Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Shine Through the Tarnish.

We all eventually make our way to our rooms, laughing and talking along the way. I can tell already that I'm not going to sleep. I'm quite restless, not sure if its the long flight or the overwhelming feeling of joy that I've finally made it to Africa. Michael is a real pro. He can see the excitement in my eyes, or more accurately, the delirium in my gaze. I go to my room, and find myself just kind of standing around. I soon hear a knock at the door, and its Michael. He invites me for a Guinness and Whitecap nightcap. We listen to a two man band, that plays the sound of a strong four piece. There is a real beauty in the simplicity of the music. Our conversation was just what I needed, some things sink in, and come together in way that puts me at ease.
We rise in the morning, and head to a Kenya Continental breakfast of a Spanish omelete, an unidentifiable fruit juice, chai, and papaya which I remember is one of the only fruits that I dislike.

Our transportation Arid Adventures arrive to pick us up, and we ride Mombasa Highway, the "AIDS highway" towards Makindu to Hunters Lodge. AIDS has been in Africa since the late 1800's, I've learned that its a completely different disease here.
We arrive to Hunters Lodge, and I can see why Michael, and Dave love it here so much, however they both openly share their disappointment at the present state of the place. Michael and Dave remember a different time. There is the broken toilets, patio doors that won't open, and a room without a mosquito net to name a few things that have been neglected on the Super's list of things to do. The charm of the place still shines through the tarnish. The flowers are beautiful orange and pinks, the grass is a vibrant green, the trees are big and show off thick leaves. This place is a real oasis. There are no other watering holes for miles in any direction, so the wildlife is plentiful. There is the cackle of mischievous monkeys, and huge prehistoric looking birds perched in tall trees. I hear stories about how back in the day elephants would meet here to drink from the waters. The only sign of that is the four elephant feet in the lobby, that have been converted into sitting stools. These stools did not come from Ikea.

The monkeys look like they are up to no good, Tilapia swim in the pond that we sit by discussing our plan. Michael plays with the G.P.S, Dave, Brian, David, and I wander about taking photos, checking out the place. Michael gives me a few Swahili phrases to learn, and I later devise a plan as of how I'm gonna catch one of those Tilapia for dinner.........

Stay tuned, the adventure hasn't even begun!

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