Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Karura

This Christmas, I was invited to grandma's house. Cucu (Kikuyu for "grandmother" and pronounced sho-sho) is a woman in her 60's. She has raised 5 amazing children and has over 20 grandchildren who she loves and watches over like a hawk:
Our international real estate celebrity, Ken Marine joined us for some Christmas cheer. Here he is with Joy and Maureen:

I guess they didn't teach arm extension, aim and shoot camera skills at real-estate school!

Little Maina:

Maureen and Joy getting silly:

Joy (and Maureen) the divas make Karanja giggle!
I love these girls like cray-zee! Melody, Joy and Maureen:
Melody jumping in on a photo-op
Sing-song time!

Cake time - thanks to the beautiful angel Ashini Patel for helping with the baking and icing!
Ken and Cucu:

And just before we left, we found this little chic paradise up above the cow shed!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, world! And remember, it's easy to teach fire prevention under water.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Nairobi - Splash!

We were going to spend our Jamhuri (independence) Day weekend commemorating our nation and woking on some good patriotic songs, but decided instead it was too beautiful and sunny a day to spend away from a nice cold pool!

So after a last minute call Mr. Kuldeep Awesome Nayer, 15 of us made our way to Splash!, the water slides next door to Carnivore on Langata Road.

Thank you so much Mr. Kuldeep, you are always so generous to us - rock on!

Little Joy on our way there:

Sydney, Naomi and Wangari on their way up to the big slide:

And here they come, led by Wangari:

Mungai after his big landing:

Boro pointing something out to Melody:

Maureen, Joy, Sydney and Melody:

Alice and Joy:

The girls:

Maureen, Mungai and Joy soaking up the sun:

Sylvester, Karanja and Eric:

Melody being photo bombed!

The boys playing ball:

Mungai, Eric, Boro, Gitau, Karanja and Sylvester all being camera shy:

The impossible group shots:

Chips, chicken and Soda at Caprice Frys (previously Mac Frys) in Westlands to end the beautiful day:

Happy Jamhuri Day, Kenyans!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monster Paintings!

This month, we celebrated Halloween early by painting monsters.

First drafts:

Some of the monsters on canvas:

More pictures to come...

A big thank you to the beautiful, kind, creative, fun and inspiring Aleya for hosting us. We were a big group this week - she crammed 18 little monsters into her tiny living room. All that drawing, colouring and painting were followed by chicken, chips and sodas. But of course!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Off to the smurfin' movies!

This month, the little troopers were treated to a movie night at Westgate NuMedia Theaters. We watched The Smurfs - a heartwarming tale of the adventures of a mythical race of little blue creatures in medieval times that must deal with each other and humans, particularly an evil wizard obsessed with capturing them for his own sinister purposes. The official trailer can be seen here.

We weren't allowed to take pictures, but I managed to sneak one in:
Thank you to the NuMedia Group for extending us a discount on ticket prices.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kinanda, Colouring & Hailstorms

This month's outing was a bit of a disaster. We went to the Kinanda Arts Festival, a monthly extravaganza of music, poetry, visual art, creative writing, spoken word, film and street art. This is usually held on the last Sunday Afternoon, every month. Within minutes of getting there, settling into a nice grassy spot and enjoying the first musical performance, the heavens opened up and it began to pour! Everyone gathered under the few tents that were out and huddled together for about an hour or two. When the rain eased up a little bit, we made a dash for the van and headed home.

The kids were really looking forward to Jason Sibi-Okumu's performance. They were equally thrilled, however with tiny ice cubes falling from the sky!

While we waited, we managed to do a bit of colouring. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take many pictures:

Mungai, Naomi and Joy:
Karanja (best viewed with your head tilted to the right):
Alice helping Melody:
Sylvester and Gitau:
A big thank you to Ken Miller of Oracle University, Ireland for the colouring books and supplies. The children do not have art classes at school, so whenever they get a chance to unleash their artistic brilliance, it is a real treat for them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Daphne Shelrick Elephant Sanctuary

This week, our large group of 15 finally managed to leave Nairobi in time to visit the baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (you have to be there before 11am!). The trust is dedicated to the protection and preservations of Africa's wilderness and it's denizens, particularly endangered species such as elephants and Black Rhino.

All the elephant orphans raised by the Trust are gradually rehabilitated back into the wild elephant community of Tsavo National Park when grown, a transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually taking approximately eight to ten years. A number of our ex Nursery orphans have now had wild born young which they have brought back to show their erstwhile human family, and others are now pregnant and living free, yet keeping in touch with those who are still Keeper dependent. Amongst these are many orphaned too young to have any recollection of their elephant mother or family.

Waiting for the baby elephants to come:
When the baby elephants trot in, they go straight for the milk - bear in mind that the composition of the fat content of elephants’ milk is very different from that of cows’ milk, added to which evidence suggests the actual protein and fat composition of elephants’ milk varies during different stages of lactation (usually up to 2 ears) to cater for the growing needs of a baby:
Karanja and Gitau were really keen to pet the elephants:
After feeding, the baby elephants like to play in the mud (it protects their skin from the sun, but also looks like incredible fun!)
Some elephants choose to poop right there in front of everyone too:
Whaaaat? You would have taken a picture too, if you had seen it!

Sylvester and Karanja look on as the elephants play in the mud:
This baby elephant loved Gitau and would not leave his side!
On our way out, we saw Maxwell, the blind but gentle rhino:

A big thank you to Tal at the David Sheldrick Trust for sorting us out :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quattro Charge

This week, the folks over at Rob's Magic were kind enough to sponsor us free tickets to theQuattro Charge.

With the passion for off-road 4X4 challenge gaining popularity in Kenya, Rob Collinge incepted the Quattro Charge in 2001 to raise funds for Rhino Ark's Aberdare Fencing Project ( for more info). Organized by Rob's Magic, the event is usually held at various challenging 4x4 locations on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The Quattro Charge is an exciting, highly challenging off road competition in which competitors are required to navigate an obstacle course comprising a mix of wet and dry river beds, swamps, large deep dams, sheer climbs and oversized boulders. Competitors must demonstrate that rare combination of skill, courage and finesse and sometimes outright lunacy to overcome the challenging course. The close proximity of the event venue to Nairobi makes it a highly accessible to spectators, sponsors and competitors alike, and the event organizers have endeavored to make the Quattro Charge a great outing with excellent catering and full bar facilities, children's bouncing castle, face painting etc.

The Quattro Charge also provides a great teaser for the more extreme annual Rhino Charge event The Quattro Charge has raised since its conception in 2001 over 15 Million Kenyan Shillings.

And I'm sorry, I had a serious case of "fingers all over the lens!"

Joy, Naomi, Maureen, Simon and Joyce look ok while sipping on a drink and snacking:
Maureen with my finger:
Karanja and Martin (there's that finger again!):
Looking on at the action from a rock away from the bog crowds:
This car was stuck in the mud for AGES, we had to leave, but hope Caroline made it out ok...
Here we all are with Zebunissa of Rob's Magic:
Melody and Mungai cooling off before we headed home with some Ribena:

On our way home...
A big thank you for the generous folks at Rob's Magic. Especially Zebunissa and Jeremiah!

Next month, we'll try our best to stay away from cars and do something artistic instead.