July 10, 2023
Happy 4th of July from Zanzibar!! Today was our first day of Scuba diving and it was a good one! We woke up and had a great breakfast followed by morning huddle led by our LODs, Henry and Meghan! We took a stroll down the beach to our dive center to start our morning of diving! Hayden, Kennedy, Fran, and Mary Teal were all already certified divers so they went out on the boat for some fun dives while everyone else spent their first certification day in the pool learning all there is to know about the art of Scuba! Everyone in the certification classes were rock stars and finished early since they mastered their skills so quickly! Everyone went back to the hotel for lunch while we waited for the girls on the boat dive to come back and Ben made sure to get some well-deserved doughnuts in once he got back! We had a lovely lunch and after, Mary and Mason were the first out on the beach for a little post lunch relaxation! Lucien and Harrison had a blast throwing some frisbee on the white sand beach while the tide was still low! We had an intense game of trivia once everyone got back that Asher did AMAZING at! After another group game of charades, we all took advantage of high tide and got in the ocean for a swim! We had a delicious dinner where we watched our evening entertainment of acrobats! We ended the night laughing together at the dinner table after moonup and got in bed for some much-needed rest before another day of scuba tomorrow!
What a day! Our morning began with an early wake up and breakfast! Then we took our quick beach walk up to the dive center and quickly loaded our boats and hit the water! It was our open water course divers first dive in the ocean! Asher spotted a Lion fish and stone fish on his first dive while Henry found an eel on his second dive! Lucien’s favorite sea creature he saw was the sea cucumber. Kennedy even found some cool sand dollars that she was excited to show us. Mary powered through both dives even after not feeling great at first! We were proud of her resilience and positivity! Mary teal killed it on the dive and had no problem getting through the underwater triangle for the advanced course. Once our day of diving came to an end we headed back to the hotel for lunch and a surprise birthday celebration for Carter’s 22nd. Everyone was stoked to find out we had a few hours to kill before heading to a nice dinner in Stone town! In the meantime, Mary and Meghan got henna tattoos on the beach and Mason bartered for a matching hakuna Matata pants and shirt outfit! Fran and Hayden bought matching cover ups from a beach vendor! They both looked very fashionable so Kennedy got one as well! Before we knew it we were on the bus headed to Stone Town! We stopped at the souvenir shop to look around before dinner. Harrison got some awesome post cards for mementos! We headed to Maru Maru rooftop restaurant dressed in our finest Zanzibar attire (most of which we bought from the beach today). The rest of the evening was spent eating great food, celebrating Carter with another cake, and watching Ben enjoy the dancing spotlight in the middle of the dance floor! It was an awesome night in Zanzibar! We were back on the bus and ended the night with Moonup!
Jambo! We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the beach this morning and headed over to breakfast! Our LODs, Ben and Kennedy led us in morning huddle before walking down the beach to our scuba outfitter for Certification day!! Henry, Asher, and Mason got the group energy up by singing songs and getting everyone dancing before hopping on the boat! The water was a bit choppy today, but spirits were still high! Meghan kept the group laughing with her “Love Island” impressions! We got back to the dive shop and rang the bell to celebrate getting our Scuba Cert!! We had lunch at the hotel and got ready for our tour of Stone Town! Fran and Mary took aux on the bus ride and were queuing up only the best! We learned so much about the history of Zanzibar and how it originated. Hayden got a beautiful handmade purse as a souvenir! We stopped for some gelato (Lucien got the best combo of Salted Caramel and Cookies) before Mary Teal and some of the girls headed to a nearby store to do a little shopping! We got back to the hotel for dinner and show of traditional Zanzibar dance and music! Everyone was listening intently to Harrison tell us about his past as a celebrity on Iron Chef Junior! We ended the night with moonup before getting some well deserved rest!
