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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lions No Tigers and Bears

Sunday June 1, 2008

Today is the day! I got up at 7 and got the rest of my things packed and all my treated clothing packed in my overnight bag for Masai Mara! I got downstairs on time and went to check out. Unfortunately there were some discrepancies with the bill that took longer than expected to sort out but we did. It turns out that the EXCHANGE rate I had been given during my stay was 58.05-59. On my bill however the rate was calculated at 62.35. It turns out they have a rate for exchange and a rate they use to bill. I don’t get it! For comparison just to jump ahead a few hours, the hotel in Masai Mara uses 56.40! If you figure it out please let ME know!

Anyway it was time to head to Wilson airport to catch my Air Kenya flight. At almost 10am we boarded. There were around 30 people on the flight. When the pilot turned the propellers on we didn’t go anywhere. The pilot came over the intercom and told us that the ground crew spotted a hydraulic leak! We had to disembark and waited for another hour before they were able to board us onto another craft.

Finally we were airborne! I found out that the plane was like a bus and that I would be stop number 3. It was nice to watch out of the window for awhile but next thing I knew it 40 minutes had passed and we were making our first stop. When we arrived at the Mara Serena airstrip, those of us staying at Mara Serena Lodge got off the plane. We headed towards the parking lot and were told to choose a vehicle. I got into one with a nice young couple. There was a man outside with a video camera narrating his film: we are now at the landing strip for Mara Serena, here is our vehicle….” Blah blah blah! He made the entire jeep wait for him to finish. Thankfully, he chose the other van!

Our driver/guide’s name is Dickson. He is from Samburu and has been her for over two years. He is very knowledgeable and we found out that he would be our guide from here on in.

There was NOTHING along the road coming to the hotel/lodge. As we approached the Mara Serena Lodge however, it seemed like paradise! The hotel consists of small cottages built into the side of a mountain. One side overlooks the plains and the other side overlooks the pool and plains. We had lunch and then we were shown to our rooms. My room is SO lovely! It is a hundred times nicer that Panafric and I only wish I had more time here! There is a king size bed, very nice dresser, a beautiful bathroom with a shower and real flushing toilet! The bed has a mosquito net that you pull around when you got to sleep. Then there is a sitting area with two chairs and a table that overlooks a huge window that you can open to reveal the Mara. I saw a herd of elephants and a buffalo just with the naked eye! If you remember earlier in the post meant for yesterday I mentioned that the man who showed me to my room warned me never to leave the window open when not in the room because the baboons are known to come in and snatch things!

We had the afternoon free so I decided to sit by the pool for a bit and see if I could get any color that would show I had been in Africa! It was a lovely view out over the plains and I saw what is known as a Gamma Lizard. He was beautiful and the funniest little guy I hope I can figure out how to post videos on here because you have to see this creature’s mating ritual it is hysterical He bobs his head up and down a bunch of times trying to court the female. Just as in every living creature except man, the female is never as pretty as the male. (looks like superman!)

I relaxed until it was time for our game drive. I was SO excited! This is something I have always wanted to do and here I am! As I entered the lobby I saw Adam and Jennifer who I had shared the ride from the airport with. I asked Dickson, our guide, if it would just be the three of us that if the Indian man with the camcorder was on our vehicle I would not be happy! He said he is not because he had the manifest and we were only waiting for one more man and someone said the video guy was already in his car. We couldn’t find our last person so we headed out to the car, the while thinking “please don’t let him be in our car”. Well, sure enough he was in OUR car! The three of us just looked at each other; we had no choice. We get into the vehicle and the guide starts talking to us and all we can hear is the guy in the back self-narrating another video! We begin our journey to find big game!!!! We stop to see some impalas and Dickson is talking and all of a sudden mr videoman starts narrating: “here we have some impalas, they are….” We couldn’t hear the guide so both Adam and myself tell him we are trying to hear the guide!

We went on to see impalas, different varieties of antelope, hippo, cheetahs. Zebras, buffalo, and LIONS!!!!! We first saw a male who had just gotten his fill from a kill, possibly an Impala. He was gorgeous!!! After a few minutes he just rolled over and plopped down and was sound asleep as evidenced by his rib cage moving up and down rhythmically.

We moved on in search of more animals and all of us hoped for more lions. We finally saw some other vehicles congregated around an area and knew lions had been spotted! When we got there it was an amazing sight! There was a pride of lions that included lionesses and cubs. There were 14 total! They were magnificent!

