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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

It all began June 9 as we headed to the Maasai boma village in southeast Kenya in the shadow of Mr. Kilimanjaro and Ambroseli National Park which has a swamp in it. I knew that baby elephants were often rescued there and didn’t know why. But I soon learned they were stuck in the swamp and couldn’t get out and their Mother couldn’t get them out either.

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Shopping with the Maasai and all their beautiful beads and items for sale. And yes, I always buy something from them.

 

The ride took 1 hour from the hotel and the entire area had 8-inch ancient volcanic rocks scattered all over the area from the eruption of Mt. Kilimanjaro many years ago. We finally arrived at the boma where 122 Maasai lived in their individual houses made of cow manure.

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The elder who spoke to us about their lives. It was very interesting to learn how another culture lives and makes it in this world even though they do it different than I do. And we both make it work for us.

Sitting under a shade tree and listening to the elder Maasai tell how and why they do things, each one of us asked a question at the end of the hour meeting and then we were invited to tour the boma to see where and how they live.

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These two beautiful Maasai ladies live in the boma village we visited.

But first, I had to visit the restroom which my Tauck World Discovery guide said was 1 block away.

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Sharon Davis danced with the Maasai ladies.

So Sharon Davis, my travel companion, and I headed to the restroom, also made of dried cow manure. We arrived at what we thought was the entrance but it was the back. Sharon said to me, “Stay here while I find the entrance.”

And when she returned to tell me where it was, she saw me fall from standing to flat on the ground and I didn’t hit one of those volcanic rocks that were also scattered around the out house. I had turned 90 degrees to my right to look and the next thing I knew I was one foot from the ground.

I landed on my right shoulder and right hip and my head hit the ground and bounced up like a ball. The ground was covered with 4 inches of dried cow manure which was all over the right side of my face, hair, leg and Nikon camera. But I still needed to go to the restroom.

The biggest surprise I had besides falling was the restroom had no odor. Having been to many restrooms in this world that smelled horribly, it was wonderful to find one that did not smell and it was made of cow manure. I wondered how the Maasai could keep the restroom so clean and odor free and many peoples of the world could not.

When I got up, my right shoulder hurt so we went to our guide and told him what happened, and proceeded to tour the boma and all the souvenirs they had for sale.

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The cow manure house we visited inside where this Massai and his child lived.

Then we enjoyed a tour of a home containing only a cooking pot, fire, little stool and bed made of sticks. This home had an 8×10 inch glass window which I had never seen in a Maasai house that are always made by the women of cow manure.

When we arrived back to the hotel, a nurse checked my painful shoulder and asked me to lift up my right arm to the sky and I did. She said “Take these pills and use this ointment for 4 days and your shoulder will be well.” So I did and added an ice pack to it every hour.

Neither Sharon nor I wanted to return home as there was nothing wrong with me, according to the nurse. So we continued on the tour. Plus, the Tauck tour was awesome.

The next morning I looked down at my chest and the entire right side was black and the entire right side was white. I thought my right shoulder had something break and now I knew it was a blood vessel. But it did not hurt and the black stain lasted for several weeks before my chest became white again.

Two days later, we were in a small town that had a medical center. There I saw a doctor dressed professionally in his suit and tie, who took an x-ray of my still painful shoulder. He called me in, lifted up the 5×7 x-ray to view my shoulder and said “You don’t have any breaks so you are good to go.”

So again we agreed to continue on the wonderful trip of Kenya.

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We saw this Momma rhinoceros and her cute baby in the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

A few days later, the tour went to the Maasai Mara and I began having trouble walking on the right side so I used the hotel’s wheelchair while there and it worked well. I didn’t need to walk then and also didn’t use my right shoulder much either.

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Sharon is on this balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. Can you spot her?

I didn’t miss one safari but I did decline the hot air balloon ride because I had enjoyed 2 before there. But Sharon went on the hot air balloon and she was ecstatic about it. I could ride and see the awesome animals with no problem and photograph the balloon in the air.

Again, we decided to continue on with the awesome tour around Kenya and then to Nairobi, the only city in the world that has a national park in it full of wild animals.

