Month 6, Part I

December exceeded all expectations, it will definitely go down as one of the best holiday seasons I can remember. Most of the month I was away from site at IST, in service training, at a lovely oasis in Naivasha at Crayfish camp. It was a relaxing and reinvigorating 2 weeks of Posh Corps with my fellow PCVs. Hot showers, copious amounts of decadent food, a swimming pool, and adventures!

I’ll start with a funny story… Because of my dinner party the night before departing, I had less time to prepare myself for the trip; as I was packing I realized that skipping laundry was a bad idea because I was nearly out of clean underwear. I packed what I had and knew that I would have to include a laundry day in my two weeks at the camp. After getting my room number, I made my way to the room and what do I find upon first inspection? A name above the door. My room name : underwear. I couldn’t help but laugh at the coincidence of the name, considering my problem I faced just a night before. The end.

The remainder of training proved to be just an entertaining and fun as my underwear story…

The room was nice, I lucked out without a roommate. Flush toilets, hot showers, and a patio. My only silly complaint, the shower was too hot most of the time. Like burn your skin scalding. The camp itself was lush and peaceful. Meals made me full to bursting and the buffet style made it hard not to sneak back for more. I am going to miss the delicious soups and chilled salads I consumed before every meal. Not to mention the variety of meat…especially the crawfish, tilapia, and calamari. Yes they had a made to order calamari, prepared to your choosing, and it was delicious. Lunch and dinner also provided us with a selection of desserts and fruit. Breakfast always included chilled papaya and mango juice, eggs, chicken sausages and crepes, including syrup!

Twice a day between meals they set out tea, and usually I made myself a hot cocoa, mocha, or just had spiced chai without sugar, it was cold enough that it was the perfect way to warm up. Included with the tea was always an assortment of snacks…cake, samosas, sausages, or muffins always waiting neatly on silver trays after getting that delicious hot beverage, ah the better to entice you that a slice of lemon cake would indeed complement your beverage selection. The meals definitely were a highlight of the vacation. I think I gained 10 pounds.

The camp had other luxury amenities as well. Free WiFi. A big swimming pool, which I got to swim in a couple of times thanks to a sunny break from rain and chill. There was a pub so we didn’t have to leave the grounds to get a drink, even though it was a bit pricier. They offered horseback riding which I took advantage of. It felt good to be in a saddle again. Overall, on our own dime it would have been a pricey getaway, but if you ever want a bit of luxury, I recommend it.

It was also nice to be surrounded by the PCVs I spent so much time training with. Catching up, and just relaxed, hanging out, hakuna matata. I got some media goodies to fill my stocking, which will keep me entertained for quite a while.

The weekends were a blast! The first weekend at camp a small group of us took a bicycle safari at Hells Gate national park. Being so close to the wildlife was incredible. I saw giraffes, vervet monkeys, zebra, baboons, warthogs, cape buffalo, rock hyrax, gazelle, impala, and a variety of birds and reptiles. I even went rock climbing for the first time ever up Pride Rock!
Sunday I took a lazy morning boat ride with another group on the lake and saw many hippos and exotic birds! It was kind of scary being on a tiny boat and so close to hippos, but magical. That afternoon is when I went riding and did a little cantering as well, the saddle wasnt fit for it, so it was brief, but fun.

The weekend we went home I went with four other volunteers and took a scenic route to Lake Nakuru. We safaried there for the day and it was so breathtakingly beautiful. I don’t even think we experience it all! Definitely want to go back again. We got lucky and saw two white rhinos and a black rhino, hundreds of flamingo, got up close and personal with a heard of giraffe, and a lone water buck that posed for us. There were even some cape buffalo on the side of the road as we were driving, I could have reached out and touched them. I saw an eagle too, perched near the rhinos, along with zebra, monkeys, bright-colored lizards, and impala.

It really was the perfect way to end a fantastic two-week vacation.

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