May 23, 2007 at 7:03 pm (Miriam, Trip 2007)

These past few days in Amboseli National Park will forever remain engraved in my memory. Yes, we saw lions and elephants, gazelles and cheetah. But, besides the animal part, it was the ancient feeling one gets looking up as Mount Kilimanjaro as she shows herself to the sky. Have you ever seen Fantasia, the scene were they match music to the beginning of the world? There is red lava flowing all over the place, and bubbles of fire bursting into the air. I have never felt this close to the earth before. Amboseli reminds me of the beginning of time. The wildebeests gallop freely, and there is honestly less human presence than I’ve ever seen. Yes, I’ve hiked in the “back country” of the Canadian Rockies, and been to a National Park in Montana. But this is different. Animals roam like they would have…before we existed. Everything is quiet. I heard the elephants munching their green lunch, while the breeze softly whistled by. It was easy to feel holistic and meditative. The earth as it should be….the earth as it wanted to be.

And then….we drove back into Nairobi. The smells of diesel…the dust lifting off of the ground, the children bathing in the dirty water puddles that lay in between pockets of construction. Shacks with men selling freshly slaughtered meat. The headaches that came in between potholes on the road. It’s so interesting how Amboseli and Nairobi are only about 2 hours away and yet they juxtapose one another with such determination. The conditions were harder to face coming back. I never forgot about the children at the orphanages, but the images of poverty were sort of buried behind the grasslands and the watering holes. I kept thinking about Grace’s smile and playing the clapping game called “Numbers” with Cynthia….but for some reason, I must have been in more denial about the conditions than I thought. I look forward to greeting the children tomorrow. It has been refreshing to share these tangles in the mind.

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