Posted by: thebluemusicblog | April 30, 2012


Kenya is a beautiful land, breathtakingly beautiful and with National Parks full of wildlife of all kinds.

After the executive Committee meeting in Nairobi was over, I participated in a meeting around Sudan and South Sudan and how YMCA activities can be organised in the two countries. Leaders from both countries gave interesting information about the situation just now. Only a few days after this meeting we could see hostile military activities escalating between Sudan and South Sudan. We can only hope for a peaceful development in the weeks and months to come.  It is a very different feeling to read world news when you just have sat face to face with good friends and know that they may be affected personally by the news.

The next day Africa Alliance started its Executive Committee meeting, and I had the opportunity to say a warm thank you to James and Carlos and all the leaders from Africa who had made the Stakeholders meeting such a good experience for all of us.

Then it was time to get outside of the meeting rooms and hotels and dive into the jungle of Lake Nakuru National park, three hours drive from Nairobi.

Only Ingunn and I and a driver with lots of knowledge of the wildlife and the nature. The first afternoon we saw some huge rhinos, and experienced something quite special, a baby rhino being breastfed by the mother rhino! Rather complicated procedures with those very special noses!

The buffaloes are some of the most dangerous and aggressive animals there are, and having them staring at us from a couple of metres distance only, was a chilling experience, I have to admit!

Monkeys and antelopes of different kinds surrounded us in abundance.

Zebras were playing with one another in big flocks, seeing all those zebras really brought me back to childhood memories of circus animals.

We spent the night in a lodge deep inside the jungle, and the sound of the jungle at night is something I never have experienced. It was like a wild cacophony of screams and thousands of different sounds of animals hunting or being hunted, fighting for their lives or attacking in aggressive wildness. Total darkness and this roaring sound – it was an experience of a lifetime!

Next morning we drove further into the jungle and our very observant driver and guide discovered signs of lions. The first sign for our driver was an impala standing paralyzed  fifty metres away from us. We were of course not able to read those signs, but our driver told us that the impala had seen the lions and the impala was observed himself by the lions. There was contact and paralyzing fear.

After a few minutes we saw the lions. I counted ten lions. Beautiful, majestic animals, kings of the jungle.  Here we could observe the result of last nights screaming and hunting and fighting, a buffalo had become the breakfast for this group of lions, and some of the lions were still eating while we watched, others were lying down, full and satisfied. And no appetite for the paralyzed impala!

My favourite animal in the jungle is the giraffe. They are not aggressive at all, they look so kind and friendly and when they move, they are the most elegant animals I have ever seen. We saw flocks of twenty-thirty giraffes and enjoyed some very close encounters with them.

The birdlife around the lakes was exceptional. Flamingos and pelicans became our favourites, colourful and elegant and in big numbers.

We had had 10 days of meetings in Nairobi, including different groups of people and different topics to discuss. But the overall theme had been Youth Empowerment in the YMCA.  We reached very good results, and the outcome of the different meetings became very encouraging. It was a fantastic feeling to take these inspirational results and digesting them and reflecting over them at the same time as Africa opened up its wildlife and its overwhelming, generous nature.

The meetings in Nairobi will stay with me for a very long time, as well as the encounters with lions and giraffes and beautiful flamingos. And the old buffalo with a friendly bird on top of him.

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