July 26, 2023
Mambo from our first day in Zanzibar! We slept in a bit today before a big day of travel! Our LOD’s Julia and Braxton helped wake everyone up and get ready for breakfast! We ate a big meal full of sausage, fried egg, and donuts before finishing up our last-minute packing! We loaded up the vehicles and made our way to the airstrip. Max and William were playing some songs for us to jam out to on the way to the airstrip. Once we got there, we were able to eat a nice packed lunch provided by the Maasai! Clay and Ben enjoyed negotiating for different items being sold at the airstrip! Sophie and KS bought some snazzy safari hats. We said our bittersweet goodbyes to our Maasai friends before loading up the plane and taking off to Zanzibar! Once we landed in Nairobi, we powered through security! Grace and Charlotte bought some snacks before our next flight and Abigail was a big help carrying some of the group gear! We boarded our next flight and before we knew it were in Zanzibar! We got through customs and got our bags! Henry was a big help carrying the international duffle! We loaded up our bus and headed to the hotel! We checked in then everyone took in the Zanzibar warm air and jumped in the pool! We had a traditional Swahili dinner for our first night! Tyler especially loved trying the samosas at dinner. We had a surprise traditional Swahili dance and music to accompany our dinner! Elizabeth even got pulled up to go dance! We had a wonderful Moonup before getting some well deserved rest.
Good morning from Zanzibar! We were woken up to a beautiful sunrise by our LODs Clay and KS for breakfast and morning huddle. We walked down the beach to our diving center for our first day of scuba!! Ben, Julia, KS, and Charlotte are all certified already so they went on some fun dives today and saw some cool stuff! William and his group did great with their first day of scuba training and finished up first! Once everyone got back to the hotel we had a relaxing beach day! Max, Tyler, Grace, and Abigail started a game of beach volleyball and eventually got every person in our group to join! Henry and Braxton were showing off their body surfing skills in the waves after the volleyball game! Elizabeth and Charlotte had an intense game of war (house rules of course) before dinner! We finished the night with Moonup on the beach!
Today was our first full day of scuba diving we started this morning, bright and early with a big breakfast. Then once we were ready, we walked over to the dive center and really started the day. Our advanced divers, Ben, Charlotte, KS, and Julia headed out on the boat with Nate to start their training while our open water beginner divers were on a different boat. Elizabeth saw an angel fish and Sophie loved looking at the starfish! Clay was really excited about seeing a lionfish underwater! Grace was a trooper after not feeling so great from the waves! We were proud of her for trying!
Abigail started to not feel well but pushed through and was able to go on the second dive and even saw four eels! Tyler had trouble equalizing his ears so he hung out with Carter and Grace on the boat during the second dive. Once they were done we headed back on the boat to the hotel! We enjoyed a delicious and well-deserved lunch. Max and William were enjoying challenging people to staring contests and kept us laughing. Not much later we boarded the bus to take us on our tour of Stonetown! We got to learn all about Zanzibar’s culture, history, and traditions! Henry got some awesome photos of Stonetown’s famous architecture! We sat by the waterfront and enjoyed some surprise gelato! Braxton even shared his with us. Then we enjoyed some sodas at the Maru Maru Rooftop Hotel Restaurant before heading back to our hotel for dinner. We ended the night with a sweet music themed Moonup under the stars!
Another great day here in beautiful Zanzibar! We woke up and had breakfast followed by morning huddle led by our LODs Ben and Sophie! We headed down the beach to our dive center and got everything ready for our dives! Today was a big day for Julia, Charlotte, and KS doing the Advanced Diver Certification course and they absolutely crushed it!! The morning started out a little cloudy with some drizzles but by the time we got out on the boat it was sunny and clear skies! Clay and William made sure to get an extra cup of their favorite tea on the boat (Zanzibar Masala Tea)! Elizabeth and Abigail laid out on the boat ride back working on their tan! We got back and had lunch where Tyler was able to sweet talk the our waitress into giving him a double serving of ice cream! Grace got henna art on her arm on the beach after lunch! Braxton and Henry got everyone together for a big game of volleyball before we all headed to stone town for a dinner at an ocean front restaurant as we watched the sunset! The food was amazing and we all had a great time reminiscing about different from the past few weeks! We ended the night with moonup on the beach and got some well deserved rest!
Our last full day in Zanzibar and of our trip has come! We enjoyed another breakfast buffet provided by the hotel before heading over to the dive shop! We got suited up and hopped on the boats. Tyler and Grace hung out together in a separate boat to finish their certifications! The rest of us headed out and had a nice boat ride out to the reef while basking in the sun! Ben, KS, Julia, and Charlotte got their advanced certification today after diving to 100 feet! Henry saw a squid on his first dive! Sophie loved seeing the trumpet fish. During the second dive Sophie and Clay hung out on the boat and tanned. After our second dive, we headed back go the beach and hopped in a bus to take us back to the dive center. We had a big lunch before going on our spice farm tour where we tried out a bunch of different spices and guessed what they were! Abigail guessed coffee beans! Braxton using the lemongrass to use bug spray. Elizabeth liked trying the cinnamon and guessed what the turmeric spice was. William liked trying the spicy ginger and Max just enjoyed trying on everyone’s sunglasses. Some of the girls even bought some perfumes and soaps as gifts! We loaded up on the bus and made our way back to the hotel for our final dinner in Zanzibar! We had a wholesome last Moonup and reflected on our amazing 17 days together!
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 3A signing off.