The tour finally ended in Nairobi, one week after my fall. By now, my shoulder was still hurting and I couldn’t walk much on my right side. There we went to a hospital which had a CT scan machine and the professionally dressed doctor said my shoulder was broken in 2 places. Then he put a sling on my arm to wear for weeks until well. But because I am only right handed, I took it off and used the arm very little.

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The endangered Rothschild Giraffe at the Giraffe Manor Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

I had booked a 3-day extension tour of Nairobi to again visit the rescued darling baby elephants in the David Sheldrick Orphanage where several of the babies were rescued from Ambroseli. Next, was the Kazuri bead making ladies and finally, the endangered Rothschild giraffes that live at the Giraffe Manor. (See story with photos about them elsewhere on my blog)

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THE DANCE wall hanging I purchased in Nairobi. Notice the boy and girl dancing in the upper left.

We visited all places we had planned. And at Kazuri Beads, I purchased a priceless handmade piece of art made by the bead ladies at www.kazuri.com. I named it the The Dance with beads made every day by 360 women who roll every shape of bead from Kenya’s Mt. Kenya clay into necklaces and wall hangings and sell them worldwide using Fed Ex.

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Some of the 360 bead making ladies who serenated me with song and dance after I purchased their masterpiece wall hanging.

When I bought the wall hanging, the factory ladies stopped work, danced and sang for 15 minutes. They make $175 a month to support themselves and their many children as they had no husband or any help and each would get money from my purchase.

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Marie, the lady who actually put the wall hanging together while her assistant, Florence, helped with macramé and assembling beads.

Two of the ladies worked 6 weeks creating the wall hanging with the many beads then sewing them into a custom African pattern using macramé. (See my story called “The Bead Ladies of Nairobi” elsewhere on my blog.)

Our wonderful Tauck tour ended and upon arriving home, I went to a hospital for a CT scan and my painful right shoulder clavicle was broken at both ends and my painful pelvis was cracked.

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The red marks on this laughing skeleton show the bones that were broken in my body, all on the right side.

But I continued to hurt and went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and learned the pelvic bone was completely broken and so was the sacrum, which meant several of my world wide trips needed to be cancelled while I recuperated for 6 months.

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To focus on something besides my broken bones, I hosted a BBQ luncheon for these wonderful people of my International Travelers Century Club. It was so much fun and we all enjoyed it very much. Of course, all we talked about was travel because each one of us had visited over 100 countries to belong to the club. And several had been to 150 and 200 countries. I had been to 251 countries/territories.

But I needed another dimension to my recuperating “trip.” Since I could not go on a world-wide tour, I created one I could go on to replace the trips I had to cancel.

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And while I was healing, my doctor required I go to physical therapy.  Guiding me was Rachael Thompson of Select Physical Therapy who kept me going until I was in shape to travel again. Plus she gave me positive things to think about while recouping instead of negative thoughts.

Being able to get in a wheelchair and transferring to an electric shopping cart, Hester, my helper and I went shopping at stores with electric shopping carts. Plus, she helped me daily with food, cleaning, driving and all.

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Reverend Bernadine S. Davis was one person I surprised by purchasing all of her items she was carrying in her arms one day. She said I blessed her and I told her you sure have been and I love you because you are human. Bernadette and I both made a scene as we screamed in joy and hugged and thanked each other for the wonderful experience of meeting by chance. It was a win-win for both of us.

While shopping at Walmart, I would select a person in the check-out line and pay for the items in their cart. This opened the door to conversations with these folks and enabled me to hear their stories. It was a wonderful discovery experience that was a win-win for us both, and converted a very negative experience into a positive one for me. And I continue this wonderful “trip” every time I go to Walmart.

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Rachael Thompson made sure I performed each exercise correctly.

I was very grateful for the opportunity and I appreciated their kind responses more than they could know, changing a lemon event into lemonade for me so I can get back to thinking about my next world wide trip.

Photo Copy ©  2017 carolyntravels.com 

 

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They were everywhere in every rich color, size, length and shape, hanging on racks sorted by color and length in a large metal-roofed showroom.

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Each was custom made by loving hands by beautiful dedicated ladies for customers around the world wanting to help others and have a piece of art.

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Elizabeth is one of the ladies who has work the longest at Kazuri. She started in 1975, is now 65 years old and only speaks Swahili. She was married 16 years, has 6 children, 20 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. She is very thankful for her job that has enabled her to provide for her family for so many years.

