“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
― Pascal Mercier,
When I was nine years old, my mother received the book I Married Adventure as a monthly book club selection. The zebra-striped cloth cover intrigued me. I opened the book and that began my love affair with Kenya.
Growing up in East Tennessee in the fifties, without much television and no internet, our world was much more isolated than today. Reading the book, poring over the pictures of the exotic animals and people of Africa fired my imagination and became part of me.
Fifty years later my two children gave me the surprise of a lifetime with a birthday gift of a two-week safari in Kenya.
I was handed a dream and its reality was better than the dream itself.
- Arriving at Jomo Kenyetta Airport and climbing into a van with five unknown women, later fast friends known as the African Queens.
- Crossing a dry river bed going to Amboseli with the snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro in full view
- First day of game drives producing gazelle, gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, elephants bathing in the Ewaso Nyirio River, cheetah, sleeping lions
- Sleeping under mosquito netting in a four-postered bed
- Balloon ride above the Masai Mara, skidding over termite mounds upon landing
Animals, or saving souls, are often the reasons for coming to Africa. For me, it was the opportunity to see exotic animals in their home environment. I returned two more times by the end of 2003 because of the atmosphere and the people.
Now I am going again. The trips before were planned out well in advance with a set itinerary and touring with other people. This time is almost spur of the moment, and less than two weeks stay. I am going by myself, staying with Mbuthia, my driver on the other trips, and his family.
I look forward to taking a safari to the place I fell in love with so many years before –Lake Paradise in the Marsabit National Reserve. I am blessed to be able to complete my circle.