Author: Yellow Duckie
I can't help but to notice the obituary section in the newspaper as the titles given does not quite show any sign of grief to the deceased but rather a celebration of life. It usually reads...

"Promotion to Glory"
"Celebrating Life"
"Celebrating A life Well-lived"
"Celebration of the Life of an Angel"

Their outlook of death is pretty much shaped by the major religion in this country: Christianity, as death of a physical body is the birth of an eternal life in Christ. Perhaps it is also a way to cover their grief of the loss of their beloved ones.
Author: Yellow Duckie

Author: Yellow Duckie
Apart from the safari, one should never leave kenya without tasting the famous BBQ goat: Nyama Choma ( and no, I am not swearing).

Roast Goat is what a Nyama choma is all about. Initially I was a little skeptical about trying the authentic Nyoma Choma as I have had quite an unpleasant experience (tasteless and chewy meat) in Carnivore, the famous Nyama Choma restaurant. However, I am glad I tried the real deal.

Although some parts of the meat is chewy, it was compensated with the tasty meal that was slowly grilled in the open fire till perfection. You can taste the smoked aroma of the charcoal that gives the taste of the meat a positive kick! Dip it with a little bit of salt and you'll have your taste bud twirling in wild fantasy.

And the price.. definitely a lot cheaper than in Carnivore. Only 400 KSH (Kenyan Shilling) per kg and 700 KSH for the whole chicken!

Steps to enjoy your choma:
Step 1: Select your choice of meat from the butchery (from now on, you can sit back and relax)

Step 2: Let the chef does his magic...

Step 3: Let the expert serve you

Step 4: Enjoy it with your favourite beverage

Tusker is a kenyan locally brewed beer. Not that I enjoy beer but I've included the tusker in this pic to amplify the kenyan touch.
Author: Yellow Duckie
First you learn the swahili names of the animals

Tembo (Elephant)
Simba (Lion)
Puma or Chui (Leopard)
Kifaru (Rhinoceros)
Nyamu Ngunihi (Hippopotamus)
Punda Milia (Zebra)
Punda (Donkey)
Farasi (Horse)
Nyani (Baboon)
Twiga (Giraffe)
Sware (Gazelle)
Nyati (Buffalo)
Author: Yellow Duckie
My dear friend said that her first few days in Nairobi is like being in a glass, shielded away from the real Kenya life. I have to admit I totally agreed with her. Not until I had the priviledge to visit Mukuyuni Village (near Kangundo) that I realised, I have not seen Kenya.

Breakfast at Thadeus' (our host) brother's chapati shop

Situated about 1 hour drive from Nairobi, a dear friend of ours showed us what life in kenya really is. The adventure began at his farm where you will be greeted by his Grandmother, who finds it hard to part with her life working in the farm that in her old age now, her family members will sometimes need to come and look for her at the field as she may conveniently forgets to come home.

Granny at work :)

The Coffee
Thadeus was giving us a tour of his parent's first house which started with just a single unit and now has expanded to a couple of building around the area.

Thadeus' dad's first unit

Mixed beans in the kitchen
We had the pleasure of having a real kenyan lunch: githiri (mixed beans boiled with green), tomato soup and rice.

We had quite a heart warming experience when we visited the nearby school. It's quite an ironic scenario: School at its obvious state of poverty and a bunch of smiling school children.

The teacher's room is in quite a sorry state that it would have been easily mistaken to be an unused store room in the backyard. The classroom itself is filled with tables that I thought was made out of the mandarin orange boxes.
Despite the lack of facilities for the school, the children, although some were clad in torn uniforms and barefooted, they seems to be oblivion of their lackings. Either that, they were simply too overwhlem by the presence of two Japanese (as I was told Asian are not qualified to be called Mzungu but known as Japanese). I believe it was the latter. There were some kind souls that have donated a couple of computers to the school but the sad fact is that there is no electricity that reaches the school area yet.

At the end of our visit, we were then taken to a cliff in Kanzalu . The hike towards the cliff was too much of an adventure for a weak heart, that's us, the "Japanese". Both of us were cladded in our hiking boots, else our tour guide was only in their slippers but they seems to be strolling easily on the tiny path that requires its tracker to be precise on their steps and we were both holding on to every single branch for our dear life. An inch off track, you'll be rolling down the ravine. Despite the "adventurous" trail, it was all worthwhile.
Thadeus, our host, is placing quite a heavy burden on his shoulder to improve life of his village in Mukuyuni. He has explained about the works he has done, in bringing electricity to the village, building water resevoir for the animals and plants, spreading IT knowledge to the school and etc. It's funny how we, who have enjoyed all these facilities in our life, has indeed taken these for granted and others in the under developing country is striving to get it. If you would like to give any form of assistance, you are more than welcome to.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Out of so many ancient town I have visited, I have to admit there is absolutely nothing like Lamu. The reason why I choose to visit Lamu is to experience the ultimate coastal life of kenya and I was not quite prepared to what I was about to experience...a couple of days living in a live museum.