 

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Elizabeth’s hand has rolled beads on this table since 1975 and she is still rolling them round, square, oblong and rectangular. I watched her hand make that clump of clay into a perfect rectangle. She made it look so easy.

Such were the Kazuri beads and necklaces made by 334 ladies in Nairobi, Kenya for their customers. And these ladies are honored to make these necklaces because they give these bead ladies employment. And each one I talked to loved their jobs and were so appreciative of having the employment.

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One of the main workrooms where the ladies roll out the beads, put holes in them, paint them, dry them and then fire them in the kilns in the back of the room. I spoke to them all in my very limited Swahili saying I love them and their necklaces and keep up the outstanding works of art for all of us.

Making necklaces for the world market is so popular that Kazuri has a waiting list of 300 women wanting to make beads.DSC_0870 And another reason is most of the ladies are single mothers with children and finding employment is difficult when they are responsible for raising the children and don’t have a husband helping with the expenses.

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Men can make 60-100 pieces of pottery a day on the pottery wheel.

Several men also help work making pottery and beads because they also need employment. When more beads and pottery are sold, more ladies and men have jobs.

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Jamila is single with 3 children and has been working at Kazuri Beads for 9 years. Here she is making earrings.

Coming to work all dressed in their colorful African ensembles, the ladies work 8:30 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday until 1 p.m. and they each get a tea and lunch break.DSC_0852 In addition, health insurance is provided for each one and their children. Each lady makes 15,284 Kenyan shillings ($150 US Dollars) per month plus commission and bonus. DSC_0828The more necklaces they make, the more money they make. Each lady can make 40 to 60 necklaces per day.DSC_0137

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This happy lady just screamed when she saw that I was wearing the giraffe necklace that she made.  She was working on several more when we visited her.

Each unbreakable ceramic bead goes though many steps before it becomes a finished piece of art. And each lady can perform every step because the ladies rotate every 2 weeks into another step depending on their speed of work.

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This lady is creating the elephant necklace and has several elephant beads on the rack to dry until it is time for to be fired and painted.

One time they are custom painting the beads and 2 weeks later they could be rolling round beads or stringing necklaces.DSC_0874

Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in the Swahili language, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop experimenting in making handmade beads.DSC_0924 Its founder, Lady Susan Wood, started with 2 African women. And soon, she discovered that many other women in the villages around Nairobi, most of who were single mothers, who were in need of regular employment. Driven by the desire to provide such opportunities, Kazuri today has evolved into a dedicated workforce of skilled ladies manufacturing handmade jewelry.

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Nancy and I made our custom necklaces in the Bead Storage Room where they have jars with thousands of colors of beads. It was so fun selecting the color, size and shape of beads we wanted in our necklace and it was fast and easy with their helpers.

Kazuri applied its knowledge of ceramics and the artistic flair, making the necklaces attractive and popular for collectors and individual customers alike. The culture and wildlife of Kenya is reflected in each bead and necklace. Each necklace has a design name and customers order by that name. Custom designed necklaces can also be made by color and design.

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Nancy and I made our custom necklace when we visited the workshop and one hour later, we had that custom necklace.

Clay to make the beads comes from Mt. Kenya in Kenya making each bead a true Kenyan work of art. The clay can withstand the high temperatures needed for firing in the kilns. It is combined with talc and silica and mixed with water to make the right consistency for rolling beads.

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The before clay, and after firing, it makes the item lighter and able to take dyes, glazes, and painting.

 

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Caroline is a 23-year-old single lady with a 4-year-old child who guided us throughout the Kazuri workshop explaining each step of bead making. She did an outstanding job!

Clay not used in the day’s bead making is recycled and used to roll beads another day. Mixing the clay with the talc and silica helps the clay change to white after firing so paint can be applied.

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This lady rolled all of these beads in just a few hours.

Every bead rolling lady has a clump of clay from which she rolls the prescribed bead size for the day or pushes it into a mold. Some roll marble size and others roll rectangles and others roll gumball-size beads. Ladies are rolling all sizes of beads all of the time. DSC_0852Then, a hole is put through the bead using a straight wire and the bead is then put on a rack with wires until it is first fired at 1000 degrees Celsius for 8 hours and allowed to cool down slowly to keep from cracking. After this step, if the ceramic beads are dropped, they will not break.

