We arrived finally… 30 hours of travel we were happy to step foot on African soil. As we were on our last leg from Amsterdam I took in my treasures from a few very close friends. Care packages that were very unexpected, but at that moment I could not be more thankful for their kind gestures.
As we were about to land Rob & I were in awe of the spectacular sunset that these skies are known for.
Stepping off the plane I always take in the smells as they always stay with me. So different from country to country. And if I have the pleasure to visit the same place again it always brings me back to the first time I experienced it.
We stayed very close to the airport at a lodge called “KIA Lodge” it was individual bungalows. They were simplistic and just what we needed before our day hike on Kilimanjaro.
Joe our hiking guide & Siad our guide for the rest of the time through Tanzania arrived.
We packed up the safari truck and headed to the mountain.
Joe shared the history, culture & what to expect out of our day ahead.
Of course excitement set in when he shared our lunch would be with a family in the heart of the village.
Hiking several hours prior of course.
Our first stop was visiting a school. The dancing eyes of all the children surrounded us. Bashful grins, along with a bit of playful shyness was captured by a few of the kids.
Once a few felt comfortable it was felt by most of the children. Gripping my hand tight, running their fingers through my hair, pointing to my blue eyes was just part of the experience that will never leave me.
As I know it brightened the day having us there. They have know idea how it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Once they showed us the ball they made (out of tape & seemed to be twine) Rob instantly went to our bags of goodies & blew up a soccer ball and basketball.
Liz started handing out lollipops & she was instantly mobbed. I helped as best I could. We were thankful for the teacher who made her way over to help us out.
Along with the joyful giggles, smiles & cheering they loved when we would capture a photo and share it on the screen for them to see it. They would laugh as loud as they could & grab there face with awe.
As we all sat back, watched & took in how the mini soccer ball & basketball meant the world to these children Rob & I felt many emotions run through us.
So many thank you’s but honestly we should all be the ones thanking them for what will be an experience that will forever add to our lives.
As we started our hike through the windy skinny paths our guide Joe was very detailed. Coffee bean trees were throughout our hike. He stopped & shared by a larger crop and explained the process they go through.
Bananas are everything to the Chaga people. There is three different banana trees. The leaves are used for the rooftops for the homes.-they dry them out and they become very dense & strong.
They make banana beer which is very popular & we stopped part way through our hike to see how it was made & try it.
Also it was used in our lunch.
We had Mtori, Kiburu & Machalari
All of these were either the base of the broth or big chunks of banana.
One of the bananas tasted & had a texture very similar to yukon potatoes.
The Ndekididemi family was more than generous while we were at their home. The pictures will say it all.
As in the home the children sleep where the animals are and it is very minimal space to say the least..
With smoldering reminisce from a fire the night before, the animals eating and seem to be very well taken care, and the children so curious of us. I step outside back into the yard and try to be in this very moment.
The non stop friendly smiles from the family & the energy you feel is completely indescribably.
Definitely has stimulated my emotions in ways I have never felt.
We had to drop our hiking guide in the town of Arusha after this day filled with so much learning, culture & holding in our hearts the non stop smiles from such kind souls.
We were also overjoyed to meet our guide Siad’s family and boy I could not get enough is his 13 month old very healthy boy.
As Siad said his goodbyes to his beautiful family we started our long three and half hour trek to a very, very remote lodge called “Boundary Hill.”
This very authentic lodge lies in the middle of Tarangire.
Getting here was one of the most bumpy rides. Siad shared it was due to the rainy season. It washes away the curvy dirt path. I assume created by the safari vehicles.
As my husband & friends are snoozing for their second catnap I could not help but take in this organic beautiful land that surrounded me.
We were moving out of Arusha into “Masai” land.
The huts sat perfectly in the back drop along with the traditional oldest trees in Africa.
The scenery for me was setting in. I was feeling much of what I was dreaming of since almost a year ago when we started planning this adventure.
As we finally embarked upon our destination; “Boundary Hill.”
We were greeted over our safari headlights. The entire lodge is on solar.
We were told never to leave your room without a Masai guide taking you to & from.
Over a lantern we began our walk with him to our amazing accommodations which is built into the hillside.
The very rigid stone path was surrounded by bush, sounds from the wind had me edging closer to our Masai guide. He carried a sphere with him and I did feel very safe in his hands.
As it was a few minutes at least to arrive to where we would be calling home the next few nights…I could not help take in this remote land. Above us in the sky the brightest stars were out and just breathing the air & taking in the aromas of the Tarangire land had me full of excitement.
Rob & I are up and ready for the day. Lets just say way too early. Our Masai guide is to arrive at 4:45am
We were ready at 2:30am
Full of excitement we were both wide awake and a bit of Rob reading the world clock wrong..
The hot air balloon is today followed by venturing into Tarangire.
We will also look forward to returning to our lodge. It has been pitch black and we have not seen the valley our lodge sits over. We should have several animal sightings just sitting on our balcony.