Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A very peaceful abode

I can see why Winnie loves the serene peacefulness of her home on the lake. It had such a pleasant breeze in the early evening, and the beauty of the trees, with the Lake in the background is beautiful.

I loved sitting outside the house visiting, or watching the rustling of the trees.

Of course if we sat outside that meant we could be swinging with the girls on our laps, or so they thought. That would keep all busy and happy.

The girls had such a fascination with the cows, and didn't hesitate trying to get closer and closer. We were the ones hesitant not knowing what they might do, it was a forever watch.

Many daily walks at the property to be closer to the lake seemed to be another form of entertainment. It was so adorable to see Michael with his two little ones going for there walk.
Or grama D. or Naomi enjoying our precious time.

Naomi made everyone feel like movie stars by taking lots of pictures. Some times I could actually capture some of her without the camera, but having fun with her family.
After taking a walk down to the Lake, I often just stopped to visit with some of the family. I never did see the Hippo's. I guess they were all camera shy.
Cuddle time was always a favorite, and time that was always treasured.

Flying High to Kisumu

After spending a couple days in Nairobi
it was time to fly to Kisumu to visit Winnie at her home. A time to meet the grand babies. Thank goodness it was only an hour flight for the girls sake since it was so soon after the long journey.

Once arriving at the airport we were meet with many young adorable on lookers. I'm sure they were surprised to see someone with such whte skin. We probably looked very odd to them. Savannah was so excited to see so many Friends. It was hard to contain her. I couldn't help seeing a longing in the eyes of each one for the opportunity to fly anywhere.

We were met by our driver that Michael had pre-arranged for while on our visit in Kisumu, which meant that he would be with us 24 hours a day until Saturday when it is time to return to the Airport.

Before driving all the way out to Winnie's property the first stop was to the Nakamat, (grocery store) to pick up some groceries. Then came the 2 hour drive, that seemed forever long since Lexi so wanted to get out of being confined, so she screamed the last hour. Nothing seemed to make her happy which broke all of our hearts. I think our driver was wondering if this job was really going to be worth the price he was being paid.

With it getting dark fast, and having some of the roads closed or rerouted Michael was having a difficult time finding the road we should turn off on. It wasn't as though there were land marks to watch out for. Things were few and far apart. In fact I had a hard time realizing we were in one town or another since each were so primitive. The main road was quite bumpy, but that didn't seem to slow anyone down from walking with a load on there heads, shoulders, backs, or bikes. In fact I think many slept on mats right by the road with a lean to for shelter. I attempted to take pictures along the way, however with the roads the pictures were just a blur.
What I saw was allot of people working very hard to survive, yet lives were so simplistic. I have so much to simplify my life, however with that comes allot of complications. It's really hard to explain, but very humbling to witness first hand.

African adventures

It was quite exciting to start the first week off by going to the Nairobi Giraffe park, where you could hand feed the giraffe's. Of course Savannah was not too excited to do so once she saw the long tongue come out and then leave a long string of saliva from its mouth to your hand. Naomi and I were both content to take a lot of pictures. Lexi was quite fascinated with the whole thing. She seems to love adventure and is a bit more daring than Savannah.

We were then off on a Safari drive, where we saw many different animals, but I would have to say I was most fascinated with the Giraffe's and Zebra's. Maybe it was because we saw so many, but I loved to watch how graceful they were as they would run or walk. We were able to drive quite close to both without any concern. At times I felt they would stop and strike a pose for us to take a picture.
As the day was drawing to a close, it was more and more concerning for Michael to figure out how to get us back home without a map, or any signs for directions. I guess it would have been a good idea to have a guide along with us. Oh well we all had a good time. Never did we see Simba, (Any wild cats) however we did see Ostriches, Gazelles, Impala ( African Deer like animal), Antelope, Wart Hogs (ugly things), and many kinds of birds.

Our last venture to see wild life was to the Animal Orphanage. A place that has rescued animals that were in need of assistance. The girls especially enjoyed seeing the animals up close. The Monkeys were camera shy in the cages behind the girls.
This part of our adventures Dani Winnie enjoyed with us, so the grandma's had fun with the grand-babies.
We finally got to see simba. There were several wild cats in the orphanage. 1 male Lion, several females, same adorable babies, and many Cheetahs, and Leopards.

Then onto the birdsAnother adventure time well spent.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Traveling abroad

What a privilege it was to be invited along by Naomi and Michael to assist with girls on a long adventure to Kenya in east Africa, Michael's home land. A trip that I never dreamed I would take, but one that I have truly learned so much from in appreciation for all of my many blessings, as well as seeing more into Michael, and getting to know him more. It was fun to see him in a non-working mode, and enjoy his personality.
And I truly enjoyed spending time with Naomi and the girls. Another wonderful adventure with Naomi, the first being to Japan 9 years ago. Great times.
I flew into Austin, Texas after work on Thursday the 26th of August where I was picked up by Naomi. We then drove to her home to finish packing, then off we went on a three hour drive to the Houston International Airport.
First stop over was to Chicago where we enjoyed lunch at Ruby's Diner. A step back in time.
Then on to Amsterdam, Holland.
I think when we walked in the plane with the two girls it scared many other passengers away for fear that the girls would just cry or make things miserable, so several asked the stewardess to move them to another location. Which I will admit was our hope so we all had a little more room around us. That meant that even Lexi would have her own chair.

As it worked out the girls were very content coloring, playing with toys, watching shows, and sleeping peacefully. It was great!

When we arrived in Nairobi Savannah got out of the airport and yelled, "Dani (Grama) Winnie I'm here in Kenya."
After a 36 hour adventure to get this far, it would still be a few more days before we continued the journey to see Dani Winnie.