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This ceramic/yarn wall hanging is a piece of art custom made by Marie and her assistant Florence for clients. It takes 2-3 weeks to make a door size hanging and larger ones take up to 6 weeks. They are sold by size and can  cost $1500 to $3500 US Dollars (150,000-350,000 Kenyan Schillings). It was absolutely a gorgeous piece of art.

 

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Florence assists Marie in their creation.

Next is the hand painted process with imported ceramic dyes, paints and glazes because they aren’t available locally. After being painted, each bead dries on the rack for 2 hours and then is fired again in the kiln at night because the 1000 degree Celsius makes the workshop too hot during the day.

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Each row of these beads will become a beautiful necklace.

After this firing, the painted bead is a beautiful glossy color. The next step is threading and assembling the beads with strong fishing line. One lady can make 30-40 necklaces a day using the finished beads.DSC_0902

 

A necklace is now finished and goes into the Kazuri showroom next door to the workshop. And each 2-sided rack features one color making the showroom very colorful.

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This young man is painting the cup like a giraffe. And the plates, saucers, bowls and more pieces are all available for a complete set of pottery. Other animal patterns are also available.

Besides jewelry, Kazuri also makes pottery ware and men needing a job and income work along with women at forming the cups, plates, bowls, saucers, pitchers, mugs, glasses and salt shakers in different colors and designs using molds and the pottery wheel.

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He is the Keeper of the Molds which are used to form some pottery.

Plus, men are employed in areas where lifting is needed like the storeroom full of hundreds of huge jars filled with a single color bead and in all shades of that color.DSC_0909

 

The pottery is painted and allowed to dry for 3 days before it is fired 10-11 hours at 1200 degree Celsius. After cooling down for 3 days to keep the pottery from cracking, it is then dishwater safe, microwave safe, and lead free.DSC_0872

Beads were everywhere because of the loving hands of hundreds of single ladies thankful for having a job that helps support their children and for making a product that the ladies of the world love. Every bead has a story and every lady has a story as to why she is single. But being able to work at a job they just love makes each necklace special for the ladies that wear them.

Contact Kazuri at:     info@ kazuri.co.ke   Phone 3884058 FAX 3882501 Kazuri 2000 LTD. PO Box 24276, Nairobi, Kenya 00502 Kenya

Photo Copy © 2015 carolyntravels.com 

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This is so good, I want another gallon, this older infant shows.

From the bush, 16 of them came running as fast as their little baby legs would let them. Awaiting them were 200 people wanting to see how they were doing and to give them love. But the 16 little ones were interested first in their bottles and headed right to them.DSC_0184

In a few minutes that gallon bottle of milk was gone and another one was in the baby elephant’s mouth for a few more minutes. In under 15 minutes, each infant elephant had finished its 11A.M. feeding.DSC_0007 Then it was time to nibble on browse of small twigs with leaves which the babies were just learning to eat.

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I love to be loved by the tourists and everyone.

Now that the hunger pains were past, it was time to satisfy the love pains so several of the infants went to the people for petting, hugging and fondling. Fourteen-month-old Lemoyian headed straight for the area where I was standing. And all of us petted, showed and told him we loved him over and over. Lemoyian’s skin felt like sandpaper with little wires all over it.DSC_0038

He had to show his male prowess and test his 14-month-old 500-pound strength. So he head butted me and nearly knocked me to the ground. Luckily, I didn’t fall and his keeper immediately ran to the rescue and headed little Lemoyian for more love-showing in another crowd area. Baby elephants are very obedient, want to please, are very delicate to age 3, need to know they are loved every minute, fed milk formula at least every 3 hours or they will grieve themselves to death.DSC_0273

The keepers never hit the baby elephants, or even carry a stick. They only use tone of voice, hand signals or finger pointing to get the babies to do what they want them to do at the www.davidsheldrickwildlifetrust.org  David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. Now managed by his wife, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, the Elephant Orphanage had 26 orphans when we visited, but the number is determined by donations, budget and need. Each little elephant costs many dollars to rescue, feed, house and doctor until ready to return to the wild. Most of their mothers were killed by poachers for their ivory tusks, but some became orphans like Lemoyian, due to an accident.DSC_0014DSC_0113

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This browse is so good.

