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Out of Africa

By Staff | May 10, 2008

Kayla Ulrich, Margaret Harden’s granddaughter, looked at a giraffe her grandparents brought back from their trip to Kenya and Tanzania this past winter. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Estherville Good Samaritan Society residents went on a safari to Africa Friday.

Ray and Margaret Harden of Perry, parents of Kathy Ulrich, who works as a nurse at Good Sam, showed photos of their trip to Kenya and Tanzania Dec. 27-Jan. 17. The Perrys took an extended trip and Ray published a story and photos of their journey in the Des Moines Register.

The Hardens flew from Des Moines to Minneapolis to Amsterdam where they rested for a day before flying on to Nairobi, Kenya. They found themselves in the middle of civil unrest following a disputed election, so they had to stay on the hotel grounds for a day due to political violence. They were soon able to leave, though, and during their tour they visited nine national parks, traveling by jeep, light vehicles, and vans.

Situated right on the equator, the days were a balmy 70-80 while the mornings and nights were cool.

Half the time they stayed in tented camps. It wasn’t as rustic as it sounded, though. The tents had hardwood floors and mesh screen sides.

Ray Harden of Perry, father of Kathy Ulrich, nurse at Estherville Good Samaritan Society, Friday showed Good Sam residents photos of a trip he and his wife, Margaret, took to East Africa. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Sometimes they stayed in lodges, most of which had swimming pools. Their accommodations stood in stark contrast to the mud-and-manure sided village huts.

Most of the lodges had outdoor balconies to enjoy the evening air. Sometimes they ate outdoors where their fare included chicken and beef but not pork which is prohibited in Moslem societies.

Armed guards would escort them when they observed wildlife, or else to ensure there were no problems with Kenya’s civil unrest. The guards carried anything from rifles to spears and traditional tribal clothing was the rule.

Ray said there were several times when they could have reached out and touched wildlife. With wildlife watching safaris taking precedence over killing game, the animals have in fact become relatively tame. They saw many lions from just 15-20 feet away. Ray said animals have the right-of-way on the roads.

Ray showed photos he had taken of an incredible array of wildlife: cheetahs, serval cats, cape buffalo, Thompson’s gazelles, impala, topi, water buck, Churchill’s zebra, spotted hyena, wart hog, hippos, a rhinoceros, olive baboons, reticulated giraffe, Masai giraffe, wildebeest, chimpanzees, vervet monkey, and the list went on.

He also showed photos of a farmer plowing a field with an ox and a steel one-bottom plow, Masai village women, and Masai culture in general.

Ray showed photos of a Masai village where 150 people and 750 cattle shared space inside a fence made of thorned limbs which was closed at night to keep out lions. He also showed photos of men doing a jumping dance and of a Masai wedding between a man of 38 and his 20-year-old bride, his third.

Everyone in the village worked, even the oldest man who was in his 70s who herded cattle every day. Perhaps their boundless energy was due to their diet — milk, blood, and meat.

The Hardens showed residents some of the souvenirs they found on their journey, everything from a traditional tribal mask to a cane.

Everyone went away from their talk with the feeling of having traveled afar.

But it’s good to get home again.

Out of Africa

By Staff | May 10, 2008

Kayla Ulrich, Margaret Harden’s granddaughter, looked at a giraffe her grandparents brought back from their trip to Kenya and Tanzania this past winter. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Estherville Good Samaritan Society residents went on a safari to Africa Friday.

Ray and Margaret Harden of Perry, parents of Kathy Ulrich, who works as a nurse at Good Sam, showed photos of their trip to Kenya and Tanzania Dec. 27-Jan. 17. The Perrys took an extended trip and Ray published a story and photos of their journey in the Des Moines Register.

The Hardens flew from Des Moines to Minneapolis to Amsterdam where they rested for a day before flying on to Nairobi, Kenya. They found themselves in the middle of civil unrest following a disputed election, so they had to stay on the hotel grounds for a day due to political violence. They were soon able to leave, though, and during their tour they visited nine national parks, traveling by jeep, light vehicles, and vans.

Situated right on the equator, the days were a balmy 70-80 while the mornings and nights were cool.

Half the time they stayed in tented camps. It wasn’t as rustic as it sounded, though. The tents had hardwood floors and mesh screen sides.

Ray Harden of Perry, father of Kathy Ulrich, nurse at Estherville Good Samaritan Society, Friday showed Good Sam residents photos of a trip he and his wife, Margaret, took to East Africa. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Sometimes they stayed in lodges, most of which had swimming pools. Their accommodations stood in stark contrast to the mud-and-manure sided village huts.

Most of the lodges had outdoor balconies to enjoy the evening air. Sometimes they ate outdoors where their fare included chicken and beef but not pork which is prohibited in Moslem societies.

Armed guards would escort them when they observed wildlife, or else to ensure there were no problems with Kenya’s civil unrest. The guards carried anything from rifles to spears and traditional tribal clothing was the rule.

Ray said there were several times when they could have reached out and touched wildlife. With wildlife watching safaris taking precedence over killing game, the animals have in fact become relatively tame. They saw many lions from just 15-20 feet away. Ray said animals have the right-of-way on the roads.

Ray showed photos he had taken of an incredible array of wildlife: cheetahs, serval cats, cape buffalo, Thompson’s gazelles, impala, topi, water buck, Churchill’s zebra, spotted hyena, wart hog, hippos, a rhinoceros, olive baboons, reticulated giraffe, Masai giraffe, wildebeest, chimpanzees, vervet monkey, and the list went on.

He also showed photos of a farmer plowing a field with an ox and a steel one-bottom plow, Masai village women, and Masai culture in general.

Ray showed photos of a Masai village where 150 people and 750 cattle shared space inside a fence made of thorned limbs which was closed at night to keep out lions. He also showed photos of men doing a jumping dance and of a Masai wedding between a man of 38 and his 20-year-old bride, his third.

Everyone in the village worked, even the oldest man who was in his 70s who herded cattle every day. Perhaps their boundless energy was due to their diet — milk, blood, and meat.

The Hardens showed residents some of the souvenirs they found on their journey, everything from a traditional tribal mask to a cane.

Everyone went away from their talk with the feeling of having traveled afar.

But it’s good to get home again.