In addition to working on our teams, we have so much fun exploring Kenya and hanging out with the youth. A group of us went on safari for the weekend to two places: Solio Ranch and Aberdare. We would stop to take pictures of the animals and also learned facts about them. We saw black and white rhinos, lions, giraffes, antelopes, waterbucks, baboons. Some of us sat on top of the land cruiser, even while driving on treacherous terrain. It took a couple hours to drive through the beautiful landscape then we sat down and had a picnic. There were rhinos close by and maybe we were a little scared.
After safari, we went to Petra’s place. She has always been a gracious host and we were immediately greeted by 3 big dogs and her hospitality. We got to tour the cottages and rooms we would be staying at. They were absolutely beautiful with amazing architecture: stairs that led to an open room, tree lamps, and animal print furniture everywhere. That night we shared a big table with other guests and enjoyed sitting in the common area, eating popcorn, dip, and having good drinks.
The next day was Round 2 of Safari. This was a little bit different in which we saw more green and drove on the mountain. The waterfalls were so pretty and from different angles, we could see the rainbows. We had lunch this time by the bridge and there was a curious mouse that ate our crumbs and a deer that kept coming to us and back. This time we saw so many elephants. While on safari, we were really missing the youth. Some of us were reflecting on our progress with the projects and also thinking ahead on how to do workshops/meetings over the next couple days.
We got back in the afternoon to the CYEC. After a nap, it was nice to have a familiar dinner. The best part of our Sunday was the entertainment from the youth. They had their show in which they performed traditional dances, acrobatics, and magic tricks. Wangila was the MC and even joined in sometimes to do the tricks. The traditional dances included the girls wearing their lapas, dancing in a circle, and partnering with each other. They truly captured the meaning behind the traditional dances because they sang in addition to their diverse dance moves. For the acrobatics, the youth lined up and one or a couple would go out at a time, freestyle style. They performed everything from backflips to stunts to making human structures. What really surprised us was the magic tricks. One youth seemed to stick a stick through his nose and tongue. Another youth had us rub dirt on the paper with our feet. When we got off, it would spell our name. Another dance was performed by three boys, giving homage to the dancehall culture in Jamaica. The night ended with the DJ putting on all this different music. But then Wangila came back to do a comedic bit about body sounds, which a lot of us gotten to know better throughout the trip. Throughout the traditional dances, the girls would pull us from our seats. By the time it was close to bedtime, everyone was still dancing with each other. We were so impressed by the talent of the youth. While working with them in the business workshops, in the shamba, while doing dairy, we never get to talk about their talents. They are so humble and we are so thankful that we were their audience.