Lesley’s special birthday – Amboseli

All the way back to Nairobi, thank goodness it was a Sunday so not as “much” traffic as the day previously. Long drive to Amboselli but loved every minute of it stopping to buy things along the way when we saw a good roadside stall. Ate hot barbequed maize on the cob driving along – tough as anything compared to sweet corn but all good. We stopped at a place where lots of things were made and talked to the owner about if we were to have stuff bulk made to sell off the website. Lovely lady who’s husband had died and trying to run the small business. We didn’t get to Amboseli till about 8pm at night and what a fabulous drive massai’s walking, elephants crossing the road, giraffes crossing the road, zebras, was like a night safari drive. We arrived at Kibo tented camp Lodge, ate dinner and went to bed, hoping that when we awoke we would look out at Kiliminjaro right before us.

Lesley’s birthday and we had a few surprises up our sleeves for her.

Mt. Kiliminjaro and Mwenze were covered in cloud but that didn’t matter. Our morning game drive produced lions for her eating a kill which we’d missed. More and more animals appeared and it was indeed a lovely game drive. After our drive we went to a Maasai village where the driver knew the chief. They put on the whole welcoming ceremony for us and it was a stinking hot, hot day and the smell of the cow dung wafted heavily through the air. It was not the same Maasai village I had visited in October 2010 and as to Maasai tradition all huts built in mud in a dome shape my height or a bit more and in a circle surrounding the area where the cows and goats are kept at night secure from the lions, leopards and cheetahs. 4 Families lived here, each with their own number of wives. Maasai’s are poligamists and have several wives, each building their own hut and living in them. The women all build the huts, and collect the requirements to build. They are nomadic, so when not enough food for the animals they move. Maasai’s live on cow blood, meat from the cows and goats, milk and vegetables when enough water. Their tradition is really interesting and at honestly hard to believe that in this century people live like this. Female circumcision is the norm, as is treating illness with whatever herbs, tree barks etc., that have been used for millennium. The children herd the animals and the men also. It was at the first Maasai village where I first saw the little girl that started this journey of mine. That Maasai group had shifted and moved on to another area of Amboselli due to grass shortage for the animals and lack of water. It is such a hard, hard, hard life and one can only imagine how some choose to educate themselves and move to town to be night guards at hotels, so they can either save to go to school, or to buy a cow to pay the dowry to marry into another Maasai group. They sang Happy Birthday to Lesley, and we danced with them, totally to the beat of our own drum ha!ha!
Bought a few things to bring home to the grandkids and kids, and left with cow dung all over our thongs, filthy dirty with the dust all over us. What a hard, hard life. We gave all our ‘goodies’ we’d stacked up on while driving. AKA chocolate, lollies, nuts, juice etc. to the kids and fruit. Poor little darlings. Back to the lodge for a rest before the next game drive. Still more animals and a special dinner with table all set out beautiful for Lesley. She still didn’t click that it was only our table that had the flowers, greenery etc., on it and everyone so full of smiles for her. We had cocktails before going for dinner and were really nice. It was lovely to see her so, so happy with what had happened and what she’d seen during the day. But alas, she didn’t know I’d had the driver organise weeks ago to have a birthday cake made and also the staff to sing and dance for her – all traditionally African. With power being so intermittent here, when the lights went out she just said “Oh, here we go again,” not realising that the entertainment was about to begin. Out came the staff with the drums, and other musical instruments singing to her and moving so rhythmically as only Africans can. Only then did she realise they were singing to her. It was a magic moment I have to say and you couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. Other patrons sang as well and then the Happy Birthday song. She was just so happy, and the tradition of wiping icing on her face began.
Talk about laugh. We all had a piece of the cake and we gave the rest to the staff. It indeed was a lovely day for Lesley and I wanted it to be so for her. 60 is a special birthday and this one will always be remembered I know for what she experienced on this day in Kenya, Africa.
Rained during the night heavily which was just lovely on the tent. We awoke to the clouds lifting off Kiliminjaro and Mwenze mountains. Was truly special!! Our morning drive was quite cool and crisp and once again saw a multitude of animals in huge herds. I cannot explain how every day you just suck up seeing the animals, never getting sick of “Oh here is another giraffe” or whatever. Each has their own personality and funny little ways as you sit and watch them interact with each other and watch us, posing majestically for photographs. Alas no cheetahs or leopards seen this trip, but have been more than spoilt on my other 2 safaris.

Sign up for our mailing list

Member of Rotary

Umoja Orphanage Kenya is a Project of the Sunrise Rotary Club Bundaberg 
RAWCS Project Number 51/2011-12
Umoja's founder Cathy is a member of Fitzroy Rotary Club District 9570

Latest Posts