Archive for the ‘Goats’ Category

Safari, Nairobi Game Park

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Game Park Day!  Boo Yah!  You can see all 44 good pictures here.  Below are a few with comments and/or stories.

A side note on breakfast: they had gizzards available.  However, I don’t know if that is what gizzards normally taste like or not but they were incredibly tough.  Like eating cartilage or rubber.  No way could I chew or digest those things.  I left them alone on my plate after unsuccessfully attempting to eat one.

I thought the above picture was adorable.  Heather was pretending to be another baby Rhino next to the Mama rhino.  See the pose of the baby rhino behind me and compare to Heather.

Virtually right away upon entering the park we had giraffes come great us.  It was spectacular.  They came within 30 feet of the Church Van (which had all Kenyan friends) and probably about within 40 feet of our Van – mostly mzungu’s (whites) and Haron.

The van we used was a classic “safari van” with a pop top.  So about 4 people could easily stand inside the van with their heads poking out the top.  After a few minutes of roaming around the park I decided to keep my head up consistently to keep watch!  and boy am I glad I did, we turned left and one point but I looked over to the right and saw a ton of zebras only a few minutes drive away.  So we turned around and drove towards them and just as we were approaching the zebra leader – would you call that zeader? 😉 – crossed the road about 150 ft in front of us.  So we carefully coasted up to about 30ft from where he crossed and all the other obedient zebras crossed right where he crossed, which was right in front of us!  It was fantastic!

Ostriches sure are odd birds.  These were one of the few animals that I could easily spot from 2 miles away, most other animals were at least some what difficult to see.  Zebra’s, despite their black as well, blend in much better into the background.  Ostriches, no blending what so ever!  Good thing they are fast enough to run away from most predators.  Wikipedia says they have a max running speed of 60 miles an hour!  That’s faster than my little diesel rabbit truck, which starts to shake a little bit at 60mph.

These little guys were scattered throughout the plains, and some of them had beautiful horns like this gentleman.  Often they would be near the road but leap and run away as soon as we got close.  Was it my body odor?!  😉

This picture was taken just as the baboon was going in for the attack!  Before arriving to this “picnic area” – which has a sign posted warning you of baboons in the area – Valerie told us stories about how last time they were down here the baboons were vicious little critters.  The baboons I guess were all over the picnic area and were not very friendly to anyone attempting to have lunch.  Anyways, after we all got out of the vans at the picnic area – which is generally the only place one should get out of the van while in the Nairobi reserves – Heather and I walked over to the far side of the picnic area which overlooked a cliff/rift area.  Heather saw the baboon first coming up the roadway and wanted to get a picture of it.  Once I finally saw it and watched it get closer we noticed that the large baboon had a young one with it as well.  At this point we nonchalantly yelled back to the vans “The baboons are coming!”; which being that there was only two this time we thought it was funny that “the baboons” were coming.  Heather did get quite close to them at which point I stated “don’t get too close!” as I’ve heard stories about how vicious baboons can be.  Paranoid?  Maybe.  Either way, the Baboons kept walking up the roadway and then veered off the roadway going away from the group.  Which I thought was a good thing, but they were just angling for a better attack position.  Suddenly they broke their casual walking pace and booked it towards the picnic table where everyone else was.  They ran between the vans, and I guess the group at the picnic table with all the food saw the young baboon first while the larger baboon jumped and perched on the picnic table bench for a second.  Startled everyone there, but especially the 2-4 year old Kenyan girl who was sitting on the bench right below this large baboon.  At this point we had packed a lot of food in a cardboard box, and seeing this the baboon grabbed it and made as if to dash.  Nash (I believe) also grabbed the box and a hilarious (in retrospect) tug of war took place for 3-5 seconds.  The box eventually tore down it’s corners and the contents spilled out.  I missed what happened next, but from the stories I think Valerie had picked up a box of cookies that had spilled out of the larger cardboard box during the scuffle.  The baboon, seeing that she obviously valued that box of cookies huffed and puffed at Valerie and grabbed those cookies right out of her arms!  Nash at this point then proceeded to imitate Rocky IV and punched the baboon straight in the chest.  Which I’m sure hurt at least a little but, but it startled the baboon more than anything because well, if it was a human it would have needed a diaper, but being an animal well, let’s just say that Number 2 ended up on the table he was so startled.  He than ran off with the cookies, and Osborn ran off the younger baboon who was still lurking nearby looking for something tasty to grab.  Overall, quite the story! Below is a picture of the younger baboon enjoying someone else’s lunch or garbage.

Seeing the warthogs was a fun event.  We were driving along and suddenly you see something large moving about in the bushes!  There was a whole family of these guys and after we pulled up they decided to leave the bushes and head elsewhere so we got a decent view of them.  Though the tall grass hid them well so the above is one of the better pictures.

Later one we approached a “nature walk” area.  Which was staffed by two soldiers with mid to large caliber rifles.  One of them took us on the nature walk where we saw three crocodiles, some turtles, a hippo, some birds and monkeys, and I think that’s everything.  The armed escort was even able to get the monkeys up close!

This is the famed Rhino which unfortunately (or luckily) didn’t get very close.  There you can just see his gray scaly back between the Ostrich and Gazelles.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip was that we got to see Lions up close and personal.  Apparently Valerie and Richard, despite their many trips to the game park, have never seen a lion here.  Excepting one time where it was far away and “I think that’s a lion, but it could be something else”, but that doesn’t really count.  In the above lion picture you see how they are up high on a mound, well we drove right up to base of that mound and hung out there for 10 minutes.  They would look at us but luckily they weren’t very hungry! 😉

Near the end of the trip we finally got to see a Wildebeast!  They look just like the ones in the Lion King 😉

Beautiful shot huh?  You can thank my wife for that one.

Overall it was a spectacular day, fun, hot and tiring.  We all went back home and ordered meat at the Roasters Restaurant which was loosely attached to our Hotel.  Valerie had warned us that this restaraunt takes forever so we ordered food and then went back into the hotel to change, shower and prepare for the evening.  We spent about 45min doing this but still waited an additional 75 minutes for food.  This place doesn’t have a menu, you just tell them what kind of meat you want and they cook it.  Heather and I ordered Goat, to which the waitress asked “Arm, Leg, Ribs, …” so we got an arm to share between the two of us.  That meat was the among the toughest meat I’ve ever eaten.  My jaw was so tired after we were done.  My oh my!


Charles Kiloki & the City of Karen

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

We also visited a church in the Nairobi suburb called Karen who’s head Pastor is Charles Kiloki.  It’s quite a splendid church in a somewhat richer area of Nairobi though still pretty middle class.  Not with the poor people in the slums; nor with the rich politicians.  The church is actually set up as a part church, part school, and part business; which is arguably a more traditional idea of the church.  The church compound had a variety of buildings, the primary building is the ‘typical’ church building for worship and the general church service.  Surrounding the compound are smaller buildings for a young kid’s school, a tailoring shop/training facility, a computer training room, and a bible school (semi-common on larger churches to offer a bible school).  I will be honest, I wrote down “wood working” in my notes, but I can’t remember where that is, but I trust that somewhere on that compound is the beginnings of a wood shop training facility.

Besides all the training facilities that the church offers, it also runs a garbage pick-up service.  They seemed to have successfully beat out the limited competition with better rates and service; and use it as a way of reaching out to the Karen community.  I suppose it is also symbollic as Christ wants us garbage and all!  😉

One adorable side note: When we were walking around taking the tour of the compound (which isn’t really that large, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of an acre or ~20k sqr feet) two young girls ran up to Heather and hugged her.  For no apparent reason than maybe she smiled at them.  Kid’s love white people, but it is unusual for them to be that friendly to strangers, even if they are white.

We left the church compound to go check out the “dormitories” for the Bible School.  I was impressed.  It was two older buildings with a bunch of bunk beds in them, and farm that the students tend too.  Having the students tend the farm to produce their own food is a wonderful part of the instruction that many Kenyans (primarily males) avoid.  I was told then Kenyan boys don’t like farming.

Lastly, we visited a nearby house who may be a member of the Karen church though I’m not positive.  She and her husband love birds it appears.  I so wish we had our camera for this part of the trip.  This house’s yard is literally a bird sanctuary.  It had chickens of different types, doves, pigeons, turkeys, geese, parakeets, and peacocks with full colorful tails even!  There were other birds who’s names I can not recall.  They also raised goats and rabbits there as well.

Posted in Goats, Nairobi |

Miwani Farm, Inital thoughts

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

So maybe a word or two about where I am in Kenya eh? I first arrived at the Miwani farm a week ago and have since then spent a majority of my time here. I visited a place up north called Kakamega Tuesday and Wednesday. More on that later.
Nehemiah International Farm @ Miwani, near Kisumu

I gotta admit, I was expecting a little less here at the farm. Or rather, my expectations were low as I was going to Kenya; but the Nehemiah compound is very nice, very livable. Which probably accounts for why the place has so many white, non Africans living/visiting. I was given the guest house as I’m the only unmarried male visiting, which is nice. It also serves as the water source (well beneath with a pump that pushes water to tanks on the roof, then gravity fed to the rest of the compound) and internet source (radio is beamed in from across the lake and distrubuted where I live and at the main house wirelessly. Anyways, as I was saying, the place is very nice, not too much of a hardship to live. A lot of work was put into the compound to get it to this state, so I’m just reaping benefits of past labor, but that’s how most things in this life are huh?

So the day I arrived and the day after I just kinda walked around, talked with people and helped out here and there. Mostly, just looked. I did go eyeball the goats cause their kinda cute, and their pens are right behind my ‘house’. We did lose a goat that morning though so when I entered one pen, there was a dead baby goat on the ground. sad. Guess that was due to someone not showing up to work and ignoring the goats. Babies are fragile and need care when their so young. Here’s my favorite though, very cute little guy.

I got to feed him some milk from a bottle and he was all over that. All I can say, I’d hate to have that guy try to get milk off of my glands! Ouch!! Go easy! Though I have noticed that baby goats who do get milk from their mother (not the ones in the pens (milk goats), but in people’s yards the babies have a tendency of sucking and ramming their heads into the glands. I don’t wanna know what that feels like.

Anywhoo, I’m tired. Got sunburned today and it’s past my bedtime.

Posted in Goats, Kenya, Miwani |