|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.