Kenya, Africa – Expedition #1 – Day One

Kenya, Africa – Expedition #1 – Day One

Flying to Kenya, Africa with 100 Humanitarians
Maasai Warriors Greet Us at the Airport
Kissing a giraffe at The Giraffe Centre

KARIBU KENYA, AFRICA – 100 Humanitarians International

After two trips to Kenya, Africa, I was ready to lead my first official expedition to Kenya. Turns out so many people wanted to go, that I stayed in Kenya for two back to back trips with 13 people in each group. It was crazy. I was crazy.

But let’s start at the beginning and tell the story.

Brittany was the first person to sign up for a trip, and quickly recruited a bunch of her friends to come along. I booked my flight a day early so that I could go with my daughter, and Brittany came along. It was so fun for us to get off the plane and have the Maasai warriors all to ourselves for a little while. We checked into our hotel, got a not so awesome night of rest, and then headed out the next day to visit the Giraffe Centre before the team arrived.

We not only visited The Giraffe Centre, we stopped by the Kazuri Bead Factory to see the women in action making the beads. It was a beautiful day, and Christine joined us on our adventures. We decided to visit The Galleria Mall for lunch, and then after a nap, headed to the airport where we met the rest of the team. Everyone arrived safely and ready to go. We were grateful that all of our bags made it as well, because the next day we had plans to drive to Narok for our first projects.

Our team was made up of 13 travelers – one kid and 12 adults. Our objective for the trip was to do a couple of Days for Girls workshops, visit families, build desks at a school, donate soccer balls to an orphanage, and go on safari!

This was the first trip to Kenya, Africa for everyone on the team, except me. In fact, a few people had gotten their passport for the very first time to go on this trip. No pressure! We were all excited for what was to come, most of all me. I had a hard time sleeping…

The Giraffe Centre – Expedition #1 – Day Two

The Giraffe Centre – Expedition #1 – Day Two

Flying to Kenya, Africa with 100 Humanitarians
Maasai Warriors Greet Us at the Airport
Kissing a giraffe at The Giraffe Centre

Kenya, Africa – The Giraffe Centre & The Elephant Orphanage

Kenya, Africa – We woke up after a decent night of sleep to a lovely breakfast at our hotel, followed by an excursion to The Elephant Orphanage and The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi. Every team loves to kiss a giraffe and pet a baby elephant. Both organizations are to protect the animals, and there is a lot to learn there. At The Giraffe Centre, the guards give you pellets to feed the giraffes. If you put one in your mouth, the giraffe will “kiss” you and grab it right from your lips.

The Elephant Orphanage is only open to watch the baby elephants feed for about an hour, but The Giraffe Centre is open all day, and has a fabulous gift shop.

Our drive to Narok was looming, and so were the clouds. We loaded up the jeeps and hit the road, with a stop at the Escarpment that overlooks The Great Rift Valley. The views are breathtaking, and after an hour in the jeep, it’s a great place to make a pit stop before heading down to the valley floor.

This particular team had Bob, or “Uncle Bob” as my daughter loved to call him. He was the “Manny” of the trip, and kept her supplied with orange fanta as a reward for trying out the latrine pits without freaking out. He kept the rest of us entertained with constant stories and jokes and songs. On the way, we stopped to try some grilled corn, or maize as it is called here.

Verdict: Not awesome.

We arrived at our hotel in Narok, and were greeted by friends who would be spending some time with us and helping us with projects over the next few days. After getting checked in and assigned to our rooms, we gathered in the restaurant and assembled 100 Days for Girls kits with underwear and soap in preparation for our workshop the next day at Tasaru Rescue Center.

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When Brittany Kissed a Giraffe in Nairobi

When Brittany Kissed a Giraffe in Nairobi

Suddenly, I looked over and Brittany was kissing a giraffe. Or, more accurately, a giraffe was kissing her. My first reaction was, “Gross!” and that was pretty much my second and third reaction, but after so many expeditions and trips to the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, I’m pretty used to seeing it now. I still have NOT kissed a giraffe, but never say never.

Going to the Giraffe Centre is often one of the things we do at the end of the trip, but it is a fun way to start off an expedition. We typically have a lazy breakfast at the hotel after flying into Nairobi the night before. Then we load up the jeeps with all of our luggage, and head over. We eat lunch there, and that is typically hamburgers or cheeseburgers, samosas, and sodas. My goal in life is to get them to start serving chips (french fries) to go with the burgers.

Our first expedition to Kenya in May 2016 that was led by 100 Humanitarians was so much fun, and so hilarious. The first day, Brittany and my daughter and I hung out with Christine, Moses and David while we waited for the rest of the team to fly in that night. We also visited the Kazuri Bead Factory, which is my favorite place in Nairobi. We always take a tour and meet the women who make the beads by hand out of clay from Mount Kenya. Then we do a bit of shopping!

100 Humanitarians - Kazuri Bead Factory

They also make dishes at Kazuri Bead Factory, and each year I collect a mug for pens in my office in a different style. We were able to watch the men make the dishes on a pottery wheel (watch in the video posted above) and then see the painting take place. It’s fascinating to watch!

100 Humanitarians Expedition Teams

It really is always a huge relief when the team gets off the plane and all have arrived safely. We don’t take safety for granted! Every expedition is completely different, with unique experiences and team dynamics. And each team gets better and better. This team, however, was the first, and will always have a special place in my heart, because they took a chance on us, got on a plane, and flew across the world to serve. Many of our ideas that we have implemented since, came because of what this team brought to Kenya with their hearts and vision.

TEAM Very Dangerous Huh!