Cheers to a great last day in Zanzibar! We started the day with an early wake up for another awesome breakfast buffet! Harrison has enjoyed trying different kinds of omelets each morning! After loading up on breakfast, we headed to the dive shop and hopped straight onto the boat! The first dive of the day was the best one Fran said she has ever been on because they got to see an entire pod of dolphins! Kennedy enjoyed seeing the parrot fish and Lucien spotted two eels underwater. Meanwhile, on the surface Hayden and Carter hung out on the boat and read together. Mason almost ran out of his air on both dives but remained cool, calm and collected while still having a great time! Ben also hung out on the surface and entertained everyone once they got done with their last dive of the trip. We headed back on the boat and took a bus ride back to the dive center. Once we got back to the hotel lunch was ready! Mary and Henry always look forward to splitting a breadbasket and we surprised everyone with cokes for the table! After lunch we headed to a Spice Farm for a tour. Our guide, Saif, took us around the farm and showed us all the different types of spices that are exported from Zanzibar. Meghan did a great job guessing what some of the spices were and even bought some perfumes to bring home. Asher even had time to show off some dance moves on the tour. We saw everything from vanilla and nutmeg to turmeric and clove trees. We were surprised with some hats and necklaces made from the leaves! We hopped on the bus and jammed out to some music on the way back. there was some downtime before we were eating our final dinner in Zanzibar :(. LOD’s Lucian and Mary Teal ended our night with the final Moonup under the stars. It was a very meaningful and heartfelt Moonup, and we were sad it was our last one.
Our final day together 🙁 We started our day with a delicious breakfast! We all sat down and wrote a letter to our future selves before packing our bags and hitting the road to the airport. 2 plane rides later we were in Nairobi! We headed over to the 4 points hotel for a banquet feast! We arrived at Nairobi International and all said our “see ya laters” and ended what was a magical trip.
KEZ 2A signing off.
July 3, 2023
Jambo from our first day at the Oseki Camp Maasai Mara! Our day started with our LOD’s, Harrison and Meghan, rounding up the group for a delicious breakfast at Camp Carnelly! It was a beautiful morning and we were able to see a lovely sunrise over the lake. We enjoyed our breakfast full of pancakes, eggs, bacon and juice! It wasn’t long before we were ready to hit the road! The ride flew by with none other than Henry on aux, playing everyone’s favorite country music! Mary even came up with some get to know you questions for the group! Before we knew it we arrived at Oseki Camp and were greeted by the Maasai Warriors! We had a feast of pasta, beef, rice, and lentils for lunch before heading out on our first activity: a bush walk. While on the walk, we learned all about what it takes to be a Maasai warrior and a woman’s role in society. Mary Teal and Hayden were especially intrigued about the women’s role in Maasai culture and made sure to ask plenty of awesome questions! The boys practiced a traditional song and dance to reenact part of the warrior process. The warriors taught us how to properly throw a spear but turns out some of us, like Mason, ended up being a natural at it! Next up, we practiced our Maasai jump! Asher out-beat everyone with his vertical jump and really impressed the warriors! Fran also showed off some of her cheer skills jumping and even surprised herself with her height! After that we gave archery a try! Turns out Ben was also a natural, and his arrows went the furthest! We soon headed back, but not before we showed off our tree climbing skills. Given his climbing experience, it came as no surprise that Lucien was quick to lend a helping hand and show the rest of the group the way up! We headed back to camp to shower and have some downtime before dinner. Asher got the group in on a card game that Kennedy called Q&A and is all about getting to know everyone! We ended our amazing first day at the Maasai Mara with full stomachs and a Moonup under the stars!
