this heat of 70 degrees. Steph wanted to learn a few of their "draping" techniques. I wish she had.

9. I learned that people just sit. Again, what are all these people randomly sitting alone in the middle of the day along the roadside--out in the middle of nowhere? No one else around, just sitting.

10. I learned that Nicky is not a good person to send on a recognizance mission. He comes back with absolutely no information whatsoever. Don't know about Olly--we didn't test him! But he did do a great job with the camera!
Morgan and I are the best at getting all the facts!

11. I learned that people here LOVE their roasted corn--no butter or anything--just hot corn. They roast it street side all along the road. At the airport I went up to a little place to get a bottle of water and the attendant was munching on an ear of roasted corn. They don't even sell it there. It must just be a staple for their diet. Speaking of food..

12...I learned that they eat a lot of rice! Every meal--plain white. There's usually something to put on top of it.

13. I learned that their fresh juice combinations are delicious--for the most part. I did not like the tomato, beet, raspberry that I had for breakfast one day.

14. I learned that you can take your beer in the safari car. Whenever we had a "comfort stop" AKA bathroom, snack and souvenir break--the guys could get a bottle of Kilimanjaro beer. 
15. I learned that I like mosquito netting around my bed. It's all billowy-and full. After getting tangled up in it the first couple of times, I came to like the romanticism of it. We didn't really have any problems with mosquitos except one night when we were sitting outside at our last "camp" (they are really resorts). I did get a couple bites.

16. I learned that I cannot take malaria medicine. It caused me to develop thrush (I know, I only thought babies got that too, but considering this is my third time--take it from me, adults can get it--mostly women. It's a yeast infection--but in the mouth. This is the only type of yeast infection I've ever gotten.) I quit the malaria pills, so hope the two mosquito bites I got won't turn in to malaria. The thrush hasn't caused any real problems. It's more of an irritating type thing, a bit uncomfortable. Actually painful--especially when eating. Everything hurts.

17. I learned that I enjoy being greeted with a glass of fresh juice and a warm, moist towel when I get "home!"

18. I learned that there are so many motorcycles. Looks like it's the most popular form of transportation. I wonder if they have a lot of accidents--they do drive crazy around here.

19. I learned that I might be suffering from "shaken senior syndrome." It's when your brain rattles around as you navigate huge ruts and potholes. Honestly, it's a good thing that Butch and I are active and healthy. This trip was strenuous in terms of all that bouncing and jostling. You really had to hold on to keep from going airborne! There were some older folks--actually, they were mostly our age--that did not fare so well. They had lots of aches and pains.

20. I learned that I love my packing cubes. Especially when you have to move around so much, they certainly are handy. I have three of them. I put my outfits together in the largest one, underwear, socks, nightgown, swimwear and coverup in the next and finally accessories (safari hat, pashminas, swim hat, jewelry) in the smallest one. Love them. I see Christmas presents in the future for some family members.

21. I'm really good at bargaining. You bargain for everything here. We were told that you should only pay about half of what you are quoted. It sure came in handy when I took the girls shopping for tanzanite! 
I couldn't resist these sterling silver elephant earrings with the tanzanite stone.

22. I learned that people sell everything on the roadside---on the plain hard dirt. So many displays of bed frames (seriously, bed frames?? I saw at least three displays), couches and pots and pans. Even a whole display of shovels. Do they really sell enough shovels everyday to make it worthwhile? Even the potted flowers and plants are covered in dust. I don't think tourists are buying them. I just wonder who is buying all that stuff. I didn't see any tourists. There are just small villages all along the way--no electricity or running water--or (gasp) internet!!

23. I learned the real meaning of third world country firsthand. Do the people who live here know they are living in poverty? Or, I suppose that's all they know. That part of the trip was sad.

24. I learned that people play billiards outside on the hard dirt. The table was bigger than most of the dirt floor "shops". Maybe they just throw plastic over the top to protect it from the rain.

25. I can't use binoculars. I guess you could say I'm "binocular challenged." I'm sure the family was sick of me saying "Where? I can't see it!" Luckily, I only missed the far away things. I learned to just wait a second and then whatever animal you saw far away will be roadside at the next turn.

Stay tuned for part 2--tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you have had a great trip. My son spent 6 weeks in Tanzania in his last year of uni and really enjoyed his stay. He was not in a resort though and spent a lot of time with the local people, living and working at one of the schools out there. As you discovered, it is quite an eye opener to see how people live out there. The sight of the sun rising over Kilimanjaro from his bedroom window was spectacular!


Thanks for commenting. If you would like a response from me, then please leave your email address.