Posted by: Suzan | February 18, 2011

A British Style Respite in the Heart of Kenya


Part 4, Bogoria, Kenya, Kembu Cottages

At the end of a full day of bouncing around in the back of the Land Cruiser, near sunset, we arrived at Kembu Cottages. Our abode for the night was named Acacia after the world’s largest Acacia tree which grew right outside of our door. Our private brick patio encased by glass overlooked delectable English gardens including bougainvillea, cacti, and a purple lilac bush. Running about were our very own pets for the stay; a Dachshund, Great Dane, and a Terrier mix that waved their tails and barked in unison, begging for our attention. 

Yet I found the greatest highlight inside. A four-poster canopy bed so we could sleep on an actual mattress, and even together, after many nights on twin cots. The blue ceramic tiled tub with hot artesian well water, with a real toilet by its side had my heart sing. After so many days without a bath and using many varieties of slits in the ground as toilets; I felt as if I’d arrived in Nirvana. Isn’t it amazing how the simple things of life which we may take for granted suddenly become so important? Who knew that being clean can be considered a luxury. Nearly two months after this trip I’m still in awe of real toilets and running water.

 I got out of the tub eager to put on my one feminine outfit. We were going to ‘dress’ for dinner. I’d noticed most of my dreams were about my women friends. I found myself craving femininity. All of the guides were males from more male-dominated cultures; the testosterone seemed overwhelming at times. Yet this experience helped me to appreciate my women friendship connections even more. 

Then I heard rattling and moving of chairs on our enclosed patio. Jim was dressing near me so I knew it wasn’t him. We peeked through the curtains and saw a man fiddling with our table. Jim walked out and discovered we were being served dinner in our room which would turn out to be several courses by candlelight with fresh red roses. The pearly gates had assuredly opened. What a delight! 

We were surprised again at 6:30 am by a young woman who knocked at the door to take away our former dishes. She brought in fresh assorted tropical fruit, oatmeal and other cereals, tea and coffee and then asked, “How would you like your eggs?” 

Next came omelettes with stewed tomatoes, bacon and toasted homemade bread with gooseberry jam. The owner, Brian, checked on us and we found out that this had been his grandmother’s estate which had gone into disarray. He’d grown up on this dairy farm and inherited the place a couple years prior completely updating it to its current grandeur.

 7:30 a.m. came all too early for us. Time to pack up the Land Cruiser and head off again toward more camping adventures. We gathered up all of our clothes which we had washed in Woolite in the tub, still soaked of course. We’d hang them up at our next destination, a protocol we created so we could at least wear clean clothes.

 We gave a last pat to the dogs and shook Brian’s hand. As we drove off toward our next destination, the Masai Mara Reserve, I took in one more deep quenching breathe of this immensely beautiful and relaxing respite. It is so vital to our well-being to take some time for rest. It is like the space between the musical notes for the musician which creates harmony; the time between lifts for the gym warrior that evolves strength; and the pause in between breathes as our hearts beat.

 **If you would like to read the prior essays on our African adventures; please scroll down.








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