Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Fearless Leaders and Caregivers

Our first day at Bogani was a long one - long but satisfying. There was so much "new" to absorb, with little time to do it. After we settled into our new digs, rinsed the Mara dust from our faces and inhaled deeply we relaxed into a delicious lunch served al fresco under the canopy and Mara breezes of our dining porch.
Kim and Mary

Before we ate, Kim - one of our facilitators - introduced Mary, who introduced the meal. Through her wide, glistening smile she gave a run down of the delectables about to be served. This was a ritual that was repeated every meal. Isaiah was our waiter and he worked with Mary to pamper us, filling our glasses with fresh juice and our bowls with desserts and fruit salad. He was Maasai and had large holes in his ears with beaded jewelry in them. We were fascinated by them and he laughed when I told him that Darcy had tried to make bigger holes in her ears too. And then there was Flo - a fantastic, beautiful force of positivity who managed Bogani and took care of our every comfort. She shared so much of herself with us and was a big part of the reason we felt so welcomed and at home there.
Flo, Darcy and Mary

The facilitators were great; intelligent warm and accommodating. We started with Emily and Kim in Nairobi. We left Emily behind and met Michelle at Wilson airport for the flight to the Mara. Kim has been involved with Free the Children since she was twelve years old and is now an accomplished speaker and motivator. Michelle and her husband both work for Free the Children and are raising a son in Nairobi.

Michelle - photo courtesy of Robin Strachan
Cameron rounded out the facilitator team - the sole male amongst a pride of courageous lionesses. He was affectionately called Camaroon by everyone we met. Kim and Cameron were especially supportive of and encouraging to Darcy regarding her interest in international development. The staff worked nonstop and had a way of providing a cohesive foundation for the group.

I couldn't end this post without introducing the four Maasai warriors who accompanied us everywhere and shared their knowledge of the wildlife, plants and culture.
James, Darcy, Jackson, Lyn & Clinton


Now that everyone has been introduced, you can all come along for the rest of the journey - the next best thing to being there.

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