Lemoyian fell into the Lemoyian Well near Ambroseli National Park close to the border of Kenya and Tanzania when he was about 6 months old. His Mother tried to get him out and screamed and screamed for help. She left and never came back when Massai cattle arrived at the well.  So, the Park Ranger went to investigate and summoned the Orphanage. It took 5 hours to get him from the well at the border to the Nairobi Orphanage where he was fed, given a stockade room to sleep and a safe place to grow up. But the trauma of losing his Mother is always on his mind and more so for females who have a lifelong bond with their Mothers.

So that is why visitors are told to always show them sincere love. And the keepers have to do the same, for if the infants are mistreated, they remember it for years and can retaliate anytime. When the keepers correct them or tell them what to do and how to do it, the babies have to be told and shown they are loved and what they did wrong was only a little misdemeanor, not a major one, and they are still loved.

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We have to see who is the strongest male among the teenage elephants because we will need this when we are adults..

Love keeps the delicate infants alive as does the 8 feedings a day of special formulated milk until the age of 3-years-old. Elephants are like humans in development and are very intelligent and remember everything after 3 weeks of age. Dame Daphne spent 28 years finding the exact milk formula for the babies. After a few months, cooked oatmeal is added to the formula and coconut has to be added at a certain time for the fat content.

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Off to the bush for 3 hours and then back for more milk bottles.

Teenage males have to be allowed to make their own decisions, to show their strength by sparring and not told what to do for them to become independent and respected in the male family. Lemoyian was just doing what comes naturally by head butting me.

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Getting ready for a warm and good night sleep in the stockade room.

After 30 minutes of milk, browse and love, the infants headed back into the bush. And 8 older children came running from the bush for their milk. These children, as they are called up to 10 years old, each had little tusks beginning to grow and they were taller and bigger, but still young and in need of milk and love. Plus, the males had to show and test their maleness by sparring with another male or two after their lunch.

The 11-12 noon public visit was over but there was another chance to see the infants at the “5pm Go-to-Bed Feeding” that day if a $50 donation is made to the Orphanage and an infant adopted to help raise for $50 each year.

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One more ball game before I go to sleep between bottles.

Lemoyian was my adopted infant and at 5PM, he and the other infants again came running from the bush straight to the bottles of milk and their stockade rooms for a good night sleep. With their keeper for the night sleeping with him in his room, just like their Mothers did, Lemoyian felt safe and loved. The keeper wrapped a heavy blanket around him and Lemoyian was ready for bed. Keepers are rotated several times every day so the infants will not get attached to just one. If that person ever is gone, the infant will grieve himself to death. They consider all the keepers their family.

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One more reassurance that you love me before I go to sleep.

The night keeper then petted Lemoyian several more times and played ball with him while he ate browse. DSC_0720Finally, it was time to sleep and Lemoyian lay down to sleep. But wait, there’s more. He then got up onto his knees and said “a thank you prayer” to all his supporters, friends, keepers and the orphanage for rescuing him and providing him with a warm safe place where he can grow up.DSC_0734

Now at 6 PM after one hour of routine procedures before bed, Lemonian could finally go to sleep with his keeper who covered him with another blanket.DSC_0773But, Lemoyian would be up again in 3 hours for another milk bottle and another milk bottle. This would continue several times throughout the night.DSC_0782

Lemoyian went to sleep in a safe place knowing he was loved by all the keepers and the other 25 orphans at the Elephant Orphanage and that he would be able to grow up into a big bull elephant and return to the wild with the other males in the Orphanage and hopefully never encounter a poacher for his tusks.

Photo Copy ©  2015 carolyntravels.com 

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We just dropped pellets on Lynn’s black-purple tongue as fast as we could from the second floor of Giraffe Manor’s Daisy’s Room balcony above the Breakfast Room. Warthogs below eat the pellets that Lynn misses.

Lynn was hungry at 7 am because it was her breakfast time with 17 people feeding her pellets, giraffe pellets. She had put her head and mouth in our bedrooms, at the balconies, and on the patio to eat pellets non-stop from anyone who would feed her by hand or mouth. Now it was time for the Breakfast Room.