Carter and Nate
July 20, 2023
Jambo Jambo from Lake Niavasha! We woke up early this morning to the sunrise over Ol Pejeta! We had breakfast and a morning huddle led by our LOD’s Julia and Braxton! Today’s morning activity was visiting a local cattle farm to learn about their operations and how it benefits the conservancy. Clay, William, and Ben loved herding (chasing) the cattle around the farm! KS and Grace even got in on the action and helped herd some cattle! We headed back to camp to finish packing the rest of our stuff before hitting the road to Lake Niavasha. We split into 3 different land cruisers where Max was in an all girls car and FULLY embraced the Taylor Swift jam session. It was amazing. Henry made sure to get some good pictures on his camera of the beautiful Kenyan landscape on our drive while Elizabeth and Charlotte made the best tortilla + Nutella wraps this side of the equator! We arrived to camp and immediately headed over to get a well deserved meal! After eating, some of the girls headed down to the lake where Sophie and Abigail were the first to spot hippos poking out of the water! It was so cool to see! Tyler started up a ping pong tournament with all of the guys that got very competitive! We headed back to the restaurant for dessert before finishing the night by the campfire for Moonup!
Today was our first day at the Maasai Mara! Our LOD’s Elizabeth and Max woke everyone up this morning at Lake Navisha. We had a hefty breakfast full of pancakes, omelets, and granola. We loaded up the cars and headed out to finish the drive to the Mara! William entertained us on the car ride by playing some of his favorite songs on the speakers. Sophie got her car into an intense card game on the drive. We stopped halfway for a break and Braxton even tried out a Kenyan energy drink. In a little less than four hours, we had made it to the Maasai Mara Oseki Camp! We settled in with a big lunch and had some downtime before we headed out on our Warrior walk! During the walk we learned all about how to become a Maasai warrior including spear and club throwing, jumping contests, archery, and climbing! Charlotte was particularly interested in learning more about the women’s role in Maasai culture! Clay was especially great at club throwing while Henry was stellar at the jumping competition! Tyler also has an awesome vertical jump and was close to beating Henry’s record. Julia was also pretty great at club throwing and even broke hers in half on accident to which we all got a laugh out of! Ben ended up throwing his spear the farthest out of the entire group, with Katherine Scott being close behind. Grace and Abigail were reluctant at first to try archery but proved to be great at it and even surprised themselves! We finished out our warrior walk by climbing a tree that overlooked the Mara reserve. We headed back to camp, got showered up and ready for dinner. Everyone loved the chef’s food and made sure to get plenty of seconds. We surprised the kids with s’mores by the fire before finishing our night with Moonup!
Jambo from Massai Mara! We woke up this morning to the best sunrise! We had a delicious breakfast followed by a morning huddle led by our LODs Sophie and Clay! Today we visited a local Maasai village to learn more about their culture and ways of life! We were greeted with a traditional Maasai song and dance! Grace, Charlotte, and KS were the first ones to join in on the dancing! Ben and Max learned some of the chants quickly and sang along! All the villagers loved how high Henry and William were able to get when they jumped, which is a sign of a strong warrior in the Maasai culture! We were welcomed inside the village to learn house building, fire making, cooking, and bead making! Julia and Elizabeth loved the house building which involves spreading a mixture of dirt, wood ash, and water together! We came back to camp for lunch and a bit of relaxing. After a little break in the day we all got together for a big soccer game in a nearby field! Abigail absolutely killed it on defense while Braxton was the star attacker for their team! After a shower, we had a fun round of “speed dating questions” to get to know everyone in the group better! After a delicious dinner we ended the night with moonup!
We had a full day at the Maasai Mara today! Our LOD’s Abigail and Tyler helped start the day, waking everyone up for breakfast! We were big fans of the donuts and sausage this morning. After, we loaded up the vans and headed to the Maasai reserve down the road for our full day safari. Max and Ben enjoyed tag-teaming music selections as we entered the reserve. Within the first hour of the safari we got to see a leopard, two cheetahs, and multiple lions – all of which Henry got awesome photos of! He took a lunch stop and ate some delicious cheese sandwiches on top of a beautiful view of the reserve – we could even see some of Tanzania in the distance! We made the long journey back to camp while Julia ant grace singing Disney songs at the top of their lungs. Sophie and KS got a turn and showed off their rap skills by singing all their favorite songs! Once we got back to camp, we took an afternoon siesta before starting our group game! We played trivia and were divided up into three teams. Charlotte and Elizabeth had a skill for were trivia! We had a lovely dinner before heading back outside for our Moonup. Today our LOD’s had us create a handshake with the person next to them. Braxton and Clay won for the best handshake! We ended out night under the stars.
Our last full day at the Maasai Mara Camp started with our LODs William and Grace waking everyone up and having a morning huddle before a huge breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and Charlotte’s favorite.. homemade doughnuts!! Our morning activity was a beautiful hike up a small mountain near camp! Clay and Max kept everyone entertained on the way up singing some amazing trail tunes! KS and Julia kept everyone thinking with their tricky riddles! The view from the top was breathtaking and so worth the hike up! After a little photo shoot and water break, we headed down the mountain to get ready for a well deserved lunch. We relaxed a little after lunch before heading down to a local school to play soccer and play with all the kids! Sophie and Elizabeth started a game of duck-duck-goose with some of the school girls while Ben and Braxton were getting a workout in running up and down the soccer field with the local schools team! Everyone at the school was SO impressed with how good Tyler was at goalkeeper! We camp back to camