Kenya blog post #4 –

The elephants of Amboseli set the backdrop for our solar work in Kenya this past spring. It was a surprise to discover that Kenya is so similar to other African countries we have visited; with the smoke-filled air, the garbage everywhere, the seemingly lawless driving, and the very friendly people. That last one isn’t so much a surprise. But the realization that I could have been in Zambia for all I knew, that was eye-opening. …until I traveled to the Serengeti, that’s when Kenya emerged unmistakable. The chaos of Nairobi gave way to an expansive landscape, sparsely populated, with lush greenery and elephants to fill the heart’s desire; my heart anyway. I met and spent time with more Maasai than any other group of people, which was fine with me. Patrick, John, and Bandi, three Maasai men, enjoyed driving my rental truck around Amboseli. Bandi was a cheeky little guy and kept trying to charge me for “showing me around the park” in my own truck. I said I had no trouble showing myself around. In fact, despite their fine company, I preferred to be alone in the Rift Valley; to reflect and introspect on my place in this beautiful world. I was given the advice to “follow the other safari drivers” as they would know where the animals were in the park. Instead, I followed my instincts and headed in the other direction. In taking my own route, I discovered unique viewing opportunities of isolated animals, off-track roads that led to mountain tops overlooking the great plains, and the odd Maasai village, which usually somehow had Patrick or John or some other guy I had already met on the other side of the park, mysteriously appear and run out to greet me…and of course ask if they could drive my truck.

Eric Stikes

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