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On Saturday 24 December, we drove through the park in search of, you guessed it, lion or leopard. We saw giraffe, zebra, buffalo, a Black and white Colobus monkey and a lion in a tree. In Lake Nakuru National Park, lions are often seen in trees and that day we stopped behind another car with the driver pointing in the direction of a small tree. When I trained my binoculars on the spot, sure enough, there was a lion in the tree. Very indisctinct images but it's there nevertheless.
Some of the animals seen in the park on Saturday 24th December. Note the lion in a tree in the last photo
Apart from looking for baby animals on safari, I also photographed trees. I have many trees with name plates and hope to post about these shortly. That day in Lake Nakuru National Park, I had the map of the area spread on my knees and saw two interesting places marked: the Euphorbia forest and a grove of Wild Olives. I'll also post about the origin and history of these two collections of trees later. For now, I just wanted Grant to drive me there (Of course, his question was: "What for?") When we arrived I took photos- many photos!
The top two photos are of the Euphorbia Forest, and the other four are of the Wild Olive grove in Lake Nakuru National Park.
Then it was back to the lodge to get ready to enjoy another night of entertainment that the hotel was offering around the pool and of course, Christmas dinner. First I posed with the Masai warrior at the lodge entrance. Then I wandered around the pool area and took photos: you can arrange a romantic breakfast or dinner for two around the pool. The deck chairs begged you to relax while the water sparkled clearly in the large pool.
Clockwise from top: me and the Masai warrior, (note how cold it was in Nakuru, I'm wearing a thick top- I think you call it a hoody in the USA); a romantic breakfast or dinner for two at the pool, me and the Masai warrior again and the poolside with inviting deck chairs
The entertainers and hotel didn't disappoint. Once everyone had gathered around the swimming pool, the waiters handed out cocktails, fruit juice or wine and offered platters of hot snacks. The lodge manager and his staff mingled with guests which I found a wonderfully personal gesture.
Then it was time for the dancers to arrive and entertain us again. I had my camera settings correct this time and managed to get beautiful images. I loved it that several little children joined in the dancing!
The dancers really gave it their all on Christmas Eve. Several children joined in!
As one group of dancers finished their item, they were replaced by another group of equally lithe and fit performers!
The dancers wore kangas, a rectangle of pure bright cotton cloth, printed in bold designs and bright colours with a border all around. Apart from its protective and decorative role, kanga is all about sending the message. It is the equivalent of the get well greetings, or congratulations cards in the western culture but in this case the message goes a little bit beyond the normal meaning. For example, a fruit, a flower, a boat, or a bird could mean good upbringing or just the appreciation of beauty. On the other hand, a lion, a shark, or any such kind of dangerous animals could signal the sense of danger or a clear warning.
In the kangas above, I note hearts so I suspect these messages are romantic ones. I tried to decipher the message on the border, but as a Mzungu who's still learning Swahili, I didn't get very far. Whatever the wearer is trying to convey, when words are difficult to articulate with a mouth, inscribe them on kanga and wait for the results. The power of kanga in the Swahili culture is far-reaching.
After the dancing, the lodge manager welcomed all the visitors to the lodge. He then introduced his staff who were standing with him around the pool.
Then it was time for dinner. Whoo-hoo!
This little lad, seated at the table next to ours, was more interested in making Christmas cheer than his plate of food!
While we served ourselves to the delicious fare, a choir serenaded us in the diningroom. They sang Christmas carols and songs - all delivered A Cappella !
The lady in the front was the soloist and sang "Oh Holy night" backed by the rest of the choir. The sweet high notes of the soprano, brought tears to many an eye
This little boy was fascinated by the singing
After dinner, Grant and I repaired to the bar-restaurant for coffee. The hotel staff entertained the children with games. The first one was Musical Chairs.
Not many children had ever played musical chairs and there was great confusion about the rules!
Our little neighbour from the diningroom was the first person out. When the music started again, he joined the queue and had already done another circuit, when the official noticed and pulled him out!
Grant and I didn't stay up and wait for midnight. We retired and were soon asleep after another wonderful day enjoying Kenya, its wildlife, culture and cuisine!
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