Thursday, April 30, 2009

Over the desert and through the oasis, to Kalacha town we go

Every year, all the missionaries in Northern Kenya get together in Kalacha, about a three hour drive north of Korr and very close to the Ethiopian border, for a retreat. I made arrangements for other teachers to cover my classes, and I got to go along, too.

We set out after lunch on Monday, and just a few minutes into our drive we saw them – ostriches! Tons of them! There was a big… herd? gaggle? chain gang? of teenagers who were still grey and kind of shaggy (typical!) but a ways onwards there was a mama and papa ostrich with a little baby. We slowed the car to get a better look, but still we spooked them. The papa ostrich spread out his wings and started running away from the mama and baby in an attempt to distract us. Apparently, an ostrich will even fall to the ground and play dead so that a would-be predator will come after him instead of the baby (but look out when you get close! You’re in for a might big kick!). With another small group of teenagers on the road, we drove the car up to them and stopped. “Have you got your camera ready?” I did, and we stepped on the gas and chased them a ways before they all scattered. I know, I know, PETA would kill me, but chasing ostriches across the desert in a land cruiser? AWESOME!

In an hour and a half or so, we reached the Chalbi desert...

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