African Adventure: Journey to My Heart Part 2!

Day 5 (or 6) We travelled to the edge of the Maasi Mara – The Naboisho Conservancy more specifically. This is the home of the Naboisho Camp. Glamorous Camping – Glamping to the max. This beautiful place is managed by wonderful humans – Della, Richard, Helen and Rulof.

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I had a sitting room in the front, my main bedroom and in the back – a full bathroom with a toilet and shower. In addition – an awesome outdoor shower too.
Each night, after dark, we had REAL Maasi Warriors escorting us each safely to our tents. They were equipped with a bow and arrow – plus a flashlight. The Warrior men were so wonderful. Sweet, and sometimes chatty. I wish I had a Maasi warrior with me always. ;)

Each morning, the tea came at 5:15am. I awoke at 5am. I was ready when the ‘tasty tray’ came. I would sit in my tent, in the front sitting room – with all the lights off and just drink and listen. This was one of my favorite moments of the entire trip, my times in the dark, listening.
I got a video. there’s virtually no picture. But listen. Can you hear that LION? So close.

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The Mara has a reputation and it lives up to it. It is wild and big and expansive and full of lions.

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Isn’t he beautiful? Lions don’t like to look humans in the eye. This guy turned away, blinked, pretended he was sleeping. But I love this shot.

One of the most profound things I noticed on The Mara was the sky. God is here. Shining down on all the beauty with love.
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While at Naboisho Camp we went on Safari every day and night. Looking for animals everywhere. We saw them, too, –  Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, and so much more.

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Many people who go on safari, I am told, don’t ever see a Leopard. We saw Four! But this one we witnessed mid-hunt and in the daytime. What a stunningly beautiful animal.

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The Giraffe look different in The Mara than in the Laikapia region. Their spots are less defined and perhaps darker. But they are just as beautiful and gentle and so very sweet.

The Mara is where I learned about some of the sounds Cheetahs make. Like a bird! Chirp Chirp.
I wish I could share the video here – but you can see it on my Instagram: JoyLoveYoga
None-the-less – On the Mara we came upon three sibling Cheetahs. They were hunting and somehow got separated. These are normally solitary animals. But they were still young, and still together. The chirping was a call to the missing one – who also had a kill. The three cheetahs ate well that night.

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The most memorable of all of my Yoga in the Wild was here, on the edge of the Mara – at the foot of a thousand year old fig tree. The tree had Baboons in it while I taught. I’m not gonna lie – I was a little frightened as Baboons aren’t the nicest creatures. But they did behave and the folks at the Naboisho Camp built us our own platforms!
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And we drank and ate in the wild!
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This was one of my all time favorite mornings of my life.  I wish I could re-do.
So grateful for all the work from the staff at Naboisho Camp for creating this dream.

We visited a village in the Maasi tribe. This was quite different than our trip to Samburu. I felt like they did know we were coming.. so it was more ‘prepared.’ The women performed songs for us, some of the gals joined in. I loved the deep connections we all made with the people in Kenya. A gift.
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It is tradition to shake the hands of the adult Maasi as a greeting. For children though, visitors are to touch their heads. The little kiddos came out to us and bowed their heads, I was honored to touch and pat their beautiful skulls.
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Their homes were made of mud and wood. The Tribe is quite large.
They were lovely and welcoming and lightness.

It’s not all perfection though. I love the tradition, the beauty.
I know people in other places live differently, but I was shocked to learn there are practices among some of the tribes in Kenya, that I have a hard time ignoring. I honestly thought the practice of genital mutilation was stopped. I thought women were treated with grace and love.  But in some places that isn’t true and I will not be blissfully ignorant anymore.
I spoke to one of our drivers about a moment in April – This last April. He told me he drove a young girl (13 or so years old) to a plane to be flown to Nairobi. During a ceremony, where she was the subject  – something went wrong and she was in the process of bleeding to death. Thankfully she lived. When this driver asked the man of the ‘house’ why this was still happening he said all of his wives and daughters have undergone this procedure, this ceremony. This is the way it would stay.  I am committed to educating, raising money and helping to make change where I can in this situation. I know life isn’t perfect and Kenya isn’t perfect. But it is pure. I hope to help make change in this area.

In addition, I was shocked to learn poaching still goes on. These criminals kill animals for their parts.. to sell. I realize I do not understand the reality of doing something like this to make money to care for my children. I just want to help find another way. Travel is an education, an eye opening and it isn’t all rainbows.

I will end on rainbows though – this trip deserves that. It just doesn’t deserve blindness. So I shared.  I hope you understand.

The very last day of the trip – our group returned to Nairobi.  We visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Thanks to The Travel Yogi – we were treated to a private showing. What did that mean? There were only 8 of us and the generous employees released 30 baby elephants into our loving arms.

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I was so happy I could have cried. These beautiful, powerful creatures.  The David Sheldrick Trust does incredible work. Literally SAVING these babies and eventually returning them back into the wild.  The trust runs completely on donations. I adopted this sweet pea. Joto – the baby among the babies. He is 9 months old. You can adopt one too. I think it’s the perfect Holiday gift! Click here: (say I sent you)
Adopt a Baby Elephant!

So what can I really say in conclusion? It’s still all a dream. I am still digesting. But I know this:
Kenya is beautiful.
Kenya is alive.
God is in Kenya.
If you get an opportunity to go – please do, the money won’t matter in a few years but the memories will.
I love you. Thank you, heart open to The Travel Yogi.

 

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