The idea was a trip to Kenya and Tanzania to read, write and do research for the big project I call life, all while giving Lina and Helena a chance to see some wild animals before they’re extinct. The black rhino is almost gone. So is the leopard and hundreds of other less sexy animals that nobody gives a shit about. Anyway, we arrived in Sermburu after a smooth trip via Amsterdam and Nairobi. Smooth that is, if you don’t mind your 8 hour flight being constantly interrupted by the obnoxius kids in the seats behind. Anyway, The plan was to spend two days there to read, watch some wild life and rest.
We managed to do all of that and then some before heading to our next stop, Mara Explorer in Masai Mara. To get there we had to take three flights, the shortest all but 10 minutes and no higher than a couple of feet over the lovely African scenery. Quite an experience. During our stay in Kenya we did get to see a lot of beautiful and amazing animals but we didn’t see a single animal on animal murder. The closest we got to watching the circle of life in action was a lion feasting on a small wart hog. Oh, and we also saw some lions fuck. They put on a good show them lions. It’s not that hard catching a lion in the act though since they keep going eight days straight when they mate. Once every 15 minutes for the first day or two. After that they slow down a bit. Probably from combination of fuck fatigue and the fact that they don’t eat at all during their 8 day honeymoon.
The camp was awesome, and so was the staff. The camp manager George was extremely helpful in what was to come and they took really good care of us. We also had a waiter, Nelson, who had the exact same speech pattern as Obama. He was from the same tribe as Obama’s father, the Luo. Well, at least that’s what I’m gonna tell anyone who asks. I didn’t ask him though. Why ruin a good thing when you’re not even a journalist, right?
The camp and the staff were fantastic but we did get to see a bit more of it than we gambled for. On our first night Lina started vomiting like there was tomorrow. Luckily there was and after a day of rest and some medicine from the resident doctor she was fine. I was not so lucky. Now, I’ve had my share of stomach trouble and a flu now and then, but I’ve never been really ill while on a trip even though I’ve been everywhere. (Well, not really. I’m not even halv way in my quest to visit every country on earth, but I’m slowly getting there.) I eat anything, even in the shadiest of restaurants and I often drink the tap water too. I never get ill, because I know the golden rule of traveling where your stomach don’t usually go: Hand Sanitizer. Pack that and don’t eat raw stuff when you don’t have to and you’ll be fine. A cap, a long sleeved shirt, hand sanitizer and some common sense is all you need to go to most places. I didn’t pack it…
The pain I felt when I woke up at two in the morning was unlike any stomach pain I’ve felt. I thought I was gonna explode. And explode I did. In both directions. For five hours straight. Now that is tiring under any circumstances but when there is no electricity on and you have to take care of business in the light of your phone or a flashlight it’s something else. Try it some time!
We were meant to go to Tanzania and check out the amazing Ngorongoro crater later that morning, but I couldn’t even stand up so that wasn’t gonna happen. A visit to the doctor and a bunch of medicines and antibiotics was what I got. And a few days of hardly leaving the tent. (Now don’t give me that bullshit about resistant bacteria. When you’re 600 kilometers or so from the nearest good hospital and feel like you might die you take what you can get.)
After speaking to insurance companies, travel agents and what not there was some concern I might be dehydrated to the point where I needed an IV in Nairobi so not only did we miss out on our trip to Tanzania, we also figured it best to cut the trip short and go check out the Kenyan health care for real. Long story short; We flew to Nairobi and all three of us got a check up at The Aga Khan University Hospital. The other two were totally fine and I got some more meds. Now it’s been another couple of days and I’m well and rested. Good thing, because I’m off on my next adventure tomorrow.
Big thank you to Jambo Tours, SOS International and the staff at Mara Explorer. As I said, I’ve traveled a bit and I have been ill too, but never this bad and never this well taken care of. Thank you.
Nicaragua, here I come! (Hand sanitizer packed this time.)
PS. Didn’t do much reading. I blame that on the fever. Tried Naked Lunch by Burroughs and didn’t get it at all. That might also be the fever. Tom Wolfe’s The Kool-aid acid test was very enjoyable though. There might be another post with pictures later. We’ll see. Stay tuned.