Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Elephants

May 2, 2011

I've never been to an animal orphanage.
I've never seen elephants up close.

On May 2nd, I got to check off both of these objectives at the same time.

For 1 hour each day, this elephant orphanage opens to the public. You stand around the "play area" and watch elephants eat, play and relax. There are two sessions, in fact. One for the little ones (an ironic statement, because they never really seem small; only in relation each other): 3 to 18 months. And a second session for what I've termed "the teenagers": 18 to 36 months.

When the elephants are 3 years old, they leave this sanctuary for another area.
There, they are placed with a group of older elephants to learn the hierarchy and "ways to elephant."

As an incentive to enter the observatory area, the handlers have milk (more akin to human baby formula; I learned that cow's milk is actually very dangerous to their digestive systems)...and the elephants LOVE their milk!

Rain on the Masi Mara

May 4, 2011

It was our first night at the safari lodge. We were settled in, already having enjoyed 2 game drives. We were full to the brim with new experiences and were ready to fill our bellies silly with the local cuisine.

A rain storm followed us from the open area where the animals walk free to the 5 star resort space; and covered all the air around us with water vapor and gray fog. And the view was covered; and the rain came.

And, we felt like kids.
It was the middle of the week, and instead of being at work, we were half a world away splashing in the puddles on our way to dinner.