Let the 2011 challenge begin!
Yesterday, our entire 3 Peaks 3 Weeks team finally came together at the Heron Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a very long day of travelling for some and for all and was an exciting event to meet face-to-face! Luckily, despite all of the weather issues in Europe, canceled flights and delayed flights, the entire team arrived safely with all luggage in hand! Lynne, Kaitlyn and Sarah were the last to arrive around 11pm, but none-the-less full of energy and greeted by a few other team members jet-lagged and able to stay up late to welcome them. Many others had retired because we had an early wake-up call and a jam-packed day ahead.
This morning we woke up to bird cries and the sounds of Nairobi traffic. After breakfast we set out for a tour of Nairobi – our first stop to a bead factory called Kazuri, a swahili word meaning something little and beautiful. Women work at this factory and make the beads by hand. To our surprise, the majority of women employed at the factory are single mothers who are not only provided with work, but also with a health care package. Some of the older women have worked there for more than 25 years! If making beads is your passion – Kazuri would be a dream job! All of their employees and their families are supported not only with healthcare but with the ebbs and flows of life in general. Of course, we bought plenty of items in the bead shop to support this initiative.
After that we visited an elephant orphanage. The baby elephants are rescued from abandonment or from the sides of their poached mothers and brought to this refuge by Kenya’s Wildlife Service (KWS). They rest in stalls at night to keep them safe from predators and during the day they are taken out to the refuge to wander together. They are fed several times a day by bottle and they play in a small pond in front of many tourists. They are very cute and friendly, plunging themselves into the mud to wallow and keep cool. When they are 5 – 10 years of age, the elephants are released, as a family or group, to the wild – and incredible effort!
We then had lunch and a briefing regarding our first climb – Mt Kenya. Though it is still a couple days away, we are eagerly anticipating the start.
Tomorrow, we have a five hour drive to the base of Mt. Kenya. All of us ladies, feel excited and ready to climb. Nairobi has been a great welcome but we are ready to press on and head toward the mountain.
Many thanks to all who are following/supporting us and please keep reading for more to come from the 4th annual 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge.
– Sarah Kaczor, 2011 team member