Tuesday, February 13, 2018 – “Introductions” By Susan Czyzo

Following a full day of travel for most, the team welcomed their first full day in Kenya with a lovely, filling breakfast in Nairobi. First introductions were being made even before first coffees, with everyone buzzing with excitement as the trip officially got underway. Despite only a few hours of sleep for many in the group, the energy level was not lacking as we learned of our itinerary for the day and were briefed on a few key issues.

Avoiding most of Nairobi’s notorious morning traffic, we headed northwest in three vans on our way to Lake Naivasha. It wasn’t long before we were further welcomed into Kenya by the local inhabitants – giraffes craning their necks to have a peek at us as we drove by, zebras showing off their stripes, and gazelles running in the distance. Welcome to Kenya, indeed.

Over the course of the day, we not only started to get a taste of what Kenya is like – road conditions, driving habits, scenery – but also of who was on the trip and why. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, geographical locations, and travel histories, it quickly became clear that there were many talents on board with matching enthusiasm for helping those in need.

Day 1 was purposely scheduled as a rest day to allow the group to settle into the surroundings and changes in time zones. We enjoyed a delicious alfresco lunch with serenades from the tropical boubou, while supremely groomed colobus monkeys observed curiously from the nearby trees. More introductions to the local wildlife followed lunch, this time thanks to a relaxing boat ride on Lake Naivasha. Sightings of giraffe, zebras, and hippos kept our spirits elevated well into the evening, and inspired for day 2.