Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our first days in Africa

 Our very first weekend here in Nairobi, we decided to visit the Giraffe Center.  A place where you can hand feed the giraffes from a second story platform.  As you can see they have very large purple tongues.  The Giraffes themselves are quite gentile, but they can be a bit aggressive with their tongues.  The day we were there it was pouring rain, so we had the place almost entirely to ourselves.  On the way to the Giraffe Center (which is in the suburb of Nairobi called Karen) we saw a large group of Baboons right off of the main road!  There were several babies and about 12 baboons in all. 

 Both Nile and Oleana have started playing football here in Nairobi.  Nile plays with a bunch of dads who's kids go to the International School of Kenya (ISK) and Oleana just started to practice with the ISK girls team.  This practice was the last before the winter Holiday and Oleana had such a good time that she didn't want to have to wait until after the break to play again. 

 Some of our Ocean Charter friends from Los Angeles happened to be here in Kenya doing volunteer work this past week.  We met up with them Thursday morning and drove together to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.  The orphanage is only open to the public for one hour a day and we hit such bad traffic on the way (a typical experience here in Nairobi) that we almost missed our chance to go in.  Luckily we had five minutes to spare and were able to catch a few good pictures of the baby elephants. 

It is our second Sunday here in Nairobi and we decided to spend it hiking in the Karura Forest.  There are hiking trails all through the forest as well as many butterflies, monkeys, bushpigs, bushbuck and duiker.  Oona, who has the best "eye" for seeing wildlife, saw a little duiker running through the bushes.  At first she thought it was a bunny - it is kind of like a little tiny deer. One of the things that has surprised me the most about Kenya is how lush and green it is everywhere.  The hills around Nairobi really get quite a bit of rain - the Karura Forest records about 37 in/year. 

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