Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kenya Day 3: What jet lag?

Day 3 - Giant baby bottles
Our first full day in Kenya, we woke up early and headed to breakfast to meet the rest of our crew - Bryan (winner of the trip from L.A.), Kristi (head of client in SF) and her son Ben. Our first stop was the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, not too far away.

Day 3 - Feeding time at the elephant orphanage
Baby elephants are rescued within hours of finding them. Usually, they fall down wells or manholes but sometimes their mothers are killed or injured. They are taken here and fed 4 times a day and their caretakers sleep with them in their stalls. Once they are well enough, they are taken out of the orphanage to interact with wild elephants for longer and longer periods of time until they are accepted by the herd and no longer want to come back.

Day 3 - Jack & Ashley w/ Giraffe
Next stop: the Kenya Giraffe Center. Here we met some Rothschild giraffes. They were super friendly and we had buckets of pellet food to feed them. After interacting with them we sat down for a short lesson of quick giraffe facts:
  1. Giraffes gestate for up to 15 months, during which time the mother decides when she wants to give birth. The baby then drops about 2m to the ground, where there may or may not be a hyena waiting to eat it.
  2. A giraffe's heart is about 2 ft wide; its footprints are 12" x 9"
  3. Giraffes have no bone marrow in their leg bones.
  4. A giraffe's tongue is black and approximately 48cm long. Its saliva is an antiseptic.
  5. Giraffes are related to camels and are able to store water for long periods of time. They don't normally drink from rivers or ponds because they can black out and die from bending down so far. Instead, they collect water from the dew on the leaves they eat.
Day 3 - Lunch at The Talisman
We had lunch at the Talisman, which is considered one of the nicer restaurants near Nairobi. It's built out of an old mansion. I was hoping we'd get to eat some native Kenyan food but there was no such luck. When I asked our guides Rudi & Finn about this, they explained that because they do a lot of youth trips, they tend to do a lot of American/Continental foods. Damn kids!

Day 3 - Kazuri Beads
After lunch we visited the Kazuri Bead Factory, which was started in 1975 as a means of alternative income for women. Much of the product is exported to Europe and the United States.

Day 3 - Matatu
The afternoon was pretty free, so Bryan and I decided to take a walk outside the Karen Blixen compound. We must've walked about 2 or 3 miles total, with nothing but more houses and more bus stops. Pictured above is a "matatu" which is Kenya's most popular form of public transportation. Much like the jeepney in the Philippines, they are painted colorfully and will pick you up at any point along the road. Their routes are painted on the sides and they can usually jam about 15+ people inside.

Day 3 - WHO AM I
The first of many late Tusker nights, playing drinking games. This was a game of "Who am I" which failed because Jim got his own submission (Jerry Garcia) and Bryan had no idea who Paul was (Ziggy Stardust). Instead we whipped out 2 decks of cards and attempted to play a monster game of Bullshit, which had to end when we started throwing down groups of 8 cards. I also knocked beer all over myself and the cards as I was dealing them out, but not because I was drunk!

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