Thursday, June 10, 2010

Africa dichotomy...
the devastation and the divine

I knew one of the most perplexing things for Becca on the Africa trip would be experiencing the great chasm between the beauty of Africa and the poverty.  In the SAME DAY within just two hours time we went from the Mathare Valley slums, to dining at one of the finest restaurants in Africa.  I didn't say anything but I knew how it would mess with her mind.  We left Mathare late Sunday afternoon, then drove back to the Kuerts and cleaned up and then they took us out to dinner.  It was time to experience some relaxation after a rigorous time of ministry.  With me preaching six services back to back, plus going to the slums, I was so ready!

Walking into the beautiful restaurant we were greeted by servers wearing crisply ironed shirts with bow ties,  serving food that was absolutely scrumptious.  Becca just shook her head and said, "OH MY WORD," in disbelief.  I knew what was coming, but said, "what's wrong?"  She said, "What a difference!  We just left some of the worst poverty ever and now we are sitting here, just a few minutes away in this amazing place."  Yep.  This is the dichotomy of Africa, for sure.


She would experience even MORE the next day as we headed to what has become one of my favorite places -- Nakuru.  After a rigorous schedule of ministry one of the things I enjoy most is when Bill and Barb take me to what is known as "up country"  Kenya -- through the land of tea fields and farms (just the beauty of the drive is one of the most treasured things for me) through the Great Rift Valley, to finally arrive hours later in Nakuru to spend some time with the beloved animals in the wild. 

The animals are not behind bars and confined -- it is not a zoo.  They are living in their  natural habitat and we have the privilege of experiencing life with them there .  I love how they co-exist, and seeing them up close and personal. The monkeys are my favorite.  Lions are more rare to see but this time we saw a whole pride.  I had my camera with me and got some awesome photos.  What follows below are my favorites... you can click on any of them to enlarge and get an even better view.

"Hey guys, let me in!  Got any Cheezit's in this van?"  Missionary friend Stacey Whitman was with us on thie trip and she knows first hand what happens when you leave Cheezits in the van with the door cracked open even for a second.   She was devastated when this happened to her because Cheezits are her favorite - you can't get them in Africa and a kind friend had brought them to her from the USA.  I'm sure the monkeys enjoyed them.   

Aren't Zebras one of the most beautiful creatures on earth?

Here's a baboon just chillin' on a picnic table.  


Gazelle are everywhere...and I love to watch the graceful way that they run, and look into their beautiful dark eyes.

Check out this humongous rhino!  Becca took one look at it as it was moving toward us and said, "...holy freakin' crap..."  I must admit I was a bit disconcerted myself as the rhino was much bigger than our vehicle.

One of my favorites sights is to see these guys come walking down the road. 

Love how the little ones ride on their backs...

One of my fav photos I captured of one of the birds..

A mama lion...her four babies were nearby...just a few feet away...

Aren't they gorgeous?   We were blessed to see the whole pride...

Just hanging out, watchin' the buffalo on Lake Nakuru

What a beautiful sight...

Flamingos on Lake Nakuru.  They come here 24/7, 365 days of the year.  Apparently the millions of flamingo love the salt there.  When you look at the lake, it's always a huge strip of "pink" all the way around due to the flamingos...  

 


Love this photo...taken at about 6:30 am on Tuesday, with the background of the acacia trees and the beauty of the whole landscape at that time of the morning...love the African sunrises and sunsets... 


Also taken right after sunrise...it was SO cold that morning -- I had told Bec I would do anything for a hot chocolate as we were out and about...we saw this Momma, holding her baby and trying to keep the baby warm.  Just PRECIOUS.


Early morning dew and spider webs...tons of them...

Jordan loves this photo...

These guys decided to sleep in, while their friend lurks around...

Mama and baby...

With these kind of giraffe, older ones are darker...I just love giraffes, my favorite part being watching them gracefully walk or run.


Love watching them eat...

Look at this sweet little baby!  Jordan says, "You should  have brought him home, Mom!"  Yeah, good luck getting this through customs and immigration...

  
Now I know some people might not believe me on this, but these guys were all scattered on the road and I pointed my camera and said, "get together for a picture" and I am not even kidding ONE BIT when I say that THEY DID!!!!  Seriously, they POSE. 

  
THIS is what they were like when we first saw them on the road.  Then they got together when they saw me with the camera.   Go ahead and laugh but it's entirely true.

Can you tell I like monkeys just a little bit?!   :)


3 comments:

Michele said...

I want to go back- your photos are amazing thank you so much- I so miss it there

Anonymous said...

Wow absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your photos!!! Deborah

Tina Blount said...

Thank you for your detailed posts and pictures. I feel like I am there with you just a little.