They were lounging around, sometimes shifting positions, sometimes moving from the rocks to the grass. Again, hopefully I will be able to figure out why I can’t upload videos and be able to because the video is amazing. I even caught one of the lionesses bathing a cub! The game drive was from 4-6:30 and then we headed back and had some tea/cocoa with Dickson.

I went back to my room and changed into long pants and got a jacket to be as safe as possible from the mosquitoes.

Dinner was excellent! The hotel is first class all the way. It is buffet but everything is always cooked perfectly and hot with great selection of fish, meat and salad and deli items. There is a full dessert buffet as well as a coffee/tea bar. The service is also excellent. There are over 100 employees here and capacity of guests is only 120 so there is plenty of service. It’s also cool to see little gecko’s just running up and down the walls and ceiling!

When we were having tea before dinner there was a guitar player who sang with a lovely voice. After dinner there was another singer/guitarist and he had a beautiful voice as well. I went and sat by the fire which overlooked the pool and that is where I am typing my blog. It is so peaceful, the breeze is refreshing and there are stars everywhere. I wish I could stay here for a week!

Game drive starts at 6:30 am and I can’t wait!

Prison Finals-5/31/08

It is Sunday June 1st, 2:15pm Kenya time and I am sitting with my back to the swimming pool, looking out over the Masai Mara! The sky is bright blue with some wispy clouds scattered about the horizon and big puffy clouds that look like clusters of cotton balls scattered about. The clouds just above the horizon take on many distinct shapes: an Indian chief with headdress and hook nose, the head and neck of a sheep, a full front head view of a buffalo. They are the type of clouds that you don’t have to look at very hard or long, the image just jumps out at you.

I will now write about my amazing day yesterday and only hope I can do it justice because as I sit here I find I only want to tell you about the elephants I can see from my window in my room, or how beautiful the room is, or how I was instructed I must close my window before leaving the room because of the thieving baboons that lurk about! But that will wait until I share yesterday’s adventure!

I arrive at Nyono stadium at 9:15 and as I expected, the events did not get underway until after 10. Today was very different from yesterday in that the VIP area was very carefully constructed for the dignitaries that were expected for the day. A large, high back royal-looking chair was placed front and center, almost in the exact position where I sat yesterday. There were 3 rows of carefully lined up chairs with the red velvet cushions and then another 3 rows of black office-type side chairs.. I learned that the Vice President of Kenya was expected.

The first dignitary to arrive was the Chief Commissioner of the Prisons, Gilbert M. Omondi, CBS. He is the big boss of the prisons and it was his branch that was competing. Then came Isaiah Kiplagat, the Chairman of Athletics Kenya, the organization that is head of all the athletics in Kenya and sets standards and regulations; they have coaches for their international teams, etc. There were many more people who trickled in throughout the morning. The athletic events were almost secondary to the who’s who of people but everyone did cheer on their own province. It was a lot of fun watching the pride each team had. All of these athletes work for the prison systems but they are divided into team depending on which region they work in and they then compete against the other regions. When a team wins an event, someone comes running out with their provincial flag and runs around with it!;

Then there is the chairman of Kenya Prisons Sports Council, Mr. Mutua, who is also the Chairman of Athletics Kenya Prisons Executive Committee. He is a very nice man who always made sure I was taken care of! When it was tea time we were ushered into a very nice lounge with leather seats all around and we had our choice of tea or hot cocoa along with little cakes or cookies. When we came back in Catherine was already in the middle of her 10000 meter race. She won! Earlier, one of the prison officials asked me if I would please present one of the prizes! You have to understand how the whole operation works. It is similar to a three ring circus with maybe another ring or two thrown in just to keep you on your toes! There was javelin throwing far right, discus far left, hurdles or sprints all around. Then almost directly in front of our section was where they had three blocks for the winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place to receive their prizes. All of a sudden, without warning, I heard my name over the loud speaker to come present the awards to a group of winners. I sill have NO idea who I handed prizes to or what they won! All I knew was there were 3 envelopes and each had a different place written on the front so I would know who to give it to!

Finally the vice president came and the band went down to the field, and all events stopped. He was an extremely young man and very nice and polite; however, he sat down, watched the band, presented the prizes to Catherine’s event and then he was gone as quickly as he arrived.

