Crescent Island

Crescent Island

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Giraffes, tortoises, and monkeys...Oh my!

For this midterm break, I decided not to do a big trip, but instead take a couple day trips with other women here on staff. On Saturday five of us single ladies and one mom and her son went to the area of Karen, which is west of Nairobi. The area of Karen is named for Karen Blixon, who wrote the book Out of Africa about her life. In Karen, we went first to the Giraffe Center. At the Giraffe Center, you get the opportunity to be right up close to giraffes and feed them. It was so fun to see these animals up close, and I became friends with the littlest giraffe who could just barely reach his head up to the platform to get the pellets. Giraffes are such beautiful animals and so gentle. Near Giraffe Center is the Giraffe Manor Hotel, where you can stay and the giraffes come right up to your hotel room. Can you say Bucket List?!

There are also tortoises at the Giraffe Center
After going to the Giraffe Center, we decided to go to the Karen Blixon Museum. This is at her house, and the place that the movie "Out of Africa" was filmed. It was so interesting to hear more about her life and the history of the house and the land. It is my favorite kind of museum to visit - a place where historical figures actually worked and lived their lives. And I would move into that house immediately. It is beautiful. 

After visiting the house, it was time for lunch and we headed over to Tamambo, which is the restaurant on the Karen Blixon property. It was a little more pricey, but absolutely delicious and beautiful to sit in the garden. I also purchased a painting from an artist selling his work there in the garden. We also got a free dessert from the manager because his niece attends RVA! 

Our last stop on our trip was to Kazuri Beads. While we missed seeing the women work, because they only work half days on Saturdays, we did get a tour of the factory/workshop. It was really interesting to see where the beads are made and what the process is. We then went into the shop to spend good money in supporting the women who are employed there. And while we were at Kazuri, we happened upon a little monkey taking a nap. I thought he was dead at first, but he was just resting. We all took turns petting the monkey - he is a Sikes monkey - and taking pictures. 


It was a fantastic day, and Karen is such a beautiful area to spend time in. So far, I have not been disappointed at all with what Kenya has to offer and experience. Now, back to term tomorrow and six more weeks until vacation time. 

I would love prayers for confidence in my abilities and that God is using me exactly as He needs, as well as energy and excitement for the rest of 1st term. 

A view of the Rift Valley on the drive to Kijabe, Mount Longonot and Kijabe Hill in the background.


  1. What a delightful trip and adventure! Thank you for sharing this with us. I had never heard of "Karen", but it certainly looks fascinating. I am so excited for you to be having this wonderful experience. Makes me wish I was younger and able to do the same. Praying for you as you continue this term...knowing that God is enabling you each day for whatever comes your way. He will not fail you...and yes, you are making a difference there in the lives of the students and other staff members. God is working through you...even to the other side of the world. Thank you for taking us along on the journey!

  2. Oh my everlasting heart, SKW, you live in Africa. You actually live there. If I ever get over this, it'll be when I'm 80, and you're pushing me around in a wheelchair...or maybe not even then. I love that you went to Karen, that you fell in love with a baby giraffe (Grammie would be swooning about now, too!), that you got to pet a monkey, that you're a wanderer who isn't lost in any way shape or form.

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