Blissfully Unplugged in Kenya

Maasia Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Mom and I went camping in Kenya! We exchanged stories with Maasai warriors around a blazing campfire, learned how women are providing for their family by collaborating on micro-finance initiatives (yay!), and watched lions drag a flailing buffalo to its death.

Maasia Mara National Reserve, Kenya

15 Thoughts on the Last Day:

  1. Nature won’t pose for you — stop asking the elephant to turn around!
  2. Looking to add texture to your hair? Simply add one day of 100% pure African dust and wind — a fool proof combination.
  3. I didn’t look in a mirror for a week — and it was fine.
  4. Close living proximity brings people (and communities) together.
  5. My way of life is my normal. Their way of life is their normal.
  6. Chapatis are reserved for special occasions only (like Sunday) because they are relatively expensive AND take deliberate time/effort to make (Chapati ingredients: flour, water, salt, sugar, animal fat). When you make a chapati for someone, they must be special, a good friend.
  7. I didn’t miss the Internet. At all.
  8. Nothing refreshes and re-energizes you better than a hot hot shower. I want to cherish them more. They’re a privilege and a luxury.
  9. Same takeaway as before — I don’t want to waste the opportunities I have back home. It doesn’t mean I need to do something significant or monumental, I just want to keep moving, creating, sharing, connecting. Keep paddling forward.
  10. Look up. Look around. The sky, moon, stars, sun, and wind are always showstoppers!
  11. Cooking can include simple ingredients. Cooking can be fresh and healthy and diverse. Notice I didn’t say cooking is “easy.”
  12. “Eat what you need, never in excess.” That might be an interesting approach to try.
  13. Take time to slow down time for yourself.
  14. Beer is fattening.
  15. Change is inevitable. And sometimes even education appears to be bad because of the resulting outcome. But change is inevitable.
Traditional Maasai Warrior clothing.

Here are a Trip Highlights, Quotes, and Pictures:

Making chapatis with Cecilia and her family.

Pippa: “I can’t wait to read your book!”

Exploring the suburbs of Nairobi.

This is a typical welcome song that is sung in Swahili with an upbeat and welcoming spirit.

Jambo, Jambo bwana, (Hello, hello sir)
Habari gani (How are you?)
Mzuri sana (Very good)
Wageni, Wakaribishwa (Visitors are welcome)
Kenya yetu (Our country, Kenya)
Hakuna Matata. (There are no worries)

The “Big 5” were chosen because they were the most difficult animals for a big game hunter to hunt on foot. Today the rhino, who is a part of this elite group, is on the brink of extinction.

Jackson: “Write 4 pages of words! Keep writing! Write more! What words do you want to learn?”

Jackson, a Maasai warrior, and I exchanged words in English and Maasai. We created a mini dictionary together. It was really interesting to see which words he prioritized to share, and which words I prioritized to learn.

Me and Jackson.

I met some of the most inspiring couples from Australia, especially Jackie, Marty, Brenda, Bridget, Mick, and Mick. They inspired some new ideas on love, service, and humour.

Sharing pictures!

Ate (spicy) chili lemon chips — yum!

We woke up before the sunrise so we could wake up with the lions.

Inscribed on the window of a local bus: “Relax, God is in control.”

Meeting children in the corral.

Lucy: “Taylor, what makes a great writer? Someone who can write like how they think and how they speak.” If you can do that, you’re golden.

Lucy showing the kids how to take a picture with her fancy camera!

At Lake Nakuru, a young boy placed his hand out and asked me: “What do you have to give me to remember you by?”

Chatting with some of the kids at Lake Nakuru.

When a Maasai warrior was asked if their culture was changing, they responded no.

Maasai boy using a smartphone.

Eng’eno e puaan = Knowledge is prosperity

– Maasai Mara University motto.

Remannts of the Great Wildebeest Migration, where over 2 million animals migrate from Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) to Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya).

The Swahili word for wildebeests is “pumba” (think Lion King), shorthand for stupid in Swahili because of their short term memory.

2/2 of the sand-colored dogs I met one day were named Simba.

Simba #2

We watched these two cubs and their mother for several hours, as they played, killed, and rested. Since nature doesn’t pose for you, all you can do is observe.

We watched these two cubs and their mother for several hours, as they played, killed, and rested. Since nature doesn’t pose for you, all you can do is observe.

The hippo on the left has been dead for several weeks. It was mostly likely attacked by a lion.

“Ask me about temporary love.”

American → British words

Pants = Underwear

Underwear = Knickers

Jacket = Jacket

Thank you Chloe, from Oxford, for the clarification.

Adding the word “Brilliant” word to my list of Favorite Words. Thank you, Aussies and Kiwis.

Hanging out with the young Maasai warriors. The boy on the far left is wearing a lion’s mane!

Mom: “You and me camping, we’ll have this memory forever.”

Nothing lasts forever.

Zebra in Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Originally published at on August 30, 2016.

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