AFRICA – NOVEMBER 7th, 2009
We left at 7:30 a.m. to go to Sarova Mara Game Camp Reserve in Maasai Mara. We were going to spend three days there and were instructed strictly to bring only one small duffel bag. So we had to do a lot of rearranging with our luggage to bring exactly what we would need for three days. For me, my pills and snacks take up most of my suitcase so I had to really work hard at stuffing everything in my small duffle bag. Our luggage would remain locked up at the Hotel Norfolk until we returned. As it was not all of the sixteen people in our group followed directions, but I did and had my small stuffed duffel bag stuffed to the max and my fanny pack securely attached to my waist. I was ready for safari!
The drive to Sarova Mara was another five and one half hour drive. It was located in Kenya’s richest game reserve. Driving to the camp was one I would never want to take again. The roads that were paved were worse that any road you can even imagine. Our guide “Muli” called it a “Road Massage.”
As soon as we left the downtown area of Kenya we came upon “Slum City.” We could see it from the airplane when we were flying in and it extended for many miles. We were told it was the largest slum city in all of Africa. This is the area where the poorest of poor live. They have no running water, no toilet facilities, and no electricity. The squalor went on for miles and these people actually have to pay $10.00 a month to live there. The poor people in this country are rich compared to these people. Kenya is one of the most corrupt governments in Arica, but I will speak more about that later.
As we continued our drive I could see the vast open areas of brown dying trees and brown mountains. I saw dead Zebras and cows laying along side the road. The drought was quite evident. This time of year is called the “short rain season” but so far it hasn’t come.
The little towns we passed through on the horrible bumpy, dusty road was very depressing and the pit stops in between to use for facilities were small mud hut buildings that were no bigger than my bedroom. They were also souvenir shops where the shopkeepers were very anxious to sell you something – anything. The bathrooms, were outhouses, and always in the back outdoor the shop. Some of them were scary looking and others were kept as clean as they could. I always had my tissues and hand sanitizer in my fanny pack wrapped around my waist with my passport and money.
The small towns where the locals shopped were just rows of mud huts and tin boxes. Of course, cows and goats were intermingled with everyone and walked wherever they wanted to amongst the crowd of shoppers. There are no paved roads so everything is dusty and garbage strewed all over the place. They have no sanitation department and don’t bother to discard of any dead animals because they are one with nature and so they leave them for the vultures. Most of the people shopping wore no shoes. Still the children would wave to you with big smiles on their faces. It was heart wrenching for me, but you could not help smile back at these children and say a silent pray for them. More To Follow…