Today, we took advantage of two tourist spots in Nairobi, David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust and the Bomas. But, before setting out, we tackled the practical things by withdrawing Kenyan Shillings and treating ourselves at a café. After filling up on much needed caffeine, we reached David Sheldrick’s elephant sanctuary and watched little baby elephants have bottle time. It was so much fun seeing the girls’ delight when the baby elephants came close enough to touch. As adults, they can seem menacing, but as infants, they are the cutest creatures. It’s as if they know that they are the main attraction and relish the attention.
The Wildlife Trust is a sanctuary for orphaned babies who have either been abandoned or orphaned. Various conservation groups throughout Kenya will call the sanctuary when a baby is discovered abandoned or orphaned. Many times, they are in need of desperate care, often coming back from the brink of death. Babies cannot survive without their mother’s milk. But, it was through Daphne Sheldrick’s efforts that they are now able to thrive into adulthood. For years, she painstakingly experimented with the right ingredients, creating the perfect elephant baby formula. Once the elephants’ health is restored and they reach a certain age, they are then reintegrated back into the wild. A great deal of time and patience are required for elephants to reacclimate to the elephant lifestyle, taking between five to 10 years.
After lunch, the girls toured the Bomas, a cultural center housing traditional villages from every part of Kenya. They then watched men and women perform Kenyan dancing. At the end, our girls were invited on stage and enjoyed participating in a dance.
The day continued even after dessert. I think this had to be one of the most memorable events. Caroline Burke ’20 had the brilliant idea of sharing the wackiest candy from the states with the novices and sisters. She had them try “Pop Rocks” and “Cannon Balls.” The girls and sisters roared with laughter watching each other’s expressions with each piece of candy. What great sports the sisters were!
Tomorrow, will be an especially full day. After seeing the giraffes and shopping, we will drive four hours to Nanyuki where our girls will finally meet their Daraja sisters.