We had been at Juja for a few months. We absolutely loved going every day to the school, teaching and helping out in any way we could. But, living in the middle of nowhere, spending everyday riding a bike through dirt and mud 15 minutes each way, and surrounded by kids fighting for your attention, and trying to teach them takes it out of you. So we were very excited when Laura’s family came over to visit for a week. Laura had also been in touch with her old school and a few friends stateside about a month before, and planned a supply donation for Happy Life Christian School, bringing needed and highly overpriced supplies you could buy in Kenya, but the school just didn’t have the funds to buy them. We had an AMAZING turnout of support for this, and Laura’s parents brought 4 50lb suitcases full of colored markers, crayons, chalk, reading and education books, sharpeners, erasers, personal whiteboards and markers for the kids, and a whole heck of a lot more. When Laura’s family came, we visited Happy Life’s School and shared all of the supplies that Laura’s parents brought, and the kids (and teachers) when ecstatic! (Check out this video we created to share with all of our donators).
After spending a full day at the school with all of the kids sharing and playing with their new goodies, we spent a night at one of my friends house as we needed to leave early the next morning. We headed off early the next morning to go to the Masai Mara, a large game reserve located close to the southern border of the country, and the adventure started with the drive down, cutting through the beautiful rift valley, then spending an hour going 40 mph on the roughest dirt road I have ever been on. We went with a driving company as the road down there needed a special vehicle. But once we got there, we spent the most beautiful and exciting 3 days full of beautiful scenery, luxury lodges (Keekorok and Sarova Mara), and amazing animals! Check out some of our favorites!
We actually witnessed a lioness take down a cow that had wandered into the game reserve. It was crazy!
Some of the local Masai came to our lodge and welcomed all of us there with a traditional dance.
After the Masai Mara, we drove back to a place we went with one of Laura’s friends a few months ago, Kiangazi House, where we had one of our favorite things, the evening sundowner inside the park, at one of the most beautiful locations!
The next morning, we went somewhere new, walking through Crescent Island, where you can walk around with animals on a natural island of many animals, not including the dangerous cats of course. I mean, when you are standing 5 feet from a baby giraffe munching on a tree, it’s worth a few photos. Afterwards, we took a boat trip across Lake Naivasha, where the island is located, working our way through a sea of hippo’s, arguably the most dangerous animal in Africa.
The rest of the trip we spent exploring a few places around town, visiting the elephant orphanage again, and taking a tour of the tea fields, but mostly relaxing in Juja, at our house. The owners of the house have a pool on the property, and kindly got it working right before Laura’s family came, so we spent some time by the pool. We went to the school once more with the family before they left, and they graciously prepared one of the traditional meals for us while we were there. Just a small token of how appreciative they were to have us there. (Next recap we share the pool and a few American traditions with some of the kids and you will definitely want to see how they reacted!).