Thursday, August 31, 2023

August 2023 wrap up

The weekend Finley returned from Kenya, Mat and I went a few days early to spend time in New York City.  We saw three broadway shows while we were there - Six, Hadestown, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  We also had a chance to have lunch with my cousin Kirsten.  We had a great time - it has been too long since we were in NYC.

Aunt Betty came for a week long visit and we had a great time while she was here.  Even Arlington came in for a visit during that time.

Finley and Cainan started school a week earlier this year.  Junior year is now under way.  

Kirsten and I in NYC.

The three shows we saw - all excellent
Harry Potter stage.  

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Finley's Trip to Kenya

 At the end of July, Finley left for Kenya.  She went on a humanitarian trip to Kenya for 2 weeks all on her own.  We drove her to New York City to fly there because it was a stright through flight for her from there.  (it is a 15 hour flight) Since this was her first time traveling completely alone, I didn't want her to also have to deal with a layover.  We had been preparing for this trip for months - she went with Projects Abroad in their teens program, so even though we weren't with her - she was with adults and her group of teens the whole time.  She had an amzing time.  She worked on a game reserve and helped catalog various animals, removed invasive species of plants, due water holes, helped paint a local school and build desks for that local school.  She met some wonderful teens and was able to navigate it well, even with her vision.  I am so glad she went.  She said the food was delicious.  She even got some Swahili lessons.  She returned from the trip on August 5th.   

She took a lot of amazing pictures.  I hope I can label them all correctly.  She flew into Nairobi and then the conservation land was 3 hours away at Lake Nakuru National Park.

Finley at the JFK airport - ready to go

She had to pack all kinds of odds and ends for being in Kenya.  A lot of light clothing, waterproof clothing, mosquito nets and spray.  She had to have mostly neutral colors.
We packed her pretty tight for the 2 weeks - didn't want her to have to manage much.  Plus they were able to wash their clothes while there, so she took half the clothing she needed and just washed for the second week.  Made it easier for her to navigate the airport
This is the hostel they stayed in.  I think there were able 20 kids there for this trip.  They slept here and at at an outside area all together.
Some of Finley's group.  She said they bonded over a love of tofu
Wild zebra on the conservation land
One day they had to go on a carnivore hunt at sunrise.  They saw lions and hyenas at this time.
Where they ate lunch each day
Hyenas - she said they never moved

In the jeeps they took out each day to go to work

Lake on the conservation land

I loved this giraffe picture


Baboons in the distance
One day they did a Warrior Hike. Finley said it was incredible hard and very steep.  This is the view from the top
Warrior Mountain
Gorgeous lakes on the conservation.  Finley said the water was warm.  This is Kenya's winter - it would drop into the 50s and 40s at night.
Cows on the conservation
Finley out on a day's work.  She has a mask on because one of the girls in the group was sick, so the adults had them wear a mask for the day just to be on th safe side.  

Rhinos in the distance
Driving along the conservation land
This is a special kind of cactus
Buffalo in the distance
This is the school where they painted and built some desk for the kids
The school
Her roommates.  She said there were 9 of them in a room.  She said it was tight but they had fun
Finley said zebra were everywhere - just wandering all over the conservation land

More Baboons
Lake Nukuru National Park.  They went there on a weekend for a hike and relaxation.  They did not swim, just walked around.

A lot of water on the conservation.  1000s of flamingos would be there

Finley said they had to do several giraffe surveys.  All the giraffes on the conservation have names and specific markings that the people there use to track them.  They are well cared for.  She said they would locate a giraffe, have to look through a book to find them, and then mark it.  It was hard work.
One of my favorite pictures she took - the lake, the flamingos, the scenery

Finley said that a lot of the animals - including the lions - would come right up the jeep and wander around.  Paid no mind to the jeep.
Giraffe have miles and miles of conservation to roam.  Sometimes hunting them for checks would take all day.
Flamingos on the lake

Water buffalo.  The host told the students that most of the injuries to humans are from these guys