Wednesday, September 12, 2012

From my eyes in Nairobi to your eyes..

The last couple weeks have been a frenzy of activity here in Nairobi. Jason's work is really picking up now and he is greatly enjoying the project he is working on with I-TECH. Thanks to the purchase of our Suzuki Jimny, we are now able to venture a bit further from our home to see some of the more exciting sights around Nairobi.

On September 1st, Jason and I rode out to Karen (a suburb of Nairobi) to visit the Giraffe Center. This is also the location of Giraffe Manor, a B&B where the Giraffes can stick their heads into the guest rooms and dining rooms. There are many pictures of Giraffe Manor online. We did not stay at Giraffe Manor, however, for a modest fee we got to enjoy the company of a couple Giraffes at their feeding platform.

Here I am trying to entice the young giraffe to return for a bit more food:

With the assistance of the giraffe caretakers waving huge branches of yummy leaves, the giraffes returned to the platform for a bit more food. Here I am giving the juvenile giraffe some food pellets:

Another guest that came for some of the dropped pellet food was the warthogs. There were a few of them, a male and a couple lady-hogs. Despite their weird appearance and unfortunate name, they were quite endearing in the same way that Pumba was from the Lion King. They often walk around on their front knees when they are eating, as seen in this picture we took:

After a while we stepped down from the feeding platform to offer up some tasty leaves from ground level. Here is Jason feeding an adult giraffe:

We also met this guy, sticking his head out of a crack in the wall of the giraffe platform:

All in all we had a fun time at the Giraffe Center, and would recommend it to friends and family as a fun way to meet giraffes up close and personal. 

Later the following week we finally got a delivery to our apartment. No, it wasn't postal, UPS, Fed-Ex, or DHL. We looked into these options for sending and found them to be very expensive (meaning $400-700 for a 20 lb box). So, we made arrangements with an acquaintance who was flying from Seattle to Nairobi to carry some of our missed items to us. She was very kind in obliging us, and my parents went out of their way to make sure she got the goods before her flight. Thanks Agnes, and to my parents for their help!

Here I am...very happy to finally have our goodie bag all the way from Washington:

In our bag was xbox games (for the xbox i brought and forgot the games), baby clothes/items, a special spatula or pancake turner, and some mosquito repellant to make our clothes into bug free garments.

Here I am with yet another giraffe, but this one squeaks and is for our future baby: 

This last weekend, on September 8th, Jason and I met up with one of the Kenyan Fellows and her children for an adventure at Mamba Village. Mamba Village is a bit like a small zoo and a bit like a small amusement park. There are crocodiles, tortoises, a man-made lake, camel rides, and a petting/feeding area for giraffes, ostriches, and a random goat. 

Here I am at Mamba Village enjoying the adult crocodiles on display:

This one is smiling for the camera:

After viewing the adult crocs, we got to meet some of the smaller crocodile residents. Upon meeting this cutie, Jason had a surge of paternal tenderness:

I too enjoyed cuddling with the baby crocodile. This guy is about 2.5 years old. Isn't he cute:

Near the crocodiles was this crazy looking duck of some sort. We were told the name, but seeing as how I could not replicate the word that our guide made for its name, it was unlikely to stick in my mind:

Remember that duck (look up if your don't), well this duck spends 6 month creating its lifetime nest out of sticks and twigs. It returns to the same nest year after year, which makes sense since it took half the year to make it to start with. The duck stands about 14 inches tall, and the nest is about 4.5 feet across and about 5 feet tall. Its the largest bird nest I have ever seen. Another interesting thing about this duck, is that it always builds the nest with the small opening on the bottom of the nest, and the opening always faces east. Here it is:

After admiring the duck's architectural prowess, we moved on to getting acquainted with the resident tortoises. These are not "snapping" tortoises, unless of course you are a delicious pice of vegetation, as seen in the corner of this guys mouth:

The crocodile, duck and tortoise were really neat, but I was most thrilled to be meeting face to face with another giraffe. Giraffes are so neat! This one had some indigestion and burped frequently while it was being fed, which is a bit like a burp through a didgeridoo. This giraffe was very endearing and was equally thrilled to get food from me, take my hair in its tongue, nudge me with its nose, and lift my dress when I bent over to collect some of the spilled feed pellets. Everyone enjoyed it when it grabbed my backside and luckily I was wearing my leggings underneath. 

Here I am with my new friend:

It was hard to say goodbye to this friendly and gentle giraffe:

After enjoying the animals of the park, we got washed up and sat down for a meal with Angeline (Kenyan Fellow) and her children. Angeline has a very nice family and we very much enjoyed spending the day with them. Here we are for a group photo at the lunch table:

1 comment:

  1. OOOH! Wish we could have been there! Lani, you seem to have an affinity for giraffes, or is it that they really like you? We have another photo from a few years ago of a giraffe trying to slip you it's tongue. LOL