Around the World in 90 Days

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Rift Valley Road Trip: Part 1

There are several ways of looking at travel.  When it came to Africa Tompaul and I focused on visiting family and friends, and then we were just happy to see what we could see.  Often in parts of Africa one shouldn’t have too many expectations, as that leads to frustration, impatience and not good times ;).  Often things don’t work out quite as planned.  Then you have room for the unexpected.

So when Tompaul’s sister Robyn and her husband Lari asked us what we wanted to do in Kenya the two of us had really a short list.  Our main goal was to see the children.  Then the opportunity of a road trip in the rift valley came up.  We were game!

Sometimes it can be difficult to fit everything in.  Especially when you have 6 people, their food, a massive tent, bedding and clothes for camping for 4 days.  But Lari is the packing master!

Before leaving we had to get the brakes checked.  As a special treat Robyn and Lari found Tompaul and I Paprika (maybe the only Mexican Resturant in Kenya).   Granted our burritos were not up to Chipotle (or even Moe’s) standards, but it was nice to have something that resembled familiar food.

After an afternoon on the road we made it to a place to camp just before nightfall.  We planned to camp at the Ian Castleman Orphanage.  This is an orphanage run by an Australian Adventist.  Frequently he takes orphans in that have special needs or=r are HIV positive, many children that other orphanages will deny.  Currently there are over 130 orphans here.

I am not sure what message our nephew Xander is conveying, but I think it is relief to be out of the car, desire for water, and desire to use the outhouse.

Prior to unpacking we wanted to document Lari’s excellent packing job.  Now getting it back in the next day?  That is another story.

This is Nathan.  Xander brought him to the tent to visit, and once we started giving him some attention, he decided we wanted to stay.  He liked to walk around, hold hands and be tossed into the sky.  This lasted until the monkey showed up.  The orphanage has two main pets, a monkey (for which they reportedly have a special license) and a tortoise.  The monkey had recently escaped and been running around.  Once the monkey appeared Nathan screamed, and attempted to climb my legs (like a monkey).  He clearly did not have a fondness for monkeys.

Would you buy chain mail from this character?

Camping with Robyn and Lari means living in their tent castle.  Is this Kenya or Yellowstone?

It’s break time during school.

Here is a view of one part of the school.  To the left is the volunteers house.  To the right, the farm.  Ahead you can see the outhouses we used.  Beyond that is a roof of one of the dorms.

Next stop was a volcano crater!  On the way to Lake Baringo we stopped to stretch our legs at this incredible lookout over the ancient volcano-ridden valley.  This is a distorted panorama of the view.  It was amazing to see how large (though not as large as Yellowstone) the volcano was at our feet.

Tompaul showing which way forward.

This is the w.c. where an angry man demanded shillings but there was no mention of payment on the sign.  Tompaul and I both had “anxiety” from the large amount of instructions and were not “productive” so we didn’t pay.


More tomorrow…we are staying at a hotel that only gives us 300MB a night for internet…so the post is not yet done.