Friday, September 17, 2010

Finally, a computer!

Hi Everyone.
We're sitting on top of the Ngorongora Crater, which is really a caldera, having had a bowl of soup because we are still rocking and rolling from four days in the safari car. We spent two nights in Arusha in stilted bungalows, catching our breaths from the trip (30 hours between beds, we figure)and connecting with Donna and her family. Then, with Donna's parents from Australia, we went out on safari with the most fabulous guide/driver, David, whom we fondly call Sir David. Two nights in Tangarie National Park, where we dined in an outdoor open tent with zebra wandering past and had a marvelous walk out to Lake Manayara, where flocks of flamingos stood with a ton of other water birds as the sun set made the lake just shimmer. Birdie, we are getting lots of bird ID's -- I think 80 species so far and still counting. Next we drove into the Serengetti and up to the north to a tented "luxury" camp owned by Donna's company, Maasai Wanderings. Imagine 13 lions visiting the camp between the time we arrived after a long game drive yesterday and dinner! We can testify to the fact that female lions roar, and loudly. Last night Mary woke to the return of at least some of the lions while MA rolled over and mumbled, "That's what we have guards for." Highlights of this part of the trip were the wildebeest migration -- we drove through flocks of hundreds and watched maybe a thousand getting ready to cross a river, hoping to see the actual crossing. We had seen a crossing of maybe fifty earlier -- they walk into the water and then just plunge with great leaps and start swimming. At the river we probably saw 15-20 hippos -- yawning with their babies in the sun, and the biggest crockadile we ever hope to see. The wild life is fantastic, and David is a great spotter. We've seen several prides of lions, including one eating a fresh kill this morning -- this about 15 feet away from where David moved the safari car. Grandpa Nick said to tell the children we saw lions eating breakfast. He also said, Nicolle, that he's having the time of his life and he's only sorry now that at the Sopa Ngorongora Lodge he's in the greatest room he's ever had and he's alone. We told him he could have brought Mercy along, from the last camp, who fell in love with him. She was the manager of the camp and took especially great care of him, walking him back to his tent after dinners and bringing him warm water whenever he wanted to shave or wash up. We're really grateful tonight to be in a rather luxury place after four nights of camping in the wild. Today we saw our very first chetah -- the shy little animal we'd never seen before. Mary rented a huge lens from Maasai Wanderings, and I think we'll be processing gorgeous photos for the rest of our days. Mary Ann's been documenting the trip on our new little Sony Camcorder and "composing" a piece to accompany it while riding across the Serenget, which means "everlasting plains" in Kiswahili. Operative words for these days are "pole, pole, omnashida and hacuna matata" which basically mean "take your time go slowly, no problem" in Kiswahili. Love to everyone, M and MA


  1. Yeah - what a good report M & MA. Sounds marvelous and one day will enjoy your photos! We're excited to depart on Mon. Bless you!
    Marney S

  2. Thanks for the fascinating accounting of your travels to date. What sights, sounds, experiences, and memories you are collecting. I'll look forward to the pictures.

    The Icelandic Golf Tournament is Sunday and I've been getting a few extra practices in--I need it! Send me your chipping skill, Mary Ann!

    Mary, I've heard so many meaningful comments about your story telling debut! Wish I could have been there.

    Looking forward to more posts as the situation allows. Take care, be safe, have fun. Love, Bev

  3. WOW!!! What an amazing adventure so far!! I am so happy you all are having such a wonderful trip! The kids want me to tell you not to let the lions eat you for breakfast and that they miss you :) I'm glad dad is having such a great time too. I cried happy tears hearing how wonderful your time has been. We love you all!!!! xoxoxoxo Nicolle, Gerald, Alli and Logan