Next morning our taxi driver from the night before was there right on time at 6:30 am to catch our plane for our short flight to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Unfortunately, the famous mountain was completely clothed in clouds, so we missed the view.
Safely through customs, all bags arrived, we went to meet Amanda and Bill Batterson and their son Owen who were waiting just outside. They were very happy to have the suitcase full of supplies we brought for them. And we were almost as happy to be doing it for them. So many people have done so much for us over the years, it felt good to make a difference for this young couple we had never previously met.
We kept waiting for our safari guide and finally called the office in Arusha who said they’d check on it. A few minutes later Isaya walked up and said he’d wondered if we were the ones, but it looked like we were being met by someone already. Loaded up and headed out for a very long day of driving, heading through Arusha, across the massive plains dotted with cattle and Maasai tending them, all the way to Olduvai, making a much-anticipated stop at the overlook to the Ngorongoro Crater National Park which was magnificent.
We arrived in Olduvai Camp in time for the famous walk to Sunset Rock just behind the camp. Our Maasai guide named Laurencia (or Lora) was chatty and affable as we climbed up and enjoyed the view. Below us was a boma or Maasai village and lots of Maasai helping to herd the animals in for the night. Lora said they keep the bank (the animals) in the middle of the village, and keep a guard all night. He sat patiently talking and telling us stories for over an hour, including one about the time he killed a lion. I have an idea this was not a tall tale.
Our tent is lovely and comfortable, quite amazing out here in the middle of nowhere.
We are exhausted by dinner, but afterwards decided to sit by the campfire a few minutes with our Maasai friend who was waiting to walk us back to our tent. It was a beautiful, clear, dark night and I pulled out the sky guide app on my iPad to identify the stars and constellations. Laurenica was very interested in this and held it up to the stars, grinning like a kid. He loved seeing the constellations, many of which he could name.
The memory of this man who still lived as his ancestors have for hundreds of years looking with absolute delight at the night sky through this scrap of technology, this picture will stay with me.