This weekend was our first of two traveling weekends. We ventured about three hours to the town of Nakuru and Lake Nakuru National Park, going south of the equator on the way. The main attractions at Lake Nakuru are the lake (surprise!) as well as the animals living in the park. We went on two game drives, as they’re called, where we venture around the park in a safari van in hopes of seeing lions, zebra, and rhinos. And we saw much more than that! I should have attached some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.
As I sit on the porch of our lovely hotel/bungalow, oddly hearing American pop music faintlycoming from the German neighbor’s room, I still have a hard time believing that I’m actually in Africa. I was just talking about this with my roommate at the hotel, Megan—the fact that we’re in Africa going on safari is still mind-blowing. This is my second time here, so I suppose I should be used to seeing giraffes, monkeys, and water buffalo in their natural habitat, right? Well, I’m afraid not. At least not yet. It’s different every time…and right now, nothing beats the African sunrise on a herd of rhinos as you shiver in the morning chill.
As much as I love IU House and it’s hygiene facilities… a long, hot shower can work wonders. Although I’ve been very blessed to have warm(ish) water with decent pressure the first week at IU House, it can’t beat the showers at the hotel in Lake Nakuru. You can really take for granted the ability to decide the temperature of a shower until you’re cowering underneath a weak drip of warm water.
There’s no denying my love for the warm showers, an unlimited buffet of European and American food, and other modern comforts of our hotel, but I’m even more thankful we have the experience of “real” Kenya. What is interesting about Lake Nakuru is that the park is literally steps away from the town of Nakuru—and the living conditions in Nakuru couldn’t be further from what we experienced in the hotels. The protected lands of Lake Nakuru that observably cater to tourists decked out in safari gear and bazooka-sized cameras are irrefutably beautiful, but, the spirits and personalities of the people we meet in Eldoret are even more so. What I miss more than the beautiful lands and animals when I return to Indiana are the charming smiles and warm handshakes.
Ki-Swahili Phrase of the Day
Unapenda chakula gani? Ninapenda kuku, chizi, na matunda.–
What foods do you like? I like chicken, cheese, and fruit.