Good evening my dear friends!!
Our first full day in Kenya after a long day of travelling on our Brussels Airlines flight that took us from Brussels to Budjumbura to Nairobi. The flights passed reasonably fast, especially after watching a documentary about Mr George Adamson, Joy, Elsa, Christian and so many others. That’s when the first tears of this trip started to flood..a bit 🙂
Our guide, Mr Sylvester was waiting for us at the airport, ready with 2, yes 2 vans to take us and all our baggage to our hotel for the next two nights, the Stanley Hotel, which by the way we all like very much! Security at every door, on every floor but we do not feel unsafe at all. The gards can even tell us when our friends have left their room so they are indeed keeping an eye out.
For our first breakfast we gorged ourself on some very strong Kenyan coffee..(little did we know that even stronger coffee was to follow later in the day).
At 10:30am the phone in our room rang and the lady at the other side of the phone told us that the people from the Born Free Foundation were waiting for us at the lobby. So we packed our stuff together and went downstairs, where our friends Ellen & Lie were already seated next to the Makenna and Phoebe from the Born Free Foundation. How wonderful to meet them, being able to give them the money we collected and ofcourse give them some yummy Belgian chocolates. We could have sat there for ages and talked the morning away 🙂 We took some memorable pictures with some of the BFF banners and then we went outside to take some pictures next and on their LandRover truck. Oh god, how I would love to drive a truck like this!
I was impressed to hear what they did with the money and how carefull they are with spending the much needed money. I will go into detail about this later on, once we are back home. They invited us back to their office when we are next in town next week and we will be verry happy to do that! It would be an honor. So next Tuesday that’s just what we will do.
After saying goodbye to those lovely ladies we quickly changed shoes and went into town for an hour. Mekenna & Phoebe had told us about a nice coffee place, the Java Coffee house where we had some STRONG Kenyan coffee. Boy, I hope you understand the meaning of STRONG!!! I could not finish it. The other ladies had machiatto or latte so that was enjoyable to drink..mine was just a wee bit STRONG 🙂
At around 1:00pm we had agreed to meet up with Sylvester who was going to take us to the one of the orphanages here in Nairobi. He and his partner,Benson took us on a very adventurous trip..first we drove through a very busy part of the city and the things we saw there..well, let’s just say they sell things on the street ranging from woodwork, iron work, hay, coals, graves, crosses..you name it..they sell it!
Oh have I told you that people drive a bit carelessly around here..just a bit. Red lights are ignored, roundabout are used with 3 or 4 cars next to each other, hardly any markings on the street..After we had passesd some very busy streets we turned around a corner only to drive up a steep, muddy, pudwhole filled ‘street’. We were all shaken and stired inside and outside 🙂 Heads bumped against the window more then a few times. The ‘streets’ became very narrow and well, bumpy. When we finally reached the orphanage: Mama Tunza children home we were welcomed by mama Tunza, the founder of the orphanage.
Wow..how shall we describe this..it breaks your heart!!! the smell of urine was overwhelming..outside AND inside.
All the kids that were present were gathered in one big room and because we had brought them so many bags full of clothing, balloons and some toys they all started chanting and clapping..very emotional. They sang for some time and afterwards the clothes were givin to some of the kids..some of the taller kids were sitting there very silently..since we only had clothes for smaller children, that was very sad to see… I am sure that the bigger kids are often forgotton, if we had know that they had so many teenagers we would have brought more for their ages..
AT that point a little girl, called Susan caught my eye..AND my heart.
She was very timid, had the most beautiful brown eyes, walked around on bare feet, had a lovely purple dress on that we brought..her skin did not feel soft like our baby and kids’ skins feels, no she was covered with some sort of rash..sigh..the riches of the world aren’t devided properly..I could have just picked her up and taken her home with us. To give this little girl a future..
From what they told us, you can adopt any child in Kenya but of course you have authorities to go through and it can take a few years before you can take a child home with you and give him or her a much better future. If only we could have taken her home. They also told us that we can aid a child financialy but I need to look into that first. If I do something like that I want to make sure our money will go to Susan’s future and will give her the chance to go to school and learn something so she can find a proper job and earn a proper living…
I am very tired and sleepy right now but on this topic I will write more when we get home.. Still so much to say..
After this orphanage we all were touched and quiet. But we still had one more orphanage to visit..that of our little Elly, Naipoki!
Naipoki was found after she had fallen in a well and her mum and family moved on without her. The people from the Daphne Sheldrick orphanage rescued her and brought her to Nairobi where they will raise her until she’s around 2y old. Then she will be moved to Tsavo National Park were she will spend her teenage years so that eventualy she will be able to just walk away.
We were a bit early and were greeted by some of the handlers. The told us to go to the house where we could meet up with Lina. I gave her the Haribo sweets she asked for 🙂 and the working gloves we bought AND the money we raised. She said if we were interested to meet Dame Daphne herself…what a question 🙂 OF COURSE.
Out came an old lady with a big smile on her face. She was very friendly and greatful!! She talked to us for a little while and because of our good deed we were allowed to walk into the National Park to meet the elephants as they came back from their daily walk ..something not many people are allowed to do. As we followed Julius into the park we could here the little ellies coming closer and then there they were..the first one to lead the pack was little Kithaka, only 1 month old, still very wobley on his feeth. He was followed by NAIPOKI :)) There she was our little girl. She and the other ellies just loved the attention they got, loved to be rubbed and the dust that comes off them is just unbelievable. We were covered in red dirt but as you can imagine, we did not care 🙂
I can tell you those little ellies are powerful, I was knocked over by one or even two and landed in some bushes, torny bushes ..owch. But hey..who can say she’s been knocked over by an elephant? 🙂 This was just a wonderful feeling. This was the second time in my life that I fell small, very small, walking so close to such amazing animals. who would have thought, a , well in this case 4 simple Belgian ladies being privilaged to walk next to, touch, rub with one of natures biggest creatures..
Julius then lead us away from the elephants as the other guests weren’t allowed to see that we had walked with them. So by the time we got back to camp, the other foster mum and dads were there and we just joined them. Went to Naipoki’s stable where they had just fed her some milk, and was now munching away on some lovely green leaves. She already had her blanket wrapped around her for the night so she wouldn’t get too cold. Every night a keeper sleeps with the little elephants as they need the reasurance. When left alone at this stage in their lives could lead be too stressfull for them. So, the keepes sleap in the stables with them..on a bunkbed, on hay with just one blanket to cover them..Those men do an amazing job. Their devotion and care is just phenomenal.
I apologise for the many spelling errors but my eyes already halfway shut..Overly tired and full of emotions..a rollercoaster kind of day.