Yesterday, I ended the day feeling better wiped. We decided to take this morning "off" and very last minute (ie - last night around 8pm) decided to take today to do a morning safari. We had looked at going up into the Great Rift Valley or somewhere further away - but since our travel plans have changed and our time in Kenya is cut shorter (more on that tomorrow) we decided to do the local safari. Nairobi actually has a safari right in the city limits. There is chaos and noise everywhere... and then we drive into the park and enter another world. I was very skeptical that it would be any good and was worried Marcie would be disappointed. This is her first trip to Africa - and she is using vacation time and her own money to be here. I have her working with me each day - so this was her one outing. Well - it absolutely did not disappoint! I have been so fortunate to do a couple safaris, and I must say this one was definitely comparable! I saw animals here I'd never seen before! Such a fun morning. And again - right in the city (we were back by 11am!)- so crazy!! Here's a few favourites of many, many photos. We started early in the morning...
This little monkey climbed on the back of our van - which doesn't sound bad except the roof was wide open! After I swatted it out of the van - our driver said he had a slingshot we can use next time. (note: I am not taking the time to load up a slingshot if there's a monkey in the van)
Wasn't expecting to see ostriches for some reason. But there were lots!
Special mother and baby moment...
Boys will be boys - these guys were so loud fighting!! Growling and the horns crashing!
And this scene of probably a hundred or more zebras (we were surrounded!) was the last of the morning. So amazing.
We then came back - popped into town one more time to inquire about birth certificates for our friends here before heading back to Kibera. I went and spent some time with my favourite ladies - this group of women are so amazing. They are all HIV+ and yet they choose to say they are "living positive" instead. Always laughing and joyful. They are so thankful for all the help they have received by volunteers - they are paying it forward by offering free sewing and hairdressing classes so others in the slums can earn a living!
We spent time looking through the women's paper beads they have made, discussing colours, sizes, quality and designs. We are not coming home with new designs from them but they are in the works! Communication has been a big struggle - so we discussed how to address this in the future, and we are so excited to see the designs come to life we worked on today!
One funny moment (of many with this crew!) was when one of the women brought out one single candy from a package that she had saved for herself from her child's Give5 bag. She brushed off the lint, grabbed a machete and cut it up for everyone to try. Judging by Teresa's face - it was sour!
While I was with the ladies, I left my sister to try and collect data from the first group of people we are hoping to get birth certificates for. So thankful for Marcie and all her hard work on her "vacation". Trying to navigate these birth certificates is beyond frustrating - two trips into town so far, hours and hours of researching - and then trying to gather information from people who aren't always entirely sure which is their middle name and which is their surname - or what exact year they were born in. But it is their number one priority and we are committed to it. We had planned to take a group to a fun outing tomorrow - giraffe center or something like that - but they said they would instead want to spend that time going to apply for birth certificates. Tomorrow we are taking a dozen people down to try to apply! Pray for my sanity.
I came and met with this group who does bone and brass jewelry and discussed designs as well. Love seeing their own designs - they come up with way better ideas than I ever could! One thing that surprised Marcie was how friendly the men are - they often look stern in their photos - but you can not meet a more welcoming, fun, warm group of guys. So tried to encourage them to actually SMILE in photos today. Joshua has such an amazing smile - had to show that!
And then we had time for some more time hanging out with some of the artists and families before heading back (to spend hours researching birth certificates - very glamorous evening, I know). A great day - lots accomplished! I'll sign off with a photo of Marcie and our shadow - whenever we are in Kibera, Gift has not left our side. Love this little guy.
Tomorrow is our last day in Kenya before we head to... I'll tell you tomorrow. It's late here and I have to be up early to take a group of Kenyans to attempt to get birth certificates! Ahhhhh.....