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Oh, this Breakfast food is delicious. And Lynn eats several plates of pellets before she leaves to greet the tourists at the Giraffe Center.

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The Breakfast Room “BL” Before Lynn and her giraffe family.

It was recommended that we feed her one pellet at a time but she wanted more, a lot more. She even wanted to eat at the breakfast table with us, and eat she did. She found her own plate full of pellets at each breakfast table, licked the plates and wanted more.

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Lynn eating off of our table and stealing a fruit shish-kebob in one second flat while we watched in shock.

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The fruit Shish-Kebob before Lynn.

But, then, all of sudden, without warning, she grabbed my 10-inch long fruit Shish-Kebob, full of watermelon, mango, pineapple and honeydew melon, and ate the whole thing in one gulp.

I screamed “Lynn, you stole my fruit.” And then, one at time, she spit out a watermelon chunk, followed by a pineapple chunk, and a mango chunk and honeydew melon chunk. It seemed like the fruit spitting would never end. And to my amazement, the chunks were in the original shape and condition.

That fruit-on-a-stick was right next to my scrambled eggs on my plate. Lynn had stolen food off of my breakfast plate without my offering it. Now, my fruit-was sprinkled all over the table, and I didn’t get more fruit  because Lynn had already “eaten” it.

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The 3 windows in the Breakfast Room can have several giraffes at each window.

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Lynn eating a snack right before Breakfast in the window.

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The Giraffe Manor, built in 1934

Lynn Giraffe had eaten people’s breakfast food many times as she was one of the 8 resident severely endangered Rothschild giraffes at the Giraffe Manor Hotel www.giraffemanor.com in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1974, the owners of the old 1930’s style ivy covered English manor, Betty and Jock Melville, were asked to take a baby Rothschild giraffe to help save the species from extinction. Her name was Daisy and soon, Jock, a young male giraffe followed and many baby giraffes thereafter. Betty always loved feeding her 2 giraffes at breakfast through the open windows and a tradition began.

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Calling the Rothschild Giraffes from the surrounding 140-acre complex in the Karen subdivision of Nairobi, Kenya.

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Here comes Lynn for Breakfast, and the windows were perfect height for her13-foot height.

Now, Giraffe Manor is the only hotel in the world where a giraffe eats breakfast with guests.

To call the giraffes to breakfast, a hotel employee stands near the Manor’s front door around 7 am and rattles a plastic bowl full of giraffe pellets.

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THE food in THE cauldron in THE Fireplace in THE Reception Living Room.

The pellets come from the Manor’s reception room fireplace where a huge brass cauldron full of giraffe pellets awaited for feeding them. In one minute flat, the giraffes started arriving from the 140-acre property around the Manor.

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Lynn picks up the pellets that were dropped and the Giraffe Manor’s resident warthog family eats the pellets on the ground. The warthogs get on their knees to eat the food.

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Hand feeding wasn’t fast enough. Lynn wanted a bowl full at a time.

Soon, we were surrounded by giraffes, each with a name like Jock, Marlon, Betty, Daisy, Lynn, and Karen in honor of Karen Blixen who wrote “Out of Africa”. The Manor is located in the Karen section of Nairobi and Ngong Hills. In honor of each giraffe, the Manor’s bedrooms were given their names.

We stayed in Daisy’s Room that had a balcony and Lynn Giraffe came around to eat our pellets at the balcony railing. It was the first time I had even seen her long, deep mouth and black purple tongue, and teeth. She just stood with her head pointed to the sky and mouth wide open, and I dropped pellets in her mouth.

She would also come back for more pellets in the afternoon for tea and evening for dinner on the terrace.

