It was almost like she was in my head. I'm still not sure what I would say about my trip now, if anyone asked. I'm hoping these 31 Days of posts will help with that. Continuing on...
Turns out, the ragged shanty we passed was not our hotel (thankfully!) but was close. We drove down the gravel road to a gate, complete with a lion statue by the entrance "that Jordan thought was real). We were ushered in by hotel staff to a little room, where we were welcomed with some tasty juice and a smiling hostess. After so many hours on the plane/airport subway/van, we just wanted to crash. But, the hotel had kept dinner warm for us, and had kept the staff over to serve us.
How could we refuse?
|First meal in Africa|
The food was OK, but we were humbled by the thoughtfulness of the staff. We were led to our rooms, and the porters carried our bags. I have to say, these were some of the skinniest people I had ever seen but they were hauling those 50-plus-pound bags!
My room was away from everyone else's, which didn't make the team leader happy, but we just went with it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by my room. We had been "warned" that our hotel, while best of the best for Kenyan standards, would be like a bad Super 8 at home. It had an actual toilet (yay!) and a mosquito net over the bed, so I was good to go.
By then, I was exhausted, a little overwhelmed, and missing my family. Sad, right? I hadn't even seen Africa in the daylight yet and I was already emotional! I set my iPod alarm and cried for a minute until I passed out.
My alarm got snoozed several times (like 2 hours worth!) the next morning until I had no choice but to get up. This was our only preparation day, and breakfast would probably already be over. I walked to the door to my balcony and pulled back the curtains. Remember how I thought we were in the middle of nowhere the night before? Here was my view in the daylight:
|Good morning from Lake Naivasha!|
I went to the dining room, got a thick cup of coffee and, since none of my fellow sojourners were there yet, I went back to my room for a shower.
I was excited that my shower was normal--apparently connected to a hot water heater and so hot it could have blistered me! I was NOT so excited about not having a shower curtain, ledge for the soap, or a curtain over the window. That was in the shower. At eye level. Looking right into the hallway.
A made a curtain out of a towel, and made out OK. "I can do this!"
We finally all trudged out of bed, had our first African breakfast, and started getting the supplies organized by the destination. Some for the orphanage, some for the sewing ministry, some for the Maasai people. With 8 of us working, we were done fairly quickly, so we got our first treat--a flat-boat ride on Lake Naivasha.
To get there, we crammed ALL of us into one vehicle--and away we went. Wilfred explained that we were driving through an area known to be frequented by criminals. The street was covered by school girls, donkeys and goats. We could see gazelles and zebras in the distance.
Wilfred turned down this VERY bumpy road to find the boats, and this was our first up-close-and-personal view of African big game:
We piled into 2 boats and spent the afternoon riding past giraffes, pelicans, hippos, tilapia fishermen, and many kinds of birds. Then we all posed Survivor-style in front of a herd of wildebeests. Did I mention there was no fence separating the herd from the rest of us??
|I'm ready for my Survivor close-up!|
|Tilapia fishermen-wearing Speedos and using nets.|
So, our first real day in Africa was an exciting one. But was I ready for the next one, when the real work started?
Reflection of the day: Sometimes even the easy things are hard.
(Please check out The Nester and the others 31 Dayers here.)