Saturday, May 6, 2017

Isamilo Swim Invitational, Mwanza: Last Swim Meet

We had our last swim meet with ISMAC last weekend in Mwanza, Tanzania, a cool town nicknamed “Rock City” on the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Tanzania.  We’ve loved being part of this team for the past several years…we’re going to miss them. 



When training has to take place at the hotel pool



Some of the senior swimmers remembering Coach Spike who passed away this past year.  This swim meet last year was their last meet with him Broken heart


Proud of the kids for dealing with rain delays with flexibility



Lake Victoria boat cruise on our free day


Thanks for the memories ISMAC.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Kenya Road Trip: Spring Break 2017

Seems fitting that our last road trip closely resembles our first road trip to Kenya in 2010. Kids are bigger and better travelers now and internet is fast enough that I can upload pictures without fear of losing everything, but Anderson is still my little buddy.
April 2010April 2017
Early morning departure was rewarded even before we hit the Kenya border

Long car rides and lots of time together also bring up some interesting conversations like
Tierney: So, if horrible and horrific basically mean the same thing, why is terrible the opposite of terrific?
Ashlyn:  Have you ever really looked at your toes?  They look really funny by themselves.

African road trips are always full of some interesting sites.  And luck was on our side this time because no car issues!  A first.
Loisaba is one of our favorite destinations….maybe even THE favorite
We spent one fun morning with the tracker dogs….hide and seek with Machine and Warrior.  Fun!
Camel rides through the bush
And horse back riding, of course
Camel milking?  Why not?
And some beautiful walks
One day we walked from the Tented Camp over to where we were spending the night at the Starbeds. As we were arriving, Brown got a call that the cheetah brothers were near Elephant Rock, so we quickly jumped in the vehicle to go find them.  They were beautiful in the light of the setting sun. 
Not 15 seconds after driving away from the cheetahs, we spotted a very young calf left behind by his herd.  So what else could we do, but load him into the safari truck and bring him to stay with the Loisaba cattle.  He was so sweet.  Lucky little guy was almost cheetah dinner.
Then it was an amazing night under the full moon at the Starbeds.
I wonder what our excuse will be for having to make a trip back here.
Until next time, Loisaba.
Next it was on to Lewa.  SO. MANY. RHINO.
Cheeky Monkeys
Then we went to Lolldaiga Hills Ranch for a night.  We stayed in a very cool, old farmhouse.  It was a beautiful place for sundowners with views of Mt. Kenya and was a nice place to wake up on Easter morning…lots of fun places to find hidden Easter eggs.  
And as a final Easter treat, we surprised the kids with a trip to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (Elephant Orphanage) in Nairobi where we adopted Jotto and Rapa who were both rescued after falling in wells.  This was such a special experience that I hope we’ll remember forever.

This was when the ellies came 'home' for dinner.  They were so cute!

It was a great trip full of many new memories…exactly what a holiday should be.