Well, well, well.... it's over. I cannot believe it. There is so much information to sum up in just one blog about this experience, and I guess that it is not possible to cover everything. I'll try to, though!
Well, to sum up the safari, we did end up seeing all of "the big five". On the last drive, we were able to see the black rhino. Well, after that, when we went to Lake Nakuru, after the convention ended, we were able to see the white rhino, which is even bigger than the black one. Beautiful, HUGE creatures.
One wonderful thing that happened to us on our last day in Africa was that we went with the Karugas (the family that is originally from Kenya that live in England now) on a nature walk, in Nairobi. There were all types of animals that we saw and we were able to take some up close and personal pictures. Well, we were able to get in the gate with two adult cheetah and take pictures with one of them, while he was feeding on lunch. It was the scariest thing I have ever done- my foot was shaking so badly that I could barely kneel down! The picture shows it all- I'm smiling but I am about to die! (I'll be sure to post that one!)
Well, the day before this, we took a day trip along the rift valley to Lake Nakuru- a lake that is surrounded by flamingos. A friend of mine, Mike E., made huge fun of these beautiful creatures. I don't know why- they were gorgeous! :) Anyways, I'll be sure to show a picture of those, as well. This trip was like taking the safari all over, again. We saw another lion that day- some giraffe, baboons, white rhino (see above), monkeys, impalas, zebra, etc. Our friends that were with us, Elena and Jimmy, didn't have the opportunity to go on a safari, so this was a wonderful day for them and it was really nice to be able to share in their excitement! It was a two 1/2 hour drive up there and back and it was really worth it. The scenery was breathtaking, also, along the way and there was a wreck coming back, up the mountain to Nairobi, which we were semi-involved in, so it made for a very interesting day! Once we got back, we met up with some friends and there were about 20 of us salsa dancing in Jimmy and Elena's room and it was the perfect ending to the trip!
Well, to sum up the convention- THERE'S JUST NOT WORDS! Brother Heard's talks were so encouraging and we met so many friends who have endured so much! The ones that were the most appreciative were the friends who have the most deplorable conditions. There is just so much that we have to learn from them. One good point that I remember was when Brother Heard talked about Christendom being like a "voiceless dog". He asked about what good a voiceless dog was to it's owner- it's no value whatsoever. It made me think about how we need to use our voices to speak as much as we can about Jehovah and in no way resemble a "voiceless dog".
We met so many friends from all around the world and we were truly in a spiritual paradise for two weeks. At the end of the convention, when we were pulling away, I was crying, realizing that it was a "shelter" for two weeks and it was about to come to an end. So many friends were waving tissues and smiling and shouting, "See you in Paradise". I felt that huge lump in my throat and the next thing you know, the tears were flowing. We just kept waving and shouting out the window "Asante sana" (thank you so much) as our bus was pulling away. It was such a memorable occasion.
I cannot wait to apply for the next international convention, if I ever have the chance to again. It's an opportunity that I will never pass up again! It was a chance to have a small glimpse into life in paradise with friends who are all serving Jehovah together, with no racial or economical boundaries!!!
Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the blog. I'll try to continue the blog with memories and new trips, as they arise. Thanks again!