When the vice president left someone told me it was ok to sit in the front row again. Since I was taking a lot of photos I did. However, all of a sudden the events ended and the Permanent Secretary got up to speak. Here I was in the front row, 3 seats away from these dignitaries, with cameras all around; I was wishing I could slink back to the third row! Unfortunately that was not meant to happen until later.

When the events were over and all the speeches were over, we were ushered back into the lounge for lunch. It was fairly good with chapati, beef and chicken and choice of any soda. The Kenyans seem to drink a lot of soda and rarely can offer diet!

When I finished lunch I went outside to meet with a cameraman/DP that I had been referred to. He was very nice and it was also nice that he met me there! When we were finished our talk, I caught up with Anthony and Catherine. I had been wanting to go to a certain restaurant before I left and I asked them if they would go with me.; Anthony was really very tired but Catherine was able to persuade him!

I had not had a lot of time with Catherine because of her busy schedule so I rode back to her house with her. When we arrived she prepared arrowroot and tea. Her brother, Samuel and his wife Lidia were there with their adorable (yep another one!) baby boy Steve. Of course I had to play with him and take photos! After tea Catherine gave me a tour of the property before it got too dark. She took me into her vegetable garden which was huge! It would qualify as a small farm! Not quite as big as her mother’s but she had spinach and beans and corn and mango trees and tomatoes and peppers and so many other things growing! We had stopped so she could explain something to me and all of a sudden I felt something bite me! I looked down and there was a swarm of big, black ants! I never knew they could be so viscious! They were all over my heel and under my heel in my sandals and one had gotten up my pant leg and bitten me on the calf! OUCH! They can bite! So we quickly scurried away from that area and headed down to the cows. She has a mama and a baby calf and they are adorable! She has two cousins that work for her and they tend to the vegetables and animals including the cows and chickens and 4 dogs. There is an electric machine that grinds food for the cows and both of her cousins live on the property.

It was almost dark so we went back inside and I waited with Samuel and his family while Catherine took a shower. We then drove them home and went to dinner at the place I had heard so much about.

The restaurant is called Carnivore and I’m sure you guessed, it was heart-attack city. You sit down and it’s a price fix so after they serve soup, they just start bringing you meat. Everything from lamb and pork to alligator and ostrich! They come to your table with a skewer containing the meat and carve it right onto your plate. I found it to be okay but don’t really think we got our money’s worth because none of us ate very much but I’m glad I went; the place was definitely like no other I’ve been to anywhere. There was a giant bbq pit right when we walked in that held all the skewered meats!

Back to the hotel it was time to pack and get ready for safari tomorrow!!!!!! I was up way too late but needed to be sure my hair was washed and that I treated my clothes for the safari with premythrin to protect against mosquitoes!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday June 3rd

Last night I went to the front desk to ask about the internet service and they told me it had been down since that afternoon. I asked if they had a phone number for British Airways and they found a few and tried them so I wouldn’t waste my airtime. I needed to get more minutes on my cell phone and the gift shop where the cards are sold had just closed down. The man was nice enough to open for me to purchase some phone minutes so I could at least call and check in and get seats. It’s a very good thing I did not wait until check in time at 11:45pm to find out about the internet because it turns out they closed at 11! Fortunately they got me a phone number to call!

I went back to my room at 10:50 and got ready for bed thinking I would wait until check in time. I was SO tired that I set my phone alarm for 11:45 just in case I fell asleep and laid my head down. Sure enough the alarm startled me! I called British Airways and got no answer. At this point I wasn’t worried about getting an aisle seat on the leg from Nairobi to London but I was worried about London to Philadelphia because it is prime travel season there, however, sleep won out and I decided to call in the morning.

I woke up at 5:30, five minutes before my alarm. I think I was worried I would oversleep and miss my last game drive. I got to the front desk at 6am only to find out that the internet was still down. I tried to call my sister, Lisa to check me in online because she knows this routine from booking her athletes on British Airways but here home phone went right to voicemail. There aren’t too many people I would call at 11:15pm USA time so I reluctantly called mom. Not only did I not want to bother her, but I didn’t want to worry her about my finger but I wanted someone to call my neighbor who uses the same doctor as me and ask her to make an appointment for me for when I get back.

