Our sabbatical year in Kenya

My dad with a giraffe. The giraffe was standing right in front of our tents.

My dad’s visit: Safari at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The New Year started out with a visit from my dad, Bob. He arrived on New Year’s Day after welcoming 2013 with a mid-flight glass of champagne. After spending a few days adjusting to life in Nairobi, we all struck out for Laikipia, a dry grassland nestled between Mt. Kenya (Africa’s second highest peak) and […]

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Two pairs of tusks span Moi Avenue, one of Mombasa's main thoroughfares. They were built to commemorate Princess Margaret's visit in 1956.

Holiday Trip Part 2: Mombasa

As we alighted from the plane and stepped down onto the tarmac, our senses were hit with the tropics: the smell of the sea, the heat on our skin, the muggy vegetal air of early evening. It was such a change from the stark, arid expanse of Amboseli National Park and the cool highlands of […]

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This hippo grew tired of being watched and suggested we move along.

Holiday Trip, Part 1: Amboseli National Park

  We were driving through the Kapiti Plains, where Theodore Roosevelt spent a good portion of his 1909 safari, when we saw our first animal: giraffe. It was a good start to our big holiday trip exploring Amboseli National Park and the Swahili Coast of Mombasa. Our driver and guide, David, took us south from […]

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Garrett shows off his yellow belt punching skills.

(Rainy) Season’s Greetings!

The short rains of November and December are upon us, turning the red soil to paste. The rains mostly come at night and clear up by mid-morning. The rain comes down with an intensity that is strong but never stormy. When we arrived in August, the “football pitch” (soccer field) was so dry that the […]

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Linnea beaming with pride at her new hairstyle.

Pianos, Presidents, and Plaits

November just seems to be flying by. It is really hard to get a sense of time passing here – every day is sunny and warm (but not too hot) and a lot like the previous one. There is also a lot less commercialization here, so you don’t feel the anticipation of holidays like you […]

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Cape buffalo and a cattle egret. The park supports 30,000 buffalo.

Trip to Lake Nakuru, Rift Valley

  We took a trip north-west of Nairobi to Lake Nakuru, in the Great Rift Valley. It was great to get out of the city for the day and see some of Kenya’s spectacular landscapes. It did not disappoint. The drive to Lake Nakuru climbs through the highlands getting cooler, wetter, and greener. Finally the […]

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Garrett holds a chameleon which would soon become a snake's lunch.

Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park

A few weeks ago we took a trip to the Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park. The kids had a great time at the museum, which has a little bit of everything: animal mounts, traditional items from the tribes of Kenya, modern art, and the Hominid Skull Room. Adjacent to the Museum is the Snake […]

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A woman harvests tea near the Imenti Tea Factory.

Touring tea farms and celebrating culture

It has been an exciting couple of weeks here in Kenya. The big news is that Linnea was Pupil of the Week at her school and Garrett won his grade’s cross country race. Linnea did well in her race too, placing fourth. The public university professors’ strike finally ended, so I began classes last week. […]

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Garrett and Linnea helped wash some rugs.

Visits from a president, a mongoose, hedgehogs, and other stuff

Last week the president of Tanzania, His Excellency Hon. Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete, visited Kenyatta University as part of a three-day state visit to Kenya. President Kikwete was the chief guest at a ceremony opening KU’s new Hospitality and Tourism Department building. Jen and I were invited to the ceremony which was organized by our […]

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Garrett and Linnea watch the orphaned elephants.

On safari at Nairobi National Park

Last weekend we went on a short safari to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Nairobi National Park. Linnea and Garrett wore their new safari vests which were gifts from Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jeanette. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was our first stop. This conservation organization is best known for rearing, rehabilitating, and releasing orphaned elephants […]

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