Staying at the Giraffe Manor was an awesome experience that we highly recommend for a giraffe experience of a lifetime. Plus, giraffes are everywhere inside the Manor from the photos and paintings on the walls, to giraffe dinner plates and chargers, to hot water bottle bed warmers with a giraffe on it, coffee and tea pots with a giraffe pattern cloth wrapped around them to keep the liquid hot, and a gift shop with, you guessed it, giraffe items for sale.DSC_0171

Now at 8 A.M., the giraffes left our breakfast as fast as they arrived earlier. Inquiring as to where the giraffes went, the Giraffe Manor manager said ,”to the Giraffe Center on the edge of the Manor property to meet the tourists”. They had eaten all the food for them at breakfast so now it would be tourists feeding each giraffe because they were hungry. Photo Copy ©  2015 carolyntravels.com 

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When we were in Kenya-Tanzania in February, our Tauck World Discovery tour director, Deanne Inman,  gave us an airmail note-letter. With this, we were to write ourselves a letter about our safari we had just completed. Then she would mail it to us 3 weeks after we returned home and we were back into our normal daily hustle and bustle.

So, following is the letter I wrote.

1.   I remember going back to the hotel, the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, from the Tauck World Discovery Farewell Cocktail Party in the bush, and the only thing on the road  was 5 elephants.

2.   I remember having to check the back tire of our safari vehicle (I had to go to the WC behind the van because  no restrooms were nearby) in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, and therefore, causing our van to have to separate from the other 2 Tauck safari vehicles. This made us a little late, causing only our safari vehicle occupants to see a rare cheetah.

3.   I remember eating Breakfast on a Picnic Table in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania while a Vervet monkey was in our locked safari vehicle with the roof open, having Breakfast from my tote bag. He joyously ate my only package of Fritos and

cookies.

4.   I remember Victoria Vance of Manhattan walking to her seat carrying her plate of food at our bush luncheon in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. All of a sudden, a black-shouldered Kite (bird) swooped down from the tree above and stole her juicy steak from her plate. She hollered “He hit me, He took it,” and she didn’t even drop her plate.

5.   I remember in Samburu, Kenya, a Vervet Monkey stealing the English Bread that Blase had on his plate as he was eating Breakfast. That monkey was watching Blase from afar and then suddenly jumped through the open window behind Blase, jumped on the table, and stole his bread and took off, all in an instant.

6.   I remember a beautiful, gorgeous adult leopard resting in a tree, only to learn she was sitting on food she had caught earlier. And then the leopard got up, carried the food in its mouth and left the tree.

7.   I remember 4 hyenas eating the stinky carcass of and elephant or buffalo, in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and seeing 3 other hyenas who had eaten or were ready to eat, waiting nearby. Also nearby were 2 male lions who probably were involved in the kill, lying nearby, and one had an injured eye.

8.   I remember watching a Herron eat a snake that was yellow on one side. The Herron played with the snake and then ate it, inch by inch. I was watching my first kill in the wild on an African Safari.

9.   I remember Tom, with his huge telephoto lens camera, and several others on the safari, clicking dozens of  photos per second, when a Top 5 animal appeared every time.

Tom also wrote a letter about his safari memories and they are:

1.   I remember the weather being perfect with no rain and everything green, green, and green except Samburu, Kenya which was desert-like.

2.   I remember the elephant in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania coming up to our safari vehicle and smelling us with her trunk.

3.   I remember the 6-7 year old male elephant in Samburu, Kenya, charging, threatening, stomping, and bluffing us in our safari vehicle, trying to get us to leave. And all the while, our safari driver telling us he was just a teenager learning how to be a big bull elephant one day.

4.   I remember in Samburu, Kenya, telling Carolyn to turn around and she said “Why”? And I said “Look”. She turned around, saw the Baboons right by her and screamed and jumped with surprise.

5.   I remember in the Serengeti, seeing 2 hippos in a pond, playing, biting, and fighting each other with their mouths open, showing all those huge teeth.

6.   I remember in Sweetwater, Kenya, being told by the armed Park Rangers to come and pet the White Rhino, Max.  I did right away but Carolyn was scared and, finally, we both had our photo made with him.

7.   I remember spotting the male white rhino on the way to the Tauck World Discovery Farewell Cocktail Party BEFORE our safari driver spotted it.

8.   I remember Carolyn getting a Surprise 25th Tauck Tour cake in Samburu, Kenya, complete with sparkler and the hotel waiters with instruments to accompany her 26th tour send off and many more.

9.   I remember that an African Safari in the wild is the No. 1 most awesome experience in the world and that I promise to be on another African Safari every 2 years with Tauck World Discovery.

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