Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Masai Village

From beautiful sunrises to strange looking bugs, the Masai Mara was an experience we will remember and treasure. You can't go to this area of the world and not go to visit the people after which it was named, the Masai. They are a nomadic people whose existence revolves around the raising of their cattle. The mainstays of their diet are: milk, meat and blood. They are a polygamous society where the women have to make their own homes out of sticks, mud and cow dung. Each home had the same floor plan...not much variety or interesting architecture for our tastes. Their village was enclosed in a thorn bush fence, the center of the community is used for corralling the cattle at night and the little calves are actually housed in the homes so they don't nurse the mothers dry before the people can get their supply of milk the next day.
Ky, our guide, was very intelligent and was able to answer all of our questions about their society and the future they have before them.

Terry, taking part, wearing the lion hat while the natives chant and dance by him. Sister Thayn's turn was next.

The women came out to greet us after the men did their chanting, dancing and jumping routine. I was so concerned with the baby that had flies all over its face I really couldn't enjoy the women's song very much. The women had their ears pierced and had many decorations hanging from them and around their necks but most of them were not very pretty.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Masai Mara Trip

We spent a couple nights and three days of vacation in the Masai Mara of Kenya to witness for ourselves the great migration of wildebeests and zebras that occurs during this time of year...only we missed it because the animals left early due to drier conditions. Oh well, we had a wonderful time anyway. There were plenty of animals to watch, appreciate and learn from including elephants, cape buffalo, wart hogs, mongoose, hyenas, lions, cheetahs, wildebeest, zebra (those that didn't go across the river), crocodiles, hippos, baboons, impala and other DLT's (deer-like things). We traveled with our good friends, the Thayns, which made it all the more enjoyable. We stayed at Governors Camp which is unfenced, so wild animals have been known to wander through the area...in fact, a couple days before we arrived there was a big lion that passed by in front of our tent. You may ask how we know that?? From the big paw prints in the dried mud!!
We are always amazed at the Creator's skill and His handiwork. The animals, birds, plants, sunrises and sunsets were so appreciated by us all. Hope you will enjoy the pictures from our trip and marvel at His great blessings to us, His children.

This group of elephants were so congenial. They stayed in this position for awhile allowing us to take movies and just enjoy watching them. The bird to the right is a saddle-billed stork. Can you see why?

This Secretary bird must have wanted to get away from the annoying jackals that like to chase them.

Here is an unusual site during the day, a hyena taking home a treat for the little ones.

Our guide and driver, Joseph, was very knowledgeable and at times could tell us what the animals were thinking; like the experience of the male impala who tried to stop one of his females from running away only to loose his entire harem of about 40 females to another male. It was so interesting watching the drama and having Joseph interpret it all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fantastic Help

From May to the middle of August, Mbale was blessed to have close to 30 young people from Help International, many of them BYU students or alumni. The Mbale Branch was a recipient of much of their good works because they attended church with us and took part in Primary and Relief Society and taught the Teacher Development class. Some taught keyboard lessons every Sunday morning and English and Business classes during the week. They painted classrooms, built a school roof making possible for the school to open this week and much more.

They traveled around town and country on the back of a boda boda or in taxis...not an easy way to go!! But they were all good sports about it and were all kept safe for which we were grateful.
We will miss them but wish them success in their educational and career endeavors.