Travel #7: Kenya and Tanzania: Researching, Lecturing, and Being on Safari- 2014

March 29, 2020

I went to East Africa to research for the second edition of Africa, A Teacher’s Guide to help teachers bring African geography, history, and culture to children of all ages.

Highlights of the first week included: sleeping in a boma on the edge of the wildlife park, meeting students, teachers, and parents at the Mbagathi Steiner School and the Nairobi Waldorf School, visiting friends, orphanages, a preschool in the Mukuru slum, and America Shares project for making sanitary napkins for girls.

Meeting the children in the Mukuru slum.


As I checked into the Intercontinental Hotel to begin the safari, I unfortunately, put my money belt in my pocket. An hour later, I discovered it wasn’t there. Over the next 18 hours, the security guards stripped my room, sure I had mislaid it, checked everywhere, drove me to the American Embassy to get a temporary passport and visas, and we returned just in time to meet my trip companion Paula Sullivan and fly to the Masai Mara. Two years later, the Embassy returned my money belt, complete with original passport, credit cards, driver’s license, visas, just no cash.

Our guide Augustine Minja was superb as he led us through experiences I will never forget. I felt we touched the soul of this great land.




From my journal, April 1-2, 2014.

Woke up around 6 am. The sunshine was glorious like the awakening of the world after creation. We packed and went for breakfast where we were inspired to sing “Morning has broken like the first morning. . . . “

As we headed out in the Ngorogoro Highlands we met some giraffes. About an hour or so later, we came upon a male lion protecting the female. We didn’t expect lions. We thought today would be a giraffe day. However, about an hour after that we came upon a cheetah with her four cubs. What a wonderful sight! All of this was before lunch. We visited the Oldupai Gorge site and small museum. The lady gave a good talk about the different layers of soil and what was found in each. It is important to keep in mind that there was the volcanic eruption, then soil erosion, and then earthquake. These have shaped the gorge.

We had a picnic lunch, and then we proceeded through the National Park. We saw two lionesses in a tree, one on the right side and later on the left side, very close to the road. We saw a leopard lying on a horizontal branch of a tree. What a day!

Serengeti is nine times the size of Massai Mara. It means “Endless Plains” which is so fitting as there is grassland as far as we can see – an archetypal African site. After leaving the Park we saw hippos.

After a long ride, we arrived at Serengeti Simba Lodge. A gorgeous place at the top of a hill. It’s just beautiful. Paula and I are in room Cheetah. From our porch, we look over the plains, dotted with bushes.