I reached mom and dad and let them know I only had about 2 minutes worth of overseas calling left in my Kenyan cell. I gave them my confirmation info and asked them to check me in and get me seats. At 6:30 we left for my last game drive. This trip out we were specifically looking for Rhino since that and the Leopard were the only animals we had not spotted yet. It’s amazing how spoiled we’ve become; we see Zebras now and it’s old stuff so we don’t spend much time on it! We didn’t see a whole lot this morning and never did find any Rhino. We did go down to a part of the Masai River where there were a LOT of Hippos and Baboons though. We saw the usual Topi, Buffalo, Thompson Gizelles, Impalas, etc. but no Rhino.

It got very late so we headed back and almost when we were at the lodge we spotted two Lions; a male and a female. It made up a little for the sparse morning but we had nothing to complain about, we were VERY lucky with our game drives and even got to see the beginning of the big migration-theZebras who go before the Wildebeest!

I was very glad that I did not plan on leaving with the 11am flight; it was well worth staying until the 4pm. I was able to spend about an hour at the pool, take my time showering and packing, have lunch and have the dressing on my finger changed as well. I went to the front and checked out at 2:45. The flight was supposed to leave at 4pm but knowing what happened on our flight there I knew anything could happen. I was waiting to leave when Dickson came in so he asked me to have a drink with him. He had his usual tea and I opted for hot chocolate. He wanted to give me his contact info and get mine; he has a friend in Samburu where he is from who he claims is an amazing runner and he wanted to know how this guy could pursue it. I told him I would try to find some info from him from Catherine and Anthony.

The pilot finally called the hotel to confirm their ETA to our airstrip so Dickson drive me to the airstrip. We approached the departure area and he kept on going so I was a bit curious as to why. He kept telling me that he wanted me to miss my flight! Trust me, if I were not traveling home tonight I would have loved it! He drove right down the middle of the airstrip and finally told me he was “clearing it”. I thought he was just being funny until he proved it! My mother called on my cell to ask me a few questions about the booking and all of a sudden, three Warthogs ran out on the airstrip. Dickson threw the car in park and next thing I knew it he was out on the airstrip chasing three Warthogs away! It was priceless, however, I could not get off the phone with Mom and miss he entire photo op!

The plane came an hour late and it was a much smaller one than on the way here. We saw in the distance tremendous rains! We flew right into them but the flight was amazingly smooth. We arrived at Wilson Airport at little after 6 which was 45 min late. Anthony met me there and since he works there now (flies helicopters for the Police) he was able to meet me on the runway! He took me to the Panafric to pick up my large suitcase and then we went back to his house. Just before we turned down their street we saw Catherine finishing her training run in the dark. We drove slowly behind her to light her way. We came in and had tea and Samuel arrived. He was not with Lidia and Steven but Esther was there. We chatted a bit and then Anthony set me up online to print my boarding pass. I rearranged the stuff in my suitcases so my toiletries would be checked in and then we had dinner. It was called Githeri and was comprised of potatoe, meat, and lots of veges especially a particular corn that Catherine says she can not find in the US. It doesn’t cook and get soft like our corn at home; rather it is very hard and crunchy. It was very good but it got late very fast so we had to leave for the airport. We arrived at 10:30, I was able to drop my bag at the fast drop and go right through security. I stopped at a duty free shop to buy some Amarulu (yummy!), a liquor that comes from the amarulu fruit and tastes amazingly like khalua and cream all mixed in the bottle! This fruit grows in Africa and I have never seen it sold in the US. I purchased a bottle on a cruise ship once and loved it!

I arrived at my gate just as they started boarding so it was very nice!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Best and The Worst!

Sleeping last night was really cool; not so much temperature wise but sleeping inside the mosquito net was like sleeping inside a canopy bed that has a silk enclosure. Once the lights were out it was completely, 100% black! You could not see a thing but you could hear all kinds of animal noises which was awesome! I had wanted to go outside from my sliding door to see the sky but when I shined a flashlight out through the glass there were hundreds of mosquitoes that flocked to the light so I decided I would stay IN!

I slept fairly well except I woke up even earlier than my 5:40 alarm for fear of oversleeping and missing the morning game drive. I’m sure glad I didn’t miss it! Today has been the best and worst so far!

We headed out at 6:30am just in time to watch the sunrise. I was gorgeous. We first came across a pack of Hyenas. There were adults and babies and the babies were SO cute! They were very curious about us too. One of the babies started nursing at its mother and she did not look very happy when another Hyena approached them! There were a few that even ventured in the road right in front of us!

Our goal for today was to especially see Giraffe. Well, our driver seemed to know exactly where to go and we found Giraffe and Zebra! There seems to be a ton of Zebras as they are migrating already whereas the Wildebeest don’t start their big migration for a few more weeks.

