Monday, March 19, 2018

Kenya - Day 1

It was a long, grueling day of flying in increasingly smaller planes. The best flight, by far, was the last. The 14 seat charter flight fit the ten of us comfortably but nerves ran high as a thunder storm had just rolled in, and the private jet was about the size of some large SUVs. Air time was much smoother than we all expected, some even falling asleep while the rest of us stayed glued to the windows looking at the dense untouched wilderness below. After passing Mount Kenya the landscape opened up revealing the seemingly endless territory of Lewa Downs. We landed on a small strip of clay next to a thatched hut where a few rangers and Maasai were waiting for us. Many of us agreed that the stress of travel dissipated the minute our feet touched Kenyan soil and we felt the warm, floral breeze through the air. We greeted our hosts by saying “habari,” meaning hello, one of our newly learned Swahili words. The Kenyan people are just as lovely as the expansive nature views, greeting us warmly and explaining why they love Lewa. We cleaned up a bit at our modest but comfortable tents, had some tea, and took off on our first game drive. Right along side (or in the middle of) the road we saw zebras, monkeys, impala, rhinos, buffalo, bucks, and hyenas. Grace impressively spotted the second hunting hyena we came across at quite some distance. All the students took beautiful photos which they can’t wait to share with our Saints community. At dusk we returned to the site for a delicious meal of guava juice, vegetable soup, salad, vegetable curry, rice, and chicken. We finished the night with a bonfire and warm showers. We’ll wake up bright and early for a day of hiking and swimming near waterfalls. 

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