Nina Spencer

Nina on Safari in Kenya

Back in Kenya now. Last night, while still in Nairobi, we were taken out to a restaurant named Carnivore, where, you guessed it, pretty much nothin' but meat was served. A little reluctantly I tried camel, ostrich, crocodile and oxen heart. A little bit "yucky," but at least I tried the "when in Rome" perspective.

This morning it was off to Masai Mara via a little DeHaviland Twin Otter plane. Great fun flying over the spectacular Great Rift Valley! No sooner were we picked up, right off the tarmack, we went off on a first safari, on our way to the Masai Mara Serena Lodge. We saw giraffes, hyenas, antelope, hippos and crocs and more in the natural habitats, all mere feet from our jeep!

Later this afternoon we went out again. In short order we saw a lioness and lion sleeping about 40' from our jeep! We were enthralled, especially when our driver told us these two we actively mating and while in this "zone" the pattern is to mate three times an hour. With a little arithmetic we ten women figured they'd be up and at it again the in about 15 minutes! Maybe we've been gone to long from home???...but we asked to wait it out. We waited the next forty-five minutes but all the lion did was get up once and nudge his lioness. She just lifted her head up and flopped back as if to say, "are you kiddin' me!?" Our driver told us the lioness gets to say when...and she wasn't "buyin'". And so we left. Little did we know what rare "treat we were in for next!

We saw it...a kill! Not that I'm blood thirsty, but apparently it's quite rare to spot a leopard and with his kill, too--an antelope. Turns out this was just a young leopard and we spotted its mother in the background observing her offspring's efforts. One couldn't help but think this sight was similar to an enlightened manager letting a developing employee "do his thing" on his own terms, without the "boss's interference and meddling. She watched carefully but hung back. That cub hauled the antelope up into a tree, for his best bet at an undisturbed feed. More "yuck", but fascinating, too. It was the 1960s Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom come to life!

The accompanying pics are, of course, the two lionsn, and the other is the leopard in the tree with his kill dinner hanging down on the right.

Lessons from today? #1. Some times we hang around waiting, waiting for things to improve, change or get more exciting, at work or in life, and things never really shift at all (the lions just kept sleeping, three times longer than they were supposed to, and, #2. Sometimes if you are willing to give up on something that's not paying off, and move on, you end up getting the BIG, elusive reward further down the road!

As for now? It's midnight Fri. Up at 5:30 am for a 6:30 am Sat. Morning safari. Must get to bed now...hoping to see zebras and elephants tomorrow! Signing off now from Kenya's spectacular Masai Mara reserve. I welcome your own metaphoric insights on my experiences and contemplations of this day. Night night now,

Nina