Friday, January 22, 2010

Kenya 2008

Pine Mountain News

It is winter on Pine Mountain. the storm last night
dumped nearly a foot of snow so everything is
white and snow covered. It is still windy so our
wind turbines are still turning producing power.

Our heated greenhouse is still nice and warm. The
fish are swimming in their big pool and the
vegetables are growing.

Poem of the Week

It’s noontime in Brussels

by emily d stine

And we’ve paused for a spell
on our scream down from Amsterdam,
to Paris, Tower Eiffel.

It’s noontime in Brussels, Bruxelles
if you know. And we’re here
for a sandwich, and of course,
a tasty Belgian beer.

There’s framboise,
abbeys, blondes and browns
and an old girlfriend, Ms. Stella Artois.

There’s too many choices, we’re
running short of time, Paris is waiting
just shortly down the line.

So the choice is framboise,sandwich on a lovely
baguette, and we munch, people watching
in Brussel’s stunning Grand Place.

Story of the Week

Kenya 2008

What I had decided is that I wanted to go on a safari.

I hadn’t spent much time in Africa previously, and this

is one of the classic things to do. Unlike my buddy

Rich, I’m not much of a hunter, since huddling in the

cold or boiling in the heat to wait to shoot something

I’m not actually angry at has never been my idea of a

good time.

Fortunately for me, most safaris these days are photo

safaris, where you go and look at animals and what

not without actually shooting them unless, of course,

they were asking for it. The trick was deciding where

I wanted to go and what I wanted to see.

Africa is a huge place, with thousands of cultures,

dozens of climates and a pretty much infinite number

of places and things to see. So choosing what you

want to see and where you want to go is tricky.

I chose Kenya, one of Africa’s most prosperous and

stable countries. Kenya is in eastern Africa, and

along with neighboring Tanzania, is one of the biggest

tourist destinations in the continent, with safari travel

being a large part of it. Considering all that and my

relative unfamiliarity with Africa, I figured Kenya was

the way to go.

Kenya is a fairly small country, geographically, but it

has a population of close to forty million people, with

a stable government and a wealth of cultures. It is

home to the Maasai people, whose stately presence

is one of the key images of Africa.

I’m an animal kind of guy, so getting to go see new

and interesting beasties is one of my great pleasures

in life. I’d never seen a lion outside of a zoo, so I

decided to take a big cats safari, where I would get

to see a bunch of the big cats that inhabit the


My particular safari had me making my way from the

international airport in Nairobi, the country’s capital

and largest city, to just outside the Maasai Mara

park. I’d have liked to have spent some time rambling

around Nairobi, but I was on a fairly tight schedule.

I stayed in a very large tent with some fellow safari

goers, which was an interesting but not unpleasant

experience, since the tent had a bathroom and was

rather nicer than some of the hotels I’ve stayed in.

Everyday we started out with a hearty breakfast

before we were lead out into the field to go and find

some big cats by our Maasai guide. Our guide was

pretty awesome, funny and great at his job.

I’d expected things like lions and cheetahs to be hard

to find, but as it happens they were all over the

place. The big cats are not particularly shy and

getting to see them in the wild was spectacular.

And a wee bit scary; I was glad we were in a vehicle.

I had a great time with my safari, and there are a

variety you can choose from. You can go see elephants,

or the home of the Maasai, or the native habitat of the

gorillas. I know I will definitely be heading back to

Kenya for more exploring.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening once more at the Pine Mountain ranch.

We have just finished dinner and are gathered in the

family room. There is a fire in the fireplace and

Laurel and Grace are watching a movie. I am seated

in my easy chair reading my magazine and enjoying

a plate of sugar cookies with the coffee flavor of the


Tonight my coffee from

is Dutch Chocolate. This American roast coffee is

just right with a plate of fresh roast sugar cookies.

Sitting by a warm fire drinking this chocolate coffee

is peaceful and relaxing.

Well my coffee and cookies are finished now and

the movie is over.It is time to end another day.

Good night all see you next week.