We woke up today to a beautiful Kenyan sunrise! We had a hearty breakfast of fresh doughnuts, eggs, beans, and sausage with onions & peppers! Our LODs Mary Teal and Mason led us in the morning huddle and prepared us for visiting a local Maasai village to learn about their way of life and culture! We arrived at the village and were immediately greeted with traditional welcome songs, chants, and dances! Harrison and Meghan were the first to join in the dance and the rest of the group followed! The Maasai showed off their jumping abilities and had competitions with Asher and Henry to see who could jump highest! We were welcomed into the village and were blown away by the kindness and hospitality of the Maasai people. The children of the village absolutely loved playing with Fran and Kennedy’s hair and giving them new hairstyles for the day! We all learned so much about the Maasai culture and even participated in different activities such as cooking and fire making. Lucien was a pro at building a fire using a stick and friction! The group was taught how and made delicious Ugali that we all tried! Ben and Hayden hopped right in with building a home in traditional Maasai fashion which is a mixture of cow manure, dirt, ash, and water! We helped the local women carry water from a nearby river back to the village and Mary impressed all the women by carrying the heaviest jug, the Maasai way of holding the jug of water up with a rope across her head! We got back to camp for lunch and had a bit of time to relax. We all got together to play the locals in a game of soccer before dinner! We had a delicious dinner and ended the night with moonup by the fire and under the stars!
What an amazing day at the Maasai! We started the day early with a wake up call from ours LOD’s, Ben and Mary! We began our morning with a delicious and filling breakfast before departing on our full day safari! We sped on over to the Maasai Mara reserve just in time to see one of the Big Five — actually the hardest one to spot and Fran was the one to see it…a leopard!! Hayden made sure to use her camera to get some awesome pictures and our driver Ken got us a great view! Our group jokers, Ben and Mason continued to keep us laughing even when our safari car got temporarily stuck in the mud! After, we got to see two cheetahs — commonly referred to as “the brothers.” Our day got even luckier when we came across a male Lion sleeping. Asher got some awesome photos of a lion staring back at us. Next, we were off to see some hippos and according to Lucien’s counting we saw nearly 60 laying on the shore of a river! We found a nice shady spot next to the river — but away from the hippos — to set up our picnic lunch of sandwiches and chicken! It wasn’t long before we were back in the safari cars and embarking on the rest of our journey! Meghan entertained us while trying out her best Love Island accents on the car ride. We saw a huge herd of elephants before heading back to Oseki Camp while jamming out to some old 2000’s music! Henry definitely sang the loudest and everyone joined in! Once we got back, Nate and Harrison decided to go on a long walk while the rest of us took afternoon siestas/naps (our new favorite thing)! We eagerly woke up from our slumbers, ready to celebrate one of the Maasai Warriors, Jackson’s 25th birthday! We celebrated with cake and the rest of the Oseki staff with plenty of singing and dancing! Soon after we began our game of KEZ 2A’s family feud: girls vs. the guys! It was an extremely close game with Mary Teal and Lucien really helping out their teams! The boys team ended up winning in the end but we will make sure to have a rematch soon! We ended our amazing day with dinner and Moonup!
Our last full day here at Oseki Maasai Mara Camp! We are so grateful for the hospitality and love that the Maasai tribe has shown us during our stay here. We got up this morning and had a delicious breakfast! Morning huddle was led by our wonderful LOD’s Hayden and Lucien! Our activity this morning was to visit a church in a local village and experience their Sunday service! It was so cool! Henry, Mason, and Ben showed off their dance moves as the whole church sang! The church was so welcoming and thankful for our presence that morning. We had the opportunity to get in front of the church to introduce ourselves and even do a traditional group dance! Mary and Mary Teal did such a good job connecting with the kids of the church after the service! We came back to camp for lunch and little relaxing. We all met back up and headed to the local school for a soccer game and to hangout with the kids in the surrounding villages! The game was intense and so much fun! Asher was a steel curtain as goalie and Harrison was killing it on the wing! Kennedy, Fran, and Meghan had a blast playing group games with some of the girls from local villages! We headed back to camp tired, but with our hearts so full of joy! We had a well deserved dinner and ended the night with moonup by the fire under the starlit sky!