We saw 5 Giraffe and countless Zebra. The Giraffe are so elegant! We also came across a Buffalo that was extremely interested in us! He just stared us down. I learned that they are actually the most dangerous animal out here!

Dickson thought it would be good to go down to the river and see what was happening there. On the way we saw Jackals, Wildebeest, Topi Antelope, and Impalas. When we got to the river we saw 7 Crocodiles!!! We also saw thousands, yes THOUSANDS of Zebra that looked like they wanted to cross the river to our side. Dickson said that it was too cold for them at the moment but they may cross later so we moved on. We saw a bunch of Vultures and some Storks so we thought there may be a lion around because the Vultures would have come for leftovers. We continued down the road and came across a Lion!! He was standing in the grass but by the time Dickson got around to the closer side he had already laid down. We were snapping away pictures and then Dickson went in REALLY close for us. I was standing up with my head up out of the top of the safari bus taking video of this magnificent creature when all of a sudden he stood up and started walking towards us. Dickson turned on the jeep and started backing up before I could even sit down! The Lion passed us and started walking down the road. Evidently he was looking to join up with some other Lions. When he stood up we noticed that he had been wounded on his back legs, most likely from a Buffalo. He walked down the road, walked very close to some other animals but they did not run; they may have sensed he was hurt.

We followed him down the road and came across the 4 other Lions in his pride and one of them seemed to have just finished eating his kill. There was blood in the grass and he was cleaning himself up. It was amazing!

By this time I was conserving battery power because I forgot to charge my battery last night! I charged the laptop and cell phone and forgot the camera battery! One of the other people in our car loaned me his digital camera because he’s doing mostly video.

All of a sudden Dickson says we have to go, he evidently heard on the radio that the Zebras were crossing the river! We hightailed it down to the river and we saw the most spectacular thing! All those thousands of Zebra I mentioned before were lined up for what seemed like miles all waiting to cross the river. (listen closely to the Zebra, they sound like dogs)

There were a few Wildebeest mixed in as well. However, the Crocodiles were moving in! There were 7 crocs staking out the area but the Zebras kept on coming. They were making noises that sounded like dogs barking from afar and they were extremely loud! It was unbelievable watching this migration as it does not happen every day! The Crocodiles kept moving closer and a few times took snaps at the Zebras and Wildebeest but we didn’t know why they didn’t get one; they could have. We figured it was because they were not hungry. We watched until all 7 Crocodiles moved in so menacingly that the remaining Zebra retreated!

By this time it was 8:50 and we had to head back before we were late. We came to an area where we saw 2 other safari vehicles from our hotel and Dickson said to take our things that we were going to walk from here. If I hadn’t been warned before I would have thought him crazy but I remember one of the travel agents spoiling the surprise. We were ushered into the woods towards the river and a Masai warrior handed us hand towels to wash our hands. A little further down we were poured champagne and we walked a bit further and a huge Hippo pool opened in front of us. They had an entire buffet breakfast for us down by the Hippo pool! They even had an omelet and fresh pancake station! It was really cool eating while watching the Hippo. Some of them were very playful and they live quite happily beside the 2 enormous Crocodiles!

One of the guys in my group asked me to take a photo of him with the Masai Warrior who was there. He held the spear and I photographed him with it. After, he offered to take a picture of me with the spear. I held the spear and after the picture jokingly didn’t give it back right away. So the Masai Warrior asked me if I wanted to throw it! He showed me how and I said sure!!! There is an arrowhead point at the bottom and a paddle-like part at the top. He told me the top was sharp. I raised my arm back to throw it and all of a sudden realized how heavy the top was. I threw the spear but the top part dropped down and rode along my finger as it went forward!!!! I saw stars, pain, blood and of course could not contain the tears. The top part acts like a blade which I did not realize and it sliced across my forefinger. (that top part is what got me!) We went right over to the buffet table and they poured spirits (alcohol) all over my hand (OUCH!) It would not stop bleeding so we wrapped it and headed back to the lodge. Fortunately, everyone had finished breakfast and that was the end of the morning game drive anyway.

