Paul is still sick - he has had "stomach" problems for the past 6 days. He's been taking antibiotics and not eating but is still having "problems" (aka explosive diarrhea). We are suppose to fly in 2 days so that might change depending on Paul's stomach. Awful but at least it isn't the boys (yet).
Today began with the boys taking a donkey ride from our lodge to the local school. Some of the profits the lodge makes goes directly to the school. The school was recently built by the owners of the lodge to help support the local villages. They also supply housing for the teachers. We went to the school on Sunday so we were not able to see inside the classrooms. A lot of people were at the school collecting water in empty buckets to take back to their homes. The school helps provide clean water to all the local villages.
Once the donkey ride was over, the boys had to hike through the valleys of Kilimanjaro. They came within 10 meters of several zebras. It was so much fun to watch the kids trying to sneak up on zebras. We continued to hike towards the lodge. Of course Nash fell asleep on my back. I hiked at least 1 mile with him sleeping on my back. The Maasai guide asked if he could carry him and I told him, "I'm use to it. He does this a lot"!
After we finished our hike, the boys took a chill afternoon playing legos, watching some i pad and then swimming in the pool. I decided to take another hike with a Maasai guide named David. We walked for several miles and he showed me some poisonous and healing plants that the tribe has used for 100's of years. He took his sharp knife and poked at a cactus. The cactus started leaking out some milky looking stuff. He told me they put this on the end of their spear to easily kill a lion. If this gets on your hands and you rub your eye, you will go blind (according to David). I asked him what would happen if I accidentally tasted it? He said, you will die. If it can kill a lion, it can kill you. And this is why we tell the boys not to touch anything when we go hiking in foreign countries.
I also noticed lots of rather large holes in the ground. I asked David what makes those massive holes in the ground? He says, 'We have giant cobras with big heads and they go underground during the day'. Then, he started putting his stick down the hole to see if a snake was there. I quickly screamed 'hapana Asante hapana Asante' which means 'no thank you, no thank you' in Swahili. As we continued our walk, I scared several small Thompson gazelles which were hiding in a bush. I think I jumped and was more spooked than they were!
Even though I have taken several showers, I am still wiping dirt off my hair and skin. Each night Paul has been woken up by the sounds of flapping and flying inside our mud hut. He's pretty convinced it's a bat - birds don't fly at night so I'm sure he's correct. Sadly, this is not the first place we have had bats in our room. At Bashay Rift lodge, we thought it was rats running around in the ceiling but the staff took a nice look around showed us the bats nest in the ceiling and reassured us it was only bats in our room, not rats! Another restful night for Paul!
I must say, waking up to the sun rising above Mt. Kilimanjaro is truly spectacular. It is cold in the morning but perfect for sitting outside with a blanket, hot coffee and watching the sunrise while zebras graze close to us. It is truly amazing how the Maasai are so close to nature. Even though I smell horrible, have dirt all over me, had bugs crawling around our dinner table and bats flying in our room while we sleep - this has been an amazing experience. I truly hope the boys will remember and learn from this.
Oh, yeah, the kids accidentally tried sheep brains. The Maasai warriors were eating it and asked if we wanted to try. Don't worry, both boys chewed for a while and then went behind a bush and spit it out!
Poison from the cactus