For many people, Valentine’s Day brings about thoughts of love and chocolate and memories of a special someone. For others, it’s a silly holiday that only reminds them that they’ve yet to find that “special someone.” But for me, each year on Valentine’s Day, my mind heads back to Kenya – to a day I think will be pretty hard to beat!
Click here for Valentine’s day 2008!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I recently entered a writing piece about a time I felt immersed in a place. This was a tough choice, as on most trips I try to learn as much about the place I’m in and the local culture as I can. There was one time though, standing high on a platform, kissing giraffes in Kenya that I felt completely at home.
Here’s that story (If you like it, please click the “Thumbs Up” and help me win a trip!)
With my younger sister about to head up the mountain, I decided to post a throwback to four summers ago when I made the trek up 5,895 m (19,341 ft) to Uhuru Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The four-and-a-half days it took to reach the summit were some of the most exhausting days of my life, but standing on the Rooftop of Africa, watching the sun rise made it all worth it.
Now, I’m not the kind of girl who particularly likes Valentine’s Day…possibly because more often than not I find myself single again or possibly it’s just a silly holiday. However, there is one Valentine’s Day that stands out more than most days. Valentine’s Day 2008, while I was living in Kenya volunteering in an orphanage is one crazy day I’ll never forget!
“Forward, Forward, Hold… GET DOWN” our guide Tutu yells as the water beneath us begins to disappear. We tuck our paddles in and hold on tight as we tip forward and plunge down into the rough water below. No matter how tight I think I’ve closed my mouth, the water finds a way in and as we surface a collective sputtering can be heard. Miraculously, we managed to stay inside the raft- quite the feat considering those aboard the other 9 rafts found themselves thrown out into the crushing waves.
In the crisp early morning Nairobi air, we boarded a shuttle bus heading for Tanzania, paid our $35 and settled in for the long, bumpy ride. This journey was about 8 hours and included one bathroom break and the worst immigration experience of my life.We pulled up to the Kenya-Tanzania border and had to get off the bus to get an exit stamp in our passports on the Kenya side before walking through the wire gate into Tanzania and heading up to the the immigration office there. Continue reading