We have visitors! My little sister (Brittney) and her boyfriend (Mitchell) arrived last Wednesday for a visit. They’ll be with us for nearly two weeks, and we’re really happy to have them — and not just because they brought us Velveeta and Nature Valley Bars. They flew into Mwanza (and the Serengeti’s only a 2-hour drive from there), so last Thursday I took them to the Serengeti for a 24-hour safari. [In Swahili safari actually only means “a journey or travel.” But for the sake of this blog post, I’m using the term as an English word — which we all know means “sitting in a truck for 8 hours at a time, wearing khaki pants and shirts with lots of pockets, in order to see (dangerous) animals we don’t have in the United States.]
Christie and Baylor stayed in Mwanza, while I took Brittney and Mitchell on their safari. [Christie sprained her back, and long hours in vehicles don’t help any at all.] It was a good trip, and we saw everything we thought we would except for elephants; we couldn’t find any anywhere. We also didn’t see cheetahs or leopards, but we generally don’t count on seeing those. We did see a hyena carrying a zebra’s leg in his mouth.
We returned to Geita with our guests on Friday of last week. We hope to be able to show them our life and work here over the next week. I’ve prewritten a few blog posts, so aliens and strangers won’t be a ghost town. But I may very well be scarce on the blog comments for a while.
our visitors. mitchell and brittney on a swinging bridge over the grumeti river.
under that swinging bridge, just on the banks of the grumeti -- we kept seeing crocodiles and saying, "wow, that is a HUGE crocodile." then we finally decided that nearly all of them are huge, and we didn't have to say it every time.
crossing that same grumeti river. the hippos were to the left in deep water and the crocodiles to the right. there was even one crocodile waiting just in the river where our truck would have fallen if the water had been strong enough to push us over the edge. but i'm a master driver and tour guide -- we were safe and sound, though Brittney was indeed sitting in a puddle before we were all the way across.
a young lion with her kid sister. we saw 13 lions total, which was quite exciting. a lot of them were young lions. we didn't see any males, though.
one of the young lions that was in a group of 11. they were resting at the top of a washed out gully -- only a couple of yards from our truck.
not sure what this face means, but it was at least interesting.
a couple of impala going at it. i hate we didn't get a picture, but shortly after this, the impala on the left pulled a gun and stole the other guy's wallet. these fights are usually over women, or to show dominance -- but these days the shilling is weak, and an impala's just got to do what an impala's got to do.
this is a giraffe.
a zebra and a wildebeest. it's amazing how quickly guests lose excitement for the herd animals like these. in the beginning, visitors are asking me to stop so they can take pictures of zebras that are a mile away. after only 2 or 3 hours, though, they don't really even count them as exotic animals. they're regarded more as pets. or as obstacles to good photos: "aww, i really want a photo of those jackals, but i don't want those stupid striped donkeys in the picture." yep, zebras are reduced to nothing more than telephone poles.
baylor with her aunt brittney. this is the only picture not taken on safari (baylor didn't go). it was taken at the chinese restaurant in mwanza. later this week we're getting baylor a nose ring just like my sister's.