February 13, 2015 – Leanne’s travel blog

We woke up after a fitful sleep at Sweet Waters, listening to all the noises and voices of Africa.  During the night we heard what we thought were baboons fighting.  There were 3 distinct noises: a high pitched screaming sound, a low grunting sound, and a medium pitched arguing/fighting voice.  I called Jeff over facetime at around 5:20am.  We talked for quite a while and at 6:00am, Mika had wanted me to wake her up.  So I braved the noises we had heard during the night and went over to her cabin, taking Jeff, still on Facetime, with me.  Later that morning we discovered that there was a leopard close by who was tormenting the baboons.

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Those of us who wanted to go on the early morning safari met at the gates at 6:30am sharp.  The rule was that if you aren’t there at the exact time, it is assumed that you are not coming, and they will leave without you.  The safari was beautiful, but cold.  In the safari van, many of us were wishing that we had dressed warmer or had brought blankets.  It was at that point that I mentally confirmed my suspicion of having Raynaud’s Disease because my toes were turning white and becoming numb.  We had an excellent view of Mt. Kenya, and we enjoyed taking many pictures of each other in front of it with the sun at just the right angle to capture our silhouettes.  One of the neatest things we saw was a troupe of elephants.  Our driver, Lawrence, backed up slightly behind the other van to allow the row of elephants to continue their travel across the path between us.  It was a breath-taking sight.  There was 1 baby elephant, protected right in the middle of the row.

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After our safari, we came back for a delicious breakfast buffet.  Eric and Dr. Hill were sitting at the window when a huge bird (yellow billed stork?) came up from outside expecting to be fed.  He must of thought that if he just stayed there long enough, the glass between him and his longed for breakfast would disappear.

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We left sweet waters around 10:00am and took a bumpy road to a few of the schools that “A Better World” has been working with.  The first was a tiny shack where about 20? little kids came to school.  They were aged from 3years to 5years old.  We were told that some have to walk 30min each way.  They sang some songs for us, and we were given some other general information about the school by the teacher.  As we got back into the vans, they all came out and waved with big grins on their faces.

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We went a little further to see the next school.  “A Better World” had just helped a new building to be put up there.  We saw the girls dorm.  It was SO crowded.  When we first entered, it looked like a bunch of bunk beds were in storage because they were all pushed up against each other in very long rows.  Apparently there were 4 girls per bunk.  The entire girls dorm housed about 200? girls.

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The next place we visited was a school.  The kids at first seemed a little stand-offish, but once we started interacting with them they were very interested in learning about who we were and what we were all about.  Mika and I engaged the kids in some songs and clapping.  Juhoon was able to entertain the kids by playing with them and trying out some of his Swahili words.  Scott again gained popularity by bringing out the soccer ball.  The kids are like a magnet to it.

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We then stopped at the equator for lunch.  There was a little shop, and the man who ran the shop came and demonstrated a little experiment.  We walked 20 meters North of the equator and poured some water into a funnel.  The water goes clockwise.  Then 20 meters South of the equator, it spins counterclockwise.  Right on the equator, it does not spin but goes straight down.  Interestingly, all Northern Hemisphere toilets flush clockwise and all Southern Hemisphere toilets flush counterclockwise.

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