The last day? Really? Going home tonight? I guess it's time...I have probably spent enough days out on the Serengeti marveling at amazing animals...enough to satisfy me for a while, anyway. But the whole experience has been so educational, fun, and downright thrilling, that I hate to see it end.
First up today: a drive through the big city. Looks like there are weaver birds in Nairobi too.
It's a big, bustling city with lots of new construction.
And even some weird construction.
Some of it's pretty.
Big and fancy.
And ongoing. Kip says he hardly recognizes the Nairobi of his younger days anymore.
But note that the nice places all sit behind iron fences and have guards at the gates.
There's a noticeable disparity between the haves and the have-nots here. Kinda like Memphis, come to think of it.
Something's going on down there.
Let's go out on this public terrace and have a look.
They're having an open-air concert down there by the tents and on the big stage.
That's a fancy bank. Before it was blown up by terrorists in 1998, the US Embassy sat below that building. The embassy is now located about 12 km outside the city.
Can you see the stage through the leaves?
Maybe this will help. Let's take in a panoramic view while we listen to the pretty music.
The building with the sloping roof is where the Kenyan Parliament meets.
Look out for Mr. Stork, a persevering chap...
He'll come along and drop a bundle in your lap....
Iron gates and guards everywhere.
This was the site of the US Embassy in Kenya.
Until Osama Bin Laden blew it up in 1998.
Now it's a peace park behind iron gates.
Just another big bustling city.
Kip cautioned us not to take pictures of government buildings.
Buildings that looked like Apollo moon capsules weren't off limits, though.
Nor were churches.
Just please, whatever you do, don't take a picture of the Office of the Governor.
Road Scholar knows its customers and their touristy desires. So a last-minute stop at an upscale souvenir shop was on the schedule for today. Remember how I passed up those trinkets on the first day out? Well, here's my last chance to buy something I don't need.
Just look at all the stuff.
Want to take home your very own elephant? You've come to the right place.
They're here in every pose imaginable.
Some are big and all are expensive.
Bill wouldn't buy any of this kitsch.
His highly developed sense of style and taste would never allow it.
Let the other Road Scholars spend their money on this stuff. Bill's not even thinking it over.
So much to choose from.
Wait a minute...did somebody package up a souvenir for Bill?
Yep, he succumbed and now he has his very own cheetah to display at home.
And now, along with a gazillion other tourists, we've arrived at our final touristy stop of the trip.
It's a baby elephant sanctuary of some sort. Looks like every foreigner in Nairobi wants to see a baby elephant today.
Yep, every single one.
Oh boy, orphan elephants.
At least the orphan elephant blankets are pretty.
After all those days of observing elephants, babies included, out in the wild, in their natural habitat, now I'm supposed to be interested in seeing a few in captivity.
Am I sounding snarky about all this?
Yeah, probably. I mean, sure, I'm happy that orphaned elephants have a happy home.
But watching them guzzle elephant baby formula out of giant baby bottles turns out not to be of much interest to me. But just so you know, this is how it works.
Awww. And glug glug.
There they are.
Being as cute as baby elephants can be.
Posing for the tourists.
And slurping away.
Everybody seems to be loving this.
Except for him. Yeah, he's smiling, but that's all for show.
He'd rather nap with the warthogs.
Or say a little prayer.
So considering Bill's attitude about this, it's embarrassing to report that after sitting around for an hour waiting to leave, he finally walked over to the rope and became engrossed in the proceedings.
And while all this was going on, the other Road Scholars all walked to the bus, thinking Bill had gone on ahead.
But no, he was still back here snapping pictures of baby elephants.
Last day, last stop, and Bill, hoping in vain to actually lay his hand on a real elephant, finally got lost from the group. Kip had to come back and find him. How embarrassing!
But it all worked out. We went off to have a very nice final al fresco luncheon.
Good food with all my new friends.
So it's all over now and we're heading home and ... why is this man smiling?
Marsha, Jim and Donna.
Kip, Mandy, Myras and Kathy.
Hating to say goodbye.
But loving the time they've had together.
The biggest slum in Kenya is behind that wall.
And a flight home is behind those traffic barriers. Greatest trip ever? Better than the Galapagos/Ecuador trip? Better than Bhutan? No...but on a par. This has all been amazing and unforgettable and golly I wish I could do it all again for the first time.