‘How could I resist sharing these tidbits with you?’
‘Jambo’, everybody! And other forms of greeting. It’s considered less-than-cool to photograph people in Kenya and Tanzania, at least not without their permission. (I’m totally on board with this; I only mention it to explain my lack of people-in-the-scenery shots.) But it is the ‘done thing’ to say ‘jambo’ to everyone you meet. It’s Swahili for ‘hello’, and it’s pronounced sort of like ‘jumbo’, so the first time someone said it to me, I was rather taken aback. But then I got into the swing of things, and was ‘jambo’-ing like crazy.
Little kids in school uniforms got a real kick out of this. They’d wave gaily at us as we passed by in our safari-mobile, shouting back ‘how are you?’. (At least they didn’t shout ‘shikamo’, which is the greeting used when meeting an elder.) Such waving and smiling! I’ve never felt so much like a Clinton County Fair Queen in my life.Continue reading
Not even in New York City have I heard of traffic having to stop to make way for zebra crossing the road. (‘Zebra crossing’; couldn’t help myself.) Though I have heard that elephants used to tie up whatever traffic was happening at three in the morning whenever the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus was in town.
Maybe that’s not an official elephant crossing. But who’s going to argue? Not those guys on the left, anyway
But this post isn’t about zebras, or even about elephants. Though we did in fact see a very wide range of animals crossing the road whenever the spirit moved them: warthogs, wildebeest, hyena, baboons, impala, gazelle, ostrich. And goats. Many many goats.Continue reading
‘Our African Adventure gets off to a roaring start’
You can’t just wave a magic wand and wish yourself to Africa. Even if it is Someone’s Dream Trip, you still have to get there the old-fashioned way. Which is modern air travel.
Now some of you readers may fly first or business class, or even on private jets. In which case, I ask you most kindly to skip the comments section this week. Or I just may bring you back some unwashed fruit, and chuckle demonically while I watch you eat it.
Because, not to sound ungrateful for the amazing opportunity to go on a trip like this, let’s be honest and say that getting to Africa, by coach, New York to Amsterdam to Nairobi, all in one go, is definitely not half the fun.
I will skip the sordid details — the toddlers who, when not shrieking, played percussion with the tray tables, starving in the Amsterdam Airport and finding nothing to eat but cheese. (They sold cheese in every store, bless them. If a sign said ‘Electronics’ it sold electronics. And cheese.) And I will most definitely skip the stealth gas attacks from the sleeping man wedged next to me on the 9-hour flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi.
Aaaaaah. The anticipation. That’s Nairobi National Park out the window
Because, guess what? We’re in Africa. And it’s pretty darned terrific.Continue reading