Friday, August 15, 2014

Giraffe Park!

Today was our trip with the seniors from New Dawn School to visit the Giraffe Park.

Sorting the bags of clothing we'll be giving to the New Dawn students.

The parking area in our guesthouse compound. Every building is guarded by walls, gates and guards. We're getting ready to head out for the day.

Irene Tongoi, on the left, is sharing a laugh with Miriam - they're long-time friends. Irene is the Director of the New Dawn Educational Centre.

We started by meeting the students at the school property so that those on our team who hadn't seen the school could experience it. Former K9 officer Ken found a dog who instantly bonded with him.

Maggie is chatting with the guy who, among other things, cares for the cows at New Dawn. I'm afraid I don't know remember his name, but I know there's some sort of Chicago connection!

At the park, you can go up to the second story to feed the giraffes at their level.

 The warthogs below are happy to gobble up what the giraffes miss.

Lance "kissed" a giraffe, i.e. held a bit of food between his teeth and the giraffe took it. If I can load the video of it, I'll do so. I kissed a giraffe when I was here several years ago; thought I'd let the students have their turn this time!

Since we were there with a school, we had a guide who gave us a lot of info about giraffes (these are Rothschild giraffes, which are endangered), and about protecting the environment. He demonstrated how you could make some charcoal substitutes (since many people still cook over charcoal fires here) by soaking leaves and shredded paper for a few days, then putting them into a press to squeeze out all possible water, and drying them outside for several days.

Those of us who are dedicated recyclers are cringing every time we throw another plastic water bottle into the trash. The park is encouraging folks to start sorting.

 Hmmm - why are these guys posing by the "Jocks Trail" sign?

Found on the nature trail the guide took us on.

After the giraffe park, we had lunch with the students. Zedekiah, next to me, loves to perform gospel rap. Hassan wants to combine journalism and cartooning; I told him that political cartooning combines those skills.

As a team, we brought clothing and shoes for all the students, but somehow 5 of the bags went astray. We'll get some to them in the next few weeks (Miriam will work her networking magic to make that happen) but Zedekiah was so sad not to have anything that I gave him my Wild Canyon Games pullover. So now the brand will be represented in Kenya!

Here's a bunch of photos taken from the car showing just a small percentage of what is sold on the roadside...

The road from the park is called Karen (after Karen Blixen of "Out of Africa" fame who lived in this area) and now it's known as the place to buy furniture.

 Bicycle and motorcycle are frequent transport vehicles.

More furniture. And the tall metal structure is a billboard that's currently not displaying any advertising. Yesterday, we saw a couple of men up in the gridwork, painting - no safety harnesses in sight.

 Goats and cows are frequent along the roadside.

Tiny little shops along the road are typical. I don't know how they eke out a living with one of those. The red one is Maggie's Kiosk! Didn't know she was a Kenyan entrepreneur ;-)

We are experiencing what Dulcy Mahar would call "plant lust" every time we pass one of these roadside nurseries.

You can't really see it but this woman has her child by the hand, and ropes on all the goats.

Lots of great fruits and veggies here.

 Drove by the infamous Westgate Mall where terrorists took over last year. It's deserted and they tell us the back portion has collapsed. To the left of the Westgate sign, between the two small windows, you can see bullet holes.

 Scaffolds are created from sticks.

 Sudden garden spots of green.

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