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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Nairobi, Kenya

Jan 23, 2015 - Day 9, the return to Nairobi

Today we woke up and went to visit the ellies at Ithumba for one last goodbye, and Kristin was disappointed that the elephant she helped rescue over 9 years ago, "Chaimu", did not come to visit. Then just as we were ready to leave, we got a call from Benjamin, the head keeper at Ithumba, that Chaimu decided to show up with a few friends and could we hurry back to see her. Of course we quickly jumped in the Land Rover and returned to the stockades only to find that she had left. However, Benjamin was off in the bush, hollering for us to find...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 23, 2015 - Next to last day!

Today was filled with lots of business-y stuff to do- meeting with accountants and staff members about various business operations. I then went out into the bush to meet up with the 3 smallest babies we have that are 3-5 months old: Ndotto, Lasayen, and Hapsini. Hapsini is the newest arrival and has some painful wounds from falling into a well. He had a rough day yesterday with some diarrhea and is starting to lose condition. He is worrying the keepers, but had a better day today so we are hoping he is turning a corner. For baby elephants,...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 22, 2015 - Day 6, but day 1 at Ithumba

Today we woke up late and learned that Humphrey, our helicopter pilot was feeling quite bad. It turns out that he has malaria! Everyone is surprised as it’s not very common to get it. We had Nick, the airplane pilot fly us to Ithumba to see the orphan unit there. When we arrived, we drove up to the new lodge, called Ithumba Hills camp, which has 4 bungalows all built into the hillside. But they are all platforms, and on the platforms are little thatched huts that have large tents built into them, which are about the size of a standard hotel...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 22, 2015 - Day 8, an epic rescue story

Today was a huge day. We got word early in the morning that the team was going to try and dart that large bull we saw yesterday with the side wound. I was invited to tag along and fly with Nick to see the mobile vet unit in action. Nick picked me up around 8:00 AM and we flew to the meeting spot where we waited for Dr. Poghorn and the vet team to arrive. We flew over the spot we were yesterday to verify he was still there, and he was just a little bit farther south. When the team arrived, we hopped in the car, with the plan to dart the...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 22, 2015 - Day 7-Ithumba again

This morning I woke up early and was picked up by Nick Trent, one of DSWT’s pilots. We flew around in his two-seater plane (me sitting right behind him) all over Tsavo east. We flew for about an hour, then Nick stopped on an old runway for us to stretch and have tea together. It’s funny how British people are so serious about sticking to tea time.Nick told me a lot about his life as a pilot, his kids, and what it was like working for the Shedricks. He then saw a large termite mound (they are like ant hills but are about 10 feet tall with...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 18, 2015 - Day 5, for real

Today was a very eventful day. We started off by taking the helicopter (again, I know such a rough life) over to Voi to see the original stockades there and also where Daphne's original house was. It was neat to see the area that Daphne and David lived and where Angela was born and raised. When we were flying in we saw a herd of elephants that had a very small baby with them. One of our ex-orphans, Emily recently gave birth to a baby girl, Emma, and we wondered if that was her and our group of ex-orphans. We landed the helicopter and on the...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 18, 2015 - Day 4, also a few days late, due to no internet

Day 4: We woke up this morning and went for a helicopter ride-my first helicopter ride ever- across the Chulu mountain range. The sight was breathtaking. So much lush, green forest in one area, then open plain with scattered trees in others. The Chulu area has many old volcanos, one as recent as 500 years old. There was old, black lava that would stretch for miles where the volcano once erupted. It was neat to see small trees pushing their way through the molten rock, growing once again. I was surprised that we saw almost no wildlife....

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 18, 2015 - Day 3, a few days late

Today I woke up and we jumped in the car with Robert CH to pick up Kristin Davis at her hotel. It was great to see Kristin, especially after our big win with Crowdrise. We went to a small airport called “Wilson” where we boarded a 13 passenger plane and flew to the Kibwezi Forest which is being managed by DSWT. Here there is a small rehab center with now 8 elephants (3 were transported from the nursery today to begin their acquisition back out into the wild.) We landed safely in the middle of a grassy field and hopped into another vehicle...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 15, 2015 - Full day #2

Today was just as much fun. I went into town just down the way to help Angela with the grocery shopping for our big trip to Umani Springs tomorrow. Everyone is extremely friendly and their produce is wonderful. So many fresh things to eat! I spent about 2 hours with the babies once again- it's fascinating to see each of their personalities, and how very jealous some of them get when you stop giving them attention and move on to another one. Sometimes they can surprise you with their insistence that you continue to let them suckle your...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 14, 2015 - Day 1- Mel meets the babies

I didn't sleep much last night- I think the excitement of the unknown and knowing I would get to come face to face with an elephant the next day was the reason. I woke up this morning to birds chirping in the background- much like the ones at home but a totally different tune. Just as pleasant, however. After a breakfast with Angela, I was introduced to the many different staff members and got the lay of the land. There are lots of people buzzing about, and the Sheldricks have people for everything. People to do the cleaning, the gardening,...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Jan 13, 2015 - Hold the phone... I'm in AFRICA

I made it! The local time is just after 12:00 AM on Weds morning, and I left LA Sunday night. It's quite a trek to get here but even in the 30 minutes I've been settled, it is absolutely worth it. The plane ride was extra bumpy which prompted a quick talking to with God, and here I am safe and sound. I was greeted within 5 minutes of getting off the plane by airport personnel who had a sign, and instantly whisked me away to a "special" customs line where I was taken directly to the front of a line of about 400 people. I felt bad... for...

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Mel goes to Kenya

Dec 16, 2014 - 28 November - Nairobi, Kenya

End of the trip and time to say goodbye to our travelling companions. People are leaving at different times during the day - we have another day here so will visit a giraffe breeding centre tomorrow before getting ready to go to the airport for the long trip back to Australia. We are looking forward to getting home and seeing the family again after our three months away.

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