I am a retired call center manager, a freelance photographer who loves to travel, share images and write about my travels and the things that matter to me. My family is everything to me and I am blessed by them and many great friends.
My Journey from Hell to Hope
Once upon a time, I lived what seemed like an idyllic life. I was one of those people who went through their days thinking things only happened to other people. Oh, it was not without incident; my parents were divorced when I was very young and my grandfather passed away a few years later. My mother was a single, working mother, whose circle of friends were mostly divorced, so I did not feel the stigma of being a child of a broken home. I was shy, but had friends, did my homework, played baseball in the street and had a typical 50s childhood. Then, when I was 19, my father died, having been out of touch for years, and I was devastated. That was a difficult time, but wasn’t enough to deter my belief in the “other people” theory.
A Dream Realized (Part 3)
MASAI MARA This is what we have been waiting for; looked forward to most. Here is where we expect to see more animals than we have so far and we are not disappointed. This is what I expect to be the crown jewel of the trip. I never thought this would ever be possible and yet, here I am. We are about to embark on several days of game drives and other unexpected, treats. Our accommodations are at the Mara Safari Tent Camp, which sits right on an oxbow of the Mara River at the foot of the Aitong Hills and is just outside the boundary of the Masai Mara. Although bigger (more people) than I expect and a bit more “civilized” than I anticipated, the tents are just about what I expected, perhaps a bit nicer. I thought we would dine outside, under the stars, in an intimate setting, but the dining room is much like all the others, very nice and indoors. I think I would have liked the smaller, more rustic atmosphere, but nothing can take away from the wonder that is the Mara. At one point, we took our lunches out to sit by the pool. This place is just beautiful.
A Dream Realized Part 2
The story of my lifelong dream trip to Africa continues: NANYUKI Nanyuki is a town we pass through on our way to our next destination. It is much like other small towns through which we have passed, but it seems to want to dress itself up a bit. There is still the look of bedraggled poverty and shacks among more modern structures, but along the road through the center of town, the dividing islands are planted with trees and flowers, giving the town a sense of caring and pride in their little community. We are again confronted with that contrast between what seems so awful and what must be to the inhabitants perfectly normal. When we stop at a Barclay’s Bank in town so some can exchange their American dollars for local currency, there are street peddlers who approach the cars asking us to buy whatever they may have to sell. They are very aggressive, and while not really frightening, they cause some apprehension. Some of their items are not bad: wood carvings for which they don’t really ask that much. My concern comes from the aggressiveness and the thought that if we buy from one, we will be “swarmed” by the rest. So we say, “No thanks," but they don’t take no for an answer. We are safe inside the vehicle, but it makes me feel like a thoughtless tourist to ignore them. In all the time we were in Africa, it was one of the few times I was genuinely uncomfortable. Not enough to put me off of the country, but enough to haunt me a bit. To us it is so little, but to them it is so much!
A Dream Realized
It was an old dream; a dream I’d given up on a long time ago. Africa. The dream I’d had longer than any other; one that began long before I met the love of my life and remained long after he left my life; longer than I’ve known my children, who are all past their 3rd decade of life; longer than any of the friends in my life.