We got back to the lodge and I had to wait for the nurse. When he arrived he took me to my room and cleaned me up. First we washed off all the blood around it and the other fingers, then he treated it with betadine. Fortunately, for some reason I brought triple antibiotic ointment with me so he used that as well and bandaged my finger hoping to stop the bleeding. A huge chunk of skin was sliced but fortunately it formed a “flap” so I had immediately pushed the flap back over the wound hoping it would heal well. Leonard, the nurse, said it will probably heal better without the flap but said we could leave it for now. What hurt worse was a small injury right above the big one where the spear had broken the skin less but had bruised it. It was turning black and that is still what hurts the most right now. Those of you who know me well know how fast I type but I can’t type well on the laptop and without my RIGHT forefinger, this has taken me well over and hour to type!

After the nurse fixed me up I decided to hit the pool for some nice sun. I sat out there for about an hour and a half and the sun was SO hot! I went in for lunch and about 20 minutes later I noticed it was raining. No, I take that back, POURING! They have an umbrella stand outside with umbrellas for guests to use so I came back to my room. I was SO disappointed not to be able to go back to the pool but even worse because they said it could rain the rest of the day which would compromise the afternoon game drive.

I came back to the room and decided to do my writing. I am now looking out over a beautiful sunny Mara again and it is time to get ready for the afternoon game drive!!!!!

The afternoon game drive started with a different vehicle and two additional people. This vehicle had a canvas roof instead of a pop-up top. We headed out and came across the Hyenas from this morning but there were only 3 babies. We started to drive and then saw the mommy who was nursing one of the babies. She saw us come closer and gave us a nasty menacing, protective look. She was blind in one eye most likely from a fight. She finally got up much to the baby’s dismay!

We moved on and our mission of this drive was to find Elephant, Leopard and Rhino, two of which we hadn’t seen yet; and the Elephants we hadn’t gotten very close to. We passed by two Impalas who were doing a mating dance so we stopped to watch them. It was a lot of fun to watch! The female would start to run away, the male would be right behind her, both tails would be wagging quickly, if she stopped he stopped but would not try to mount her! He only mounted her while she was moving but he wouldn’t stay on her for long! We tried to stay and watch the “complete” act but it was taking too long so we moved on! Lol

Finally we all agreed to move on and not stop unless it was for one of the three we were after! Somehow, and I still can’t figure out how, Dickson saw the Elephants in the distance and when I say “in the distance” we’re talking at least 4 kilometers away! It took some time to get there but as usual, he was great! He drove off the road through the grass, dodging giant rocks and drove to the Elephants. They kept moving, most likely to where they would spend the night. Dickson drove in a big loop so he could get in front of them. It was a large herd of 14 including males, females and babies. We stopped in front of them and they came right towards us. I learned that Elephants do not like noise so we had to be extremely quiet so as not to upset them. We just stayed there and they all came around the car and kept on going. We were SO close! It was amazing!

When they had finally moved past us, we started to head back because we were really far from the lodge. We saw more Zebras, Impalas and Topi’s along the way. It was getting dark very early because it was still so cloudy. I had been hoping to get a night game driver because I didn’t want to spend the extra $80 for it. I didn’t know what I was wishing for!!!! As we were headed back to the lodge, another car came from behind us and Dickson pulled over; we had a FLAT! Now, you need to know that you’re not allowed out of your vehicle in the Mara. If you are caught you get banned from ever coming back. Well, Dickson got out and some men from the other vehicle helped him get the tire off. The spare on our vehicle would not budge so they took the spare from the other one. That one wouldn’t go on! Fortunately the vehicles all have dispatch radios in them so they can call for help if they get lost or if something like this happens! We all had to get out of the vehicle so they could jack it up to put the spare on. Here we were outside the vehicle finally and not an animal in sight!!!!! When the tried to get the spare tire on it would not go on properly so Dickson radioed for help and another vehicle had to come for us. We actually got a little of a night game drive as I had wished! LOL We didn’t get back to the Lodge until 7pm. I had a 7:00 appointment with the nurse to change my bandages but I hadn’t had time to take a shower yet so when he showed up I had to ask him to come back. I showered and dressed and then he came back. My finger was feeling better until he undressed it and put more betadyne on it and re-wrapped it! It is black and blue towards the top and any pressure on the finger at all hurts!

I went to dinner after that and when I finished I downloaded the photos from the person who loaned me a camera this morning when my battery had died!

I’m not sitting outside but the fire has gone out of the pit and it is windy and quite cold. I would like to go to bed but I need to check in online for my flight tomorrow so I am not sure what I will do. I do know that I will write at some time tomorrow. I can’t believe that two weeks have gone by already. I have really enjoyed this country!