Friday, March 14, 2014
SAFARI - Njema
Rather than focus on the difficulties that today brought I am only going to highlight the positives. As you read the stories I share just imagine the sound of at least two screaming toddlers throughout the whole duration of the day. It is actually a miracle that we saw as many animals as we did on our safari. To start off the day, Ashton was feeling too sick to go on the safari, so Blair stayed at the hotel to take care of him, which left Connor, Lindsey, Christian, and I to take care of the girls and go to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Waking the girls up to get them ready for the day was such a joy. They are such love bugs in the morning and make my heart melt. As we drove to the crater I couldn’t help but sit in awe of my God who created all the beauty around us and put this amazing opportunity in my life. I guess I was just floored to even be able to serve Him.
It did not take long until we saw tons of baboons which the girls absolutely loved. Princess screamed with excitement as she kept telling me that she saw a baby baboon on the mother baboons back repeatedly all in kiswahili. Following our baboon encounter we came across a couple of twigas (giraffes) eating from the nearby Acacia trees. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was out shining and there were clear skies so we could not have been any more excited to continue along on our journey.
We stopped at a lookout before we drove down into the crater and the view was phenomenal. Looking out at the scenery took my breath away.
Driving down into the crater we were greeted by a large herd of buffalo grazing on the side of the mountains. Once we were in the crater it did not take long to see zebras and wildebeests. Lindsey’s favorite part of the day was seeing the zebras.
My goal for the day was to see a rhino and in the very beginning of the day we saw two and then another one later on. It was so cool getting to see the rhinos because they are endangered and both of the other times I had been to the crater I was unable to see one. The birds that flew by our car were birds like none other we had seen before. They were so majestic and unique. The only birds that I did not feel this way about, were the ostrich’s that we came across. The ostrich is probably my least favorite animal and I definitely am not a fan of them. Watching the tembos (elephants) was incredible. They just stood still eating but they are so very fascinating. The way one threw mud all over itself to stay cool amazed me.
We soon came to find out that this week is lion mating season. A fun fact is that lions only have mating season two to three weeks out of the year. So when the time comes they are very focused on the task at hand and do not eat or leave their mates side during that time period to work more efficiently. Luckily the girls were more focused on their water bottles while singing “simba simba simba” than actually watching them. Throughout the day we saw many more female lions without a mate so they were moving around more and we got to see them run. A couple of the lions even touched our car and kept walking beside us. It was one of the coolest experiences ever!
For lunch we stopped to eat our boxed lunches near a lake filled with a ton of hippos! We did not have much time to appreciate them though, being that the girls were giving us a little trouble to say the least. Nonetheless it was still ridiculous to get to watch hippos, they are truly amazing creatures!
Shortly after lunch we were all ready to head back to the hotel since the girls were undoubtedly done for the day. We had already been in the car seven hours and that just was too much for them. Everyone was drained emotionally and physically. Getting back to the hotel we tried to lay the girls down for a nap but we had already missed that window, so we decided to stick it out. Princess was running a fever so we went to the pharmacy to get her some medicine and then laid her down and put cool cloths on her. By the time dinner came around she broke her fever and was ready to eat and for a treasured moment we were able to catch a glimpse of her personality (since all day she was not quite herself).
Ashton felt much better by the afternoon, but he was still resting when dinner came along. We tried to make dinner as quick as possible so we could put the girls to bed since they were exhausted. Putting them to bed was a challenge as always but soon enough they were all asleep and we had a moment to breath and lay down ourselves.