Ready for the wildlife
On our last weekend in beautiful Malindi, the girls wanted a photoshoot. Some things are just standard no matter what culture you were raised in. We went to Coco Beach and let the girls unleash. Confidence is hard to cultivate for girls in this part of the world but the Heri sewing project has given them a voice and a power that you can really sense in how they carry themselves.
In the afternoon we stopped by the Elimu Resource Center for a celebratory goat roast where I got to witness first hand that they do in fact use every last part of the animal. First out on the table was goathead. Some things you only need to try once. Platter after platter of meat was brought out and everyone swarmed and fought over their share. I felt like I was at the kids table on Thanksgiving with all my cousins. It took about eight minutes to demolish everything. After crunching bones, sipping goathead soup, and painfully choking down more animal fat than I've had in my lifetime, three bottles of whiskey and a cake appeared and suddenly it all seemed worth it. Isn't that always how life goes?
My last Sunday in Malindi and the good folks at Elimu decided to forgo church and instead witness some of God's creations in the wild. I was picked up before sunrise by Diana, Jonah, and Kamotho and whisked to Tsavo East Game Park. Seeing these animals in the wild rather than a zoo is kind of like experiencing Disneyworld after decades of going to Universal Studios. Lucky for us, we had an incredibly experienced driver who caught a glimpse of a lion walking down to the water about 200 yards away. As we approached in the Land cruiser the driver told us he smelled a carcass which means there were more and they were all full. Ideal. How he sniffed out a carcass I'll never know. But we soon found ourselves surrounded by SEVEN lions! They are magnificent in person. 100 photos later we started to pull away and found a lion and lioness mating in the bushes not five feet from our cruiser. To put it mildly, the lion was not pleased that he was interrupted at such an intimate moment. He jumped up, lunged at the us and let out a roar. Everyone froze. It would appear our flight instincts were broken. The driver tried to subtly back away but there was a bush keeping us from going anywhere. Everytime the engine revved, so did the lion. Our sexually frustrated feline gave one last ditch attempt at showing dominance.I didn't catch the full jump and roar on video but it was essentially the jungle cat equivalent of firing a warning shot over your head. He was up on his hind legs. We got very lucky that he was already full(there is a God!) We were finally able to drive away and we all erupted into laughter. I did come away with one great photo of the lions face-let me tell you the only other time I've seen that look in an animals eyes was when I tried to steal some ice cream from my grandpa. Hard to say who growled louder. The rest of the tour was filled with giraffes, zebras, buffalo, baboons, hippos, and more all from a safe distance. We finished the day watching the most beautiful family of elephants cross the path in front of our cruiser. It's kind of amazing to be completely at the mercy of nature.
Our trip is coming to a close but we still have more to share! Keep checking back for updates.
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