Kenya 6/26/06 - Departure

We woke up at 5 am, showered, and finished getting ready for our departure from Kenya. We went to breakfast, where Craig had an omelette, bacon, and home fries. I had cereal, yoghurt, and toast. I drank pineapple juice and Craig drank orange. We said our goodbyes to all of the staff that helped make our stay so wonderful. We made our final stop in the lobby and checked out of the room. We met Patrick and James who were already waiting for us at the truck. We gave them the photos and a few other gifts. They were amazed that we had gotten prints of last night's photo so quickly. We explained what had been up to last night and they were very happy with the results. We really enjoyed our time with both of them and knew this morning would be a rather somber occasion for us.

Hitting the dirt road we, made our way through the gate, across the park where we had taken safari trips, back across the dried up lake bed and out the park entrance. As we approached the main road towards Namanga, the border town, some kids were lined up along the road waving as we passed. A couple picked up small stones and threw them at our vehicle. Patrick stopped short and they quickly ran away. He was very upset about the kids in the area starting this behavior. Soon afterwards we stopped at a small rest stop/gift shop. Patrick told us they had a nice rest room here and said we should take advantage of it. While Craig was in the rest room, another traveller next to him began to whistle the "Jambo Bwana Amboseli" song. He couldn't believe it. He came out laughing and washed his hands in the little courtyard. It was then that he realized the person whistling was somebody he had recognized from the lodge. They had a nice little gift shop here but we just weren't looking for anything else right now. We were all packed up and moving to a new place and we just really wanted to avoid the hassles and stick to the business at hand. We filled out our Kenya exit paperwork while Patrick and James had a cup of tea in the little adjacent cafe.

When we reached Namanga, we stopped on the Kenyan side to file our exit paperwork. We were standing in a line when a local woman shoved right past me to get to the front of the line. Some things never change, no matter where in the world you happen to be. So much for "African time" when it comes to border crossings I guess. The immigration clerk was very friendly with us and got excited when Craig said "Asante" (thank you in Swahili). When we were done, we hopped back into the truck and Patrick drove us to the Tanzania side of the border. This is where we met Michael and Lucas, our new guides. Though they were both Maasai, Lucas was dressed in a traditional shuka, and Michael was dressed in the western style. They put our bags into the open Land Rover. We gave hugs to Patrick and James and said our goodbyes. Patrick said he would see us again some day, and we really hoped that was true. We always get a little separation anxiety when leaving good guides with whom we have become close friends, so we were a little bit sad. But we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were embarking on a whole new adventure in a whole new country, so we didn't have time to dwell on it for long.
Craig with his exit paperwork at the rest stop


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