The beauty of the ancient town of Lamu can be seen right for the shore of Manda Island (where the air strip is). With just less than 10 mins boat ride from Manda Island, it will take you to the busy port of Lamu. The moment we step foot onto the Lamu Port, i felt as though time has been reversed and the re-enactment of the coastal arabic town comes to life. The bustling port were filled with loads of people offering their dhows to take you on a safari ride or across to the islands nearby.
You will soon find yourself walking amongst the donkeys along the shoreline of the island and the hustle bustle of the busy port is overwhelming. Threading on the dusty lane filled with "traps"(donkey dung), we were really hoping hard that the nicest building we saw from the sea would be the hotel which we are going to lay our heads on...thank God it was.
Here in Lamu, the Swahili architecture, design and style is manifested all over the town. It is indeed a feast to the eyes , especially a virgin eye towards the swahili culture. The wooden doors of Lamu are heavily crafted with flora design and sometimes even with verses from the Quran.
One of the interesting fact I've learnt of the swahili design is the hole in the wall. In a swahili house, in the room behind, there is usually a wall with holes (resembles little gate) where the lady of the house will keep their Chinaware in each of the hole. It is said that this is to protect the house from the evil spirits. If ever any of the chinaware is broken, it is said that the evil spirit has been sucked in and leave the house free from it.
Just like back in those days, the core source of economy of this town is wood carving, fishing and of course, now, tourism. The architecture and interior of the buildings are so well preserved that it literally makes no difference between what is within the museum and what's out there. I wonder why we even bother paying 500 KSH to visit the museum.

Wood Carving
I read an article about having some of these "ruins" being purchased by foreigner where they refurbished it to a beautiful vacation home. They battled between the issue of selling their ancestral property to a foreigner and keeping it. The earlier has proven to provide the owner the capital for a sustainable income when they invest it in something else.
In the midst of this ancient town, somehow there are one or two hang out place which you are comfortable with and I must admit that it shelters you from the reality behind the walls of the courtyard. For us it was our hotel, The Lamu House ( and the Whispers Cafe. The reality was too harsh to be digested.
Lamu House
Poor sanitation is of a major concern here in Lamu. In the midst of the refurbished buildings, stood building where time has eaten away it's youth and resembles a war-torn country. As we venture further into the town, truth revealed itself. The house's condition of the villagers simply cannot hide their state of poverty.

Many has come to Lamu and stayed at Shela beach where it is a beach seekers paradise.However, due to the poor sanitation in Lamu, I can't help be to be disgusted and would rather die than dipping myself in the water. Shela is within walking distance to Lamu (about 40 mins). My advise for those who seeks a tranquil beach vacation, stay at Shela and make a day trip to Lamu.
As much as I have loved this place in the beginning when I first arrived, I have find that the harsh reality of life here is simply appalling.
"Watoto wangu wawili kutwa wagombana bali usiku hulala salama salimini - Mlango" ( My two children quarrel all day but sleep peacefully together at night - the two halves of a door) Swahili Proverbs
Author: Yellow Duckie
Known to many as the "Italian" town as this is a favourite spot for many of the Italians. I must admit that I was preparing for a "zanzibar" experience. Instead of the white sandy beach and clear turquoise water we were greeted by a run down town and a beach piled up with sea weed. This is the first African coast town visited by the great explorer, Vasco Da Gama.

There is practically nothing to do in Malindi except to lead a "pole pole" (slow) lifestyle and do absolutely nothing. Word of advise: find an excellent resort and chill out there. I was disappointed with our choice as the accommodation condition was below my expectation, it reminded me a lot of those budget Port Dickson resort (beach in Malaysia).

The town itself has nothing much to offer and what fascinates me is the buildings in town. It reflects the Arabic architecture and I must admit that the House of Column, which is also the National Museum of Malindi is a great building whereby you can catch the coastal house structure. Although what they seems to boast about in the museum was the mysteriously catch : Coelancanth fish, we nevertheless got a great tour of the museum from Salim (caretaker of the museum).
First Church in Malindi planted by the Portuguese
For those that are bored of pasta and pizza, I would strongly recommend a dinner at "The Old Man and the Sea". Adopted its name from Ernest Hemingway's book, this place offers great seafood and gives you a taste of the Swahili house architecture.

Since we were not in the mood for a beach vacation (wrong place to be...I know) so we made some excursions from Malindi:
Hell's kitchen
This place got it's name from the heat which one could experience once you explore within the wonderful soil formation. The work of nature can never be questioned and I will not attempt to explain how it happened but whatever that happened, it has definitely got a great sense of creativity. The hiking trip takes about 40 -45 mins and it is quite an interesting journey as you will come across the interesting geographical features.

Natural Cosmetics: Used by the Masai to colour their skin

Gede Ruins
Reminded me a lot of the ruins in Cambodia, the Gede ruins is actually the ruins of one of the oldest town in Kenya. It is interesting how a town can be abandon just like that. The theory that sticks to my head (there are actually 3 theories) is that this town received the attack from the Portuguese because they were suspected be to involved with the rebel group against the them.

Funny thing is that, there are no recorded documentation about the existence of this town. This explains a lot that the function of each room is determined by what is found there and also through tales from the town folks nearby.
Author: Yellow Duckie
After so many safari trips, I have to admit that all I was seeking from this trip is a relaxing time at a luxury tent and at Karen Blixen Camp, you have it all. Although I must admit that this is probably not the most luxurious camp in Masai Mara but it was good enough. It is in this tent that I literally bath underneath the sky smeared with thousands of stars above my head... I was so mesmerized by the sight of it that the chill air did not seem to bother me.

Karen Blixen Camp
The landscape of Masai Mara was surprisingly quite different from Serengeti ( as I would thought that they are the same). The vast land were surrounded by the mountains which gives this place a slightly different look compare to Serengeti. Instead of the umbrella Acacia which is commong in Serengti, Masai Mara carries a different type of acacia which is rounded and appears neatly arranged in the field.
Like mentioned, after so many safari trip, the animals no longer fascinates me, instead is was the landscape of Masai Mara that hold my attention. It is no wonder that out of so many safaris, Masai Mara is well known... for its beauty.

Last Sunset of Year 2008

First Sunrise of Year 2009

First Sunset of Year 2009