Posts Tagged With: East Africa

God Grew Tired of Us

Those who know me know I have a thing for Africa, something I can’t really explain. I love learning more about the continent by reading books and watching documentaries about the people who live there.


God Grew Tired of Us is an amazing book about the Lost Boys of Sudan and an incredible award-winning documentary about the nearly 20,000 boys (and some girls) who were forced to flee their homes in Southern Sudan as the civil war in that country intensified.  The book is a biography of John Bul Dau, who was one of the Lost Boys who was forced to flee his home after a raid in the middle of the night. He made his way to a refugee camp in Ethiopia, being shot at and watching many of the boys die of starvation along the way. The lucky ones who made it to Ethiopia didn’t get to stay long, as rebels soon chased them from the refugee camp and the boys were faced with the choice of crossing crocodile-infested rivers or staying and being shot.

From here, they began walking again, this time to Kenya. By this time the line of boys was so long that the last of the line crossed into Kenya three days after the first boys made it to the refugee camp. This camp became their home and these boys formed a new family and spent the rest of their teenage years here, until some of the lucky ones who studied hard and passed their high school exams were granted entry to the USA.

For young men who had spent their entire lives in rural Africa, on the run and living in refugee camps, things like electricity, running water and grocery stores were an overwhelming concept. Those who made the move to America worked several jobs in order to pay their bills and sent every extra penny they made back to their family and friends scattered across Eastern Africa. No matter how tough things got, John never quit moving forward. After getting himself settled, he worked several jobs and even attended night classes at community college and then went on to Syracuse University. He also started a foundation to help other Lost Boys get a post-secondary education and had a clinic built in his hometown in Sudan. He considered himself lucky to be alive and wanted to try to make the lives of others better.  His generous, hard-working spirit was infectious and he inspired a lot of people.

I thought I was having a bad day the other day until I sat down and finished reading this book. I hadn’t been forced from my home, shot at or forced to walk for days. I hadn’t lost my family and didn’t face the constant possibility of starvation. I didn’t have to make the choice of crossing crocodile-infested waters or being shot. I wasn’t living in a refugee camp with thousands of others, waiting for the UN to drop off food so I could have my one meal for that day. I was simply tired and thinking too much about things that weren’t really a big deal. Reading this kind of helped me put things back in perspective.

One of my favourite quotes is “The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read a page” – St Augustine.  I feel the same can be said about reading books about the world and people whose lives are vastly different from our own.
To end, this is a really long post, basically just saying that God Grew Tired of Us is a fantastic book and if you are looking for something different to read, I would highly recommend picking up this one and then watching the documentary!

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A warm Maasai welcome

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Taking tea in a Maasai Village

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A trip to the Maasai Village


Wrapped in bright red, royal purple and brilliant blue, several Maasai men greet us as we wander up to their village. The chief’s son welcomes us and after receiving payment, leads us to the entrance of the village where a group of young women begin to sing traditional Maasai songs. Also brightly dressed, the women’s attire includes intricately beaded necklaces,earrings and bracelets. As the singing comes to an end, the young men take the stage. They begin performing a mash up of traditional dances including the wedding dance and the killing of the lamb dance.  The music is a haunting mixture of guttural tribal noises blended together by the young men, who were also draped in beautiful Maasai beading. Continue reading

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On Safari in the Masai Mara


A herd of giraffes roaming across the Masai Mara’s wide open savannah.

With the top up on our white safari van and our cameras in hand we were ready to start shooting game as our guide, George, drove into Masai Mara National Park. As the largest and most famous park in Kenya, the Masai Mara’s 1510 sq km plays host to 1000s of animals. So, on our three day safari our camera’s were definitely not disappointed! Inside the gate, we were greeted by a large herd of wildebeest and zebra and almost immediately George had us right up close to a pride of lions lazing in the grass beside the road.  Continue reading

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The pink waters of Lake Nakuru

The vibrant pink dotting the dark blue water grabs my attention immediately. The pink seems to go on forever and as we drive closer, the pink line begins to take the shape of 1000s of flamingos wading through the still waters of Lake Nakuru. What an unbelievable sight!


Thousands of flamingos wading through the still waters of Lake Nakuru, Kenya.

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Beautiful Children

We tried to sneak in without being noticed, hoping the noise they were making would hide us, but as soon as we turned the corner, we were spotted!! ‘MZUNGU” the Swahili word for ‘white person’ was now being screamed from every corner of the dining hall as at least a dozen children come running at us. They only stop once they had grasped onto a hand, arm, leg, pocket or whatever they could reach and begin shouting “How are you?” over and over again. Continue reading

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Nairobi- Always an Adventure!

The overcrowded streets filled with pedestrians and the almost constant blaring of horns as cars weave tightly in and out of spaces so small it’s amazing they narrowly escape hitting each other. It almost feels like I’m standing in NYC’s Times Square, but the shouts of swahili, the dark black exhaust and the thick, smoggy air bring me back to the city I’m currently in- Nairobi.

Kenya’s capital is a bustling city filled with highrise buildings, shopping centres and people heading off to work in their business suits- a far cry from the vision many people have of Africa. As one of the largest cities in East Africa, Nairobi has lots to offer, but wandering around it’s crowded streets can be an overwhelming and sometimes dangerous experience. However, braving the city sometimes nicknamed ‘Nairobbery’ and fighting through the throngs of people from the matatu station (a matatu is a van like public transportation system that’s cheap and always an adventure-just make sure you have no personal space issues!!) Nairobi leaves you with lots to explore.   Continue reading

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