Jambo from Zanzibar! It’s been a long travel day but the group has been extremely positive and excited for our days ahead! We started the day with an early wake up call from LOD’s Mason and Fran! We got up and had a big breakfast! We packed our things, said our goodbyes, and headed out in our safari cars. We took a quick pit stop to meet our guide, Sopia Luca’s family! Kennedy even got to meet Sopia’s 6-month old daughter, Hanna! Henry made friends with some of Sopia’s neighbors as we explored his village. We headed off for the airstrip where we waited for a bit of time before our plane arrived. Fran graciously let Asher and Kennedy read excerpts from her book to keep us entertained. Ben proudly posed for some impromptu pictures with the kids on a school trip! Finally, our plane arrived, we threw our bags on and were ready to go. Once we arrived at Nairobi Wilson, Harrison took the lead, assisting with getting everyone through the security check! We boarded our next flight ready for Zanzibar! Upon landing, Lucien so graciously carried most of the group gear and was a big help through customs! We found our driver and headed to our hotel! Once we were checked into our rooms and settled, the boys swam in the pool and played some games! Meanwhile Mary, Hayden and Mary Teal entertained themselves on the side of the pool before dinner. We had our four course meals and a lovely Moonup under the full moon! Meghan and Henry were selected to be LOD’s for tomorrow and Meghan was already announcing some fun games and competitions we will be doing!
Signing off for now,
Carter and Nate
Mary: Mom, Dad, Caroline- I am having the best time!!!! See you soon! -Mary 🥰
Fran: Hey fam! Miss and love y’all! Please make sure my credit card is working… I’m almost out of cash. See y’all soon❤️ -Frannie
Henry: Love and miss y’all – Henry
Harrison: Jambo! I miss y’all and murphy, we’re having a lot of fun. Can you please clean my room. If mom was here I’d snap once!
Mary Teal: HEY FAMILY I’m having the best time!! Miss y’all! I got everyone some cool gifts! See ya soon
Kennedy: I’m having so much fun!! Tell everyone I love and miss them!
Hayden: Hey mom and dad! I miss y’all and I’m having fun! I hope Ford is enjoying being an only child and Grey is having fun out west!!! XO Hayden
Meghan: JAMBOOO!!!!! HAVING THE BEST TIME EVER HERE HOPE YOU GUYS MISS ME BUNCHES HAHA CANT WAIT TO SEE YALL AND THE PUPS!!!!!
Mason: Having fun, check in on Lila for me. I bought her stuff.
Asher: hey y’all I miss you guys so much! Btw mom and dad can one of y’all take my car to get its oil changed?
Lucien: sup y’all hangin out and hangin in Kenya. 🖖 pls bring chkfila when pickin me up. Got y’all some cool stuff
Ben: sup y’all can’t wait to come home but tell Christopher I am doing good.
June 28, 2023
Jambo and Karibu Kenya! We are so excited to kick off this session after a long day of travel for the kids! Today was a bit of an early morning but nonetheless everyone was excited and ready for the day! After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, and fresh fruit, we loaded up our land cruisers and headed out for Ol Pejeta! Hayden and Mason switched off on aux while Lucien asked the group some get to know you questions! The car ride flew by and before we knew it, we were pulling into Ol Pejeta’s gates! On our way to the Stables (aka our home for the next four days!), Ben even spotted some elephants! Upon arrival, we were greeted with some awesome lunch consisting of rice and chicken! We had some downtime but we soon off to our first game drive! Asher made sure to get some awesome pictures and Kennedy even pulled out her disposable camera! We explored the chimp sanctuary and Henry was especially good at spotting out the chimps, our guide even recognized him for it! We continued our drive and played a guess the song game. Fran easily beat everyone in her 2000’s music knowledge! After getting back to the Stables, Harrison pulled out his hackie sack and got the group involved in a game! Mary gave it a shot and proved to be really good! The rest of the afternoon was spent playing “don’t touch my rock” and “frogged” — Mary Teal was an especially good detective that managed to fool the group! Dinner was so ready and a few of the kids even got to speak with some of the other research residents staying here! We sat around the bonfire while Meghan entertained us with riddles before bringing our amazing first day to a close with Moonup under the stars!
