June 30, 2012

Our Adventure: Tanzania 2012

Day 5    6/13/12

We woke up snuggling our hot water bottles this morning :)  They were laying in our beds filled with super hot water when we came in last night (we're at a really high altitude and it gets quite chilly at night, it was nice to have a warm bed to get into!)  We had a pleasant breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and fresh fruit before our morning devotions, then we headed out for a game drive.
First we went to lake Manyara.
   

We saw a ton of baboons - and lots of baby ones!  We also got pretty close to some elephants, saw lots of impala, some giraffes, warthogs, dik-diks, jackals & hippos.
    
 Blue Monkeys                                                           Baby Baboons



We had a picnic lunch at a pretty overlook before heading to Tarangire.
 
We got to Tarangire around 2pm and checked in.  Oh. My. Gosh.  The tents all overlook the amazing plains and you can see the elephants & giraffes and everything right from the front door of the tent!

     
AND there are fields behind us! We saw some dik-diks & gazelles back there... and some 'evidence' (we'll call it) of elephants!  There aren't any fences or anything - the animals roam freely.  The only thing separating us from the animals was our tent - and the armed guards! So we settled in for a little while and a few people took a quick dip in the pool - I didn't because of Owen's whole water-scares-the-heebie-jeebies-out-of-him thing he's going through right now.  We headed out for a sunset game drive around 4pm.  Right away we saw two lionesses laying under a tree with 4 little lion cubs!
They were SO cute!  It was the first time we'd seen lion cubs and they were playful and adorable!  Kind of a bummer they were about 15 yards away, but it was neat to see them nonetheless.  We also saw more elephants, pretty close up, some giraffes, zebras, lots of impalas, a really big monitor lizzard, a huge herd of buffalo, baboons, birds, a jackal, dik-diks, water buck, an African fishing eagle, blue monkeys, a ton of storks and an awesome, awesome sunset.
 
It started out this yellow-orange color and turned to this amazing pink and purple sky-painting.  How amazing it was to see God's artistry!




When we got back it was dinnertime.  I ordered the vegetable mussaka with green beans, sweet potatoes and rice.  It was pretty much amazing.  Seriously, SO good.  Dessert was chocolate cake, it wasn't bad, not like the chocolate cake in the states though.  the waitstaff were all 'oohing' and 'aahhhing' over Owen the entire time.  It was cute. It's been so neat to see him interact with everyone.  He makes friends everywhere we go.  He's gotten to like our driver, Eric, a lot.  He was whining and lunging for him today during the drive & Eric (who's equally enamored with Owen) kept telling me, "Just let him come," (meaning let him come up and sit on his lap while he drove).  I finally let Owen go up front and he helped Eric drive for about 5 minutes.
 
He thought that was pretty cool.  He likes the other driver Kasey a lot too - he was showing him how to read the maps when we first got to Tarangire. :)

I've really enjoyed getting to know the team better on safari.  We kind of have to since we're in a car with each other for a good 8 hours a day, there's no escaping!  I feel like I connected with Taylor a lot - she's a really sweet girl, very mature for her age.  She's just getting into photography so it was fun to connect with her on that.  I feel like I got close to Marilyn pretty quick too - we seemed to click really well.  I'm sure the fact that we're both moms, teachers and have hearts for Africa helped :) I'm kinda bummed she's going to be living in Texas because I think we could be good friends.  I'm also hoping that Aimee & I don't loose touch once we get back.  Spending so much time with them has reminded me how much we all have in common and how fun it is to hang out with them :)