Goodbye Kenya…We’ll remember you always…A few favorite photos…

Tom took this photo in the Masai Mara using the little Samsung camera. Wow!

It’s almost 10:00 am Friday. In a few minutes Tom will go with Alfred, the best taxi driver in Diani Beach,  Kenya (click here for Alfred’s email), to the ATM and to drop off the remaining empty water bottles for the refunds at Nakumatt.

We were so close.

The refund on the bottles is KES $1000, US $11.50 (the value of the US dollar declined $.28 since we arrived in Kenya three months ago). With the three jugs, we’ll receive KES $3000, US $34.50 back.

After an exhausting day in the bush, this older elephant was tired of holding up his trunk. So, he tossed it over a tusk to lighten his load.  Sounds like us, attempting to lighten our load.

The packing is almost completed except for the shorts and tee shirts we’re wearing today and the BugsAway clothing we’ll wear tonight for dinner at Nomad’s, our choice for our final night in Kenya. A driver from Nomad will pick us up at 7:00 pm for a leisurely dinner at their oceanfront restaurant. 

“OK, I’ll pose for you!”

Once we return, we’ll pack the clothing we wore to dinner, check our email, and go to bed, hopefully getting a good night’s sleep.

“It’s a birdie day!”

Today, we’ll say goodbye to Hesborn, our houseman for the past three months, Jeremiah, our security guard, and of course, our gracious hosts, Hans and Jeri. Then, of course, our borrowed pups, Jessie and Gucci, who will each get a hug as they offer up a round of “snappy kisses.”   

This cub was at one of the ends of a culvert under the road.  When she got tired of our photo taking, she got up, walked across the road, and re-entered at the other side. What a site!

It hasn’t been easy for us here. Nor was it easy in the heat of summer with the awful biting flies and bees in the mountains of Tuscany, Italy either. But, Tuscany certainly served as preparation for our more trying time in Kenya. How we’ve changed.

Lions in the Masai Mara seldom climb trees.  Anderson spotted this cub and raced across the bush to get as close as possible.  The mother lion and more cubs we lying under this tree.

Had we known how trying it would be, would we have done it differently?  Perhaps. But, we still would have done it. Nothing, and I mean, nothing, will ever match the experience in the Masai Mara on safari or even our three-day experience with the monkey and the snakes at the seaside resort. That is what brought us to Kenya in the first place, the hope of seeing the Great Migration. 

This lion was sleepy after his big zebra meal (behind him).

Not having seen the Great Migration was incidental to the life-changing adventure we had in its place. At this point, we have no need to see it in the future. When Anderson, our guide, took us to the border of Kenya/Tanzania to see the end of the Great Migration, the flies were so bad that we had to cover our eyes, mouths, and faces. You know how I feel about flies.

Only once for a period of 30 minutes, did we have an opportunity to watch the antics of the Colobus monkeys. Many people living in Kenya have never seen a Colobus.  Getting this shot made me want to swing from trees.

And now, we move on to more heat in South Africa (where it will be summer soon), with more bugs (wildlife results in more bugs), and a new sense of caution for the wild animals in our midst at every turn. Tougher now, we aren’t afraid. Instead, we’re mindful and cautious, and, more than anything we’re excited and curious.

Within minutes of entering our ocean cottage at The Sands Resort for our anniversary, holiday, this monkey was peering into the window wondering what we were going to do with our complimentary fruit plate. Many guests feed them putting them on alert each time a new guest arrives. We didn’t feed them.  This photo was taken through the glass window.

Earlier in a post, I’ mentioned that we’d share our total costs for our three months in Kenya. This total includes every possible expense: rent, food, transportation, entertainment, safari, resort stay, taxes and tips, fees and airfare, and overweight baggage fees to travel here. Every expense, however small, was included, such as a KES $260.85, US $3.00 trip to the produce stand, a beverage purchased at the airport, a tip handed to a bellman.

This photo was also taken through the glass (notice reflections) as this young mom came by hoping for some tidbits for her babies.

Our grand total for living expenses for the three months in Kenya was KES $1,388,746, US $15,971.78 which averages to KES $462,916, US $5323.93 per month. We are very pleased with these numbers, especially when it includes the high cost of the safari, our anniversary holiday, and the frequency of dining out.

This winking chameleon made us laugh, especially his funny little mouth.  He appears to be made of quality beadwork. We met him at the Snake Show at the resort. Tom is holding him.

Goodbye, Kenya. Thank you for your friendly people, for your exquisite vegetation, your breathtaking scenery, and for the wildlife that freely exists in your natural environment which your citizens so adamantly protect with grace and reverence. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms, as you proudly release us to send us on our way.

Comments and responses Goodbye Kenya…We’ll remember you always…A few favorite photos…

  1. Isabel@FS Reply

    Wow, amazing pictures. Your journal made me quite emotional. While you have said it was a difficult trip you also said how amazing it was. Ying and yang, good and bad. It all balances out. I hope you are travelling safely, I can't wait to hear of your safe arrival. Hoping all the organization around your technology ie battery life, worked out as you planned.

  2. Anonymous Reply

    Hi from Pat,

    You picked some very good pictures to repost, especially the cub in the tree. Boy, what a life he seems to have.

    I also liked the old elephant and his draping his trunk over his tusk. He looked like he was also leaning back on the tree. He reminded me of myself today after I finished hanging Christmas lights from the gutters. I went up and down that ladder and moved it so many times, that I was ready to collapse and lean against a tree and hold my head in my hands. Oh, the joy of Christmas decorating!

    I know the goodbyes are always sad but the moving on is exciting. And just think, you will have air conditioning in your next house.

    It was sad to hear about your having to get rid of so many of your clothes. But wow, how nice is that, to be traveling so light. I was thinking that maybe you could rent formal clothing on the cruise ships. That way you don't have to worry about your luggage being overweight again. I know they rent out tuxedos so I imagine they would also rent ladies' gowns.

    It was interesting to see your 3 month expenses while in Kenya. At first glance I said wow, but then when I thought about it, not so bad. We are going on a 14 day Caribbean cruise in a balcony cabin and we will spend way over $5,000 just for those 2 weeks. So your figures are not all that bad. But the other figures you quoted for US taxes, health insurance and fixed personal expenses) which averages to KES $462,916, US $5323.93 per month seemed overwhelming to me.

    There sure is a lot more to traveling than meets the eye!

    I will be saying a prayer for you on Saturday and Sunday for your safe travels to your new home. Actually I will stop and pray now because you are already on your way.

    We will be waiting anxiously for your next post.

    Pat and Dan

  3. Jessica Reply

    Thanks for all of your wonderful comments, Isabel! We're packed and ready to go in about 25 minutes when Alfred arrives. Be back in touch before too long. I'll be glad when we get situated in SA.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  4. Jessica Reply

    Pat, sorry if I wasn't clear, I wrote: "Our grand total for living expenses for the 3 months in Kenya was KES $1,388,746, US $15,971.78 (this doesn't include US taxes, health insurance and fixed personal expenses) which averages to KES $462,916, US $5323.93 per month." I will rewrite this for clarity. We're waiting for Alfred to head out. Will be back in touch soon.

    Thanks for writing again. I love hearing from you.
    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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