Our first full day here at Ol Pejeta was such an amazing one! We started our day with a delicious breakfast as the sunrise painted the sky. Our LODs, Henry and Hayden, led us in morning huddle and prepared everyone for the big day ahead. Our first activity was an animal conservation talk where we learned so much about the animals in the area and the operations of the conservation we are staying at. We came back to camp for a late morning tea and coffee party! Kennedy showed everyone how to make delicious chai as we also snacked on some delicious local pastries. Most of the group got together for some intense rounds of hacky-sack while others started on their beloved moondance friendship bracelets! Lucien got the group thinking with some clever riddles he had in his back pocket! Asher and Meghan solved the tricky “Penguins in a Canoe” riddle in record time, it was impressive! Our next activity was a community visit to a local man by the name of Gilbert to learn about his environmental / humanitarian project building Eco friendly ovens! We hopped in the land cruisers and started our journey over. We enjoyed a ride full of different wildlife on the way over where Mary Teal especially loved all the beautiful zebras we came across! We helped our new friend Gilbert in the construction of the clay ovens by first collecting wheelbarrows of dirt and sifting them down. The group mixed in a bit of water into the mud and kicked their shoes off to manually mix it all together (through a dance party) to create the clay! Fran and Henry showed off their swing dancin’ moves and we were ready to start forming the oven. We took a well-deserved lunch break and Ben and Mason especially enjoyed the Nutella + Peanut Butter cracker combo we made for dessert! After finishing up with the oven making, we headed back to camp for a little down time before dinner. Mary got the group together for a great game of signs! We had a delicious dinner and prepared for our night safari adventure! We hopped into the land cruisers and set off to see the wildlife under the stars! Harrison set the vibe perfectly with his aux game on the speaker for the ride out there! We got SO lucky and saw a pride of lions with baby cubs! We got back to camp and finished the night with Moonup around the fire!
We had another awesome day at Ol Pejeta! Our LOD’s, Kennedy and Asher began our day with morning huddle as the group finished up a breakfast of sausage and beans! We had a bit of downtime before our first activity so while Meghan brought out her fairy hair to share with the group, Ben started a game of hacky sack, and even got our guide, Gilbert, to join in! Our first task of the day at the Rhino enclosure was to clean the rhinos’ water troughs! The group listened to music as we cleaned. Harrison and Lucien were hard at work cleaning and even came up with a great system to speed up the cleaning! Henry and Fran had such a fun time playing games with Gilbert and Kennedy kept us entertained singing different versions of “Sha Sha Sha Boo Ya Roll Call!” It definitely took some team work but we finished cleaning and the trough looked spotless….more or less! We had a lovely tea break after where we indulged in some Kenyan pastries and filled up on instant coffee. Right after we went to go visit Baraka, the blind Black Rhino! The kids got to feed him carrots and Mason was the first brave soul to feed Baraka a carrot. We loaded the safari cars and headed out to see the last two Northern White Rhinos! We made sure to get some great pictures and even got to pet them before heading back for lunch. We got to try a famous Kenyan dish – Ugali, which Hayden especially loved trying! Soon, it was time for us to go lion tracking using GPS detection to spot lions! What felt like a long time became worth it as soon as Mary was the one to spot the pride of lions! We all made sure to get plenty of photos and take in just how close we were! Mary Teal even spotted a full rainbow that spanned the sky, so we got plenty of pictures! We headed back for a fantastic meal yet again before we played some group games! Then we winded down with our last Moonup at Ol Pejeta under the stars!
Carter and Nate!
June 25, 2023
Hello Kenya + Zanzibar 2A Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Nairobi! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure as they head to their service section.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!