Friday, April 20, 2018

Airport Reflections

This should be the closing post of the Kenyan trip blog, but electronics and fatigue have prevented me from posting until now.  I will eventually report on the daily events, but now I'm seated in the United Club in Denver awaiting my final flight home and reflecting on the quote given on the home page of this blog:  "Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in this world."  Everyone here (including me) are occupied with their screens...cell phones, laptops, tablets.  Even in the African bush we were occupied with our screens -- cell phones and camera view screens.

Watching the game on the African veldt, I wondered what they were thinking.  It seems to be four things which occupy their thoughts:  1) where is the food?  2) how do I get it to my mouth? 3) are there predators near? 4) what is my nearest escape route?  Somewhere in the mists of time human being developed the capacity for language and began to reflect on other important, where is the bar? where can I recharge my electronics? when does my next pay check arrive? will it be enough to cover my bills? why does that person have more than me? why did I not get enough "likes" on my FB page?  where's the food?  where's the bar?

I've told people that a trip to Africa can change their lives, but I've always had trouble explaining why I thought so.  I still can't explain it, but it has something to do with accepting the mysteries of life without question, its beauty and its harshness.  Maybe language has prevented that process.  Now...where's the food? where's the bar? Like Scarlett, I'll think about it tomorrow.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Who was it that said, "You can't go home again?"  That's probably true, but you can recognize a place as home when you return, despite changes in you and in that place.  Home is truly portable.  I have always felt at home in Africa, and I'm happy that has not changed.  I also recognize the features of Durango that remind me of Africa and make me feel at home--the endless sky, the changing light, the bush that mixes harshness with beauty.  When we arrived at Jomo Keyatta airport, I felt like I had come home.

I'm here with 7 other travel agents on a study tour.  I'd love to share this beautiful place with clients, but I need to update my current knowledge.  I shouldn't be sending people to the Thorn Tree bar at the New Stanley Hotel since I just learned that the thorn tree has been cut down.  Unfortunately, we will have no time to explore Nairobi.  After a long journey from Washington Dulles Airport, including a long layover in Amsterdam, we did not arrive at our destination until after 9 p.m.  A long ride to Hemingways Hotel and we crashed, only to be up early the next morning to catch a flight to our first destination -- Lewa Safari Lodge in Lewa Conservancy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Packing Light

Another airport, another lounge, another long day looking forward to another long airplane ride...oh well, it sounded like a good idea.  Actually, I've paced this trip with deference to my age, and it seems to be working well so far, except for the horrible bronchitus which attacked me before I left. I actually almost met the 32 pound weight limit, only one pound over.  Yesterday, I flew from Durango to Washington, DC, and am currently waiting for my KLM flight to Amsterdam where we connect to Nairobi.  It's a loooong trip.  I'm in sitting around in waiting mode, trying hard not to think too much.  Audible books downloaded ✔. Kindle books downloaded ✔. Soothing music downloaded ✔  Comfortable clothes ✔.  Travelling companion...oops.  I find I'm missing my travelling companion of 45 years.  But this is a travel agent study tour and I already met a couple of the agents going along, so travelling companions will appear in due time ✔.  Now I just have to survive two 8+ hour flights and all the discomfort that entails. 

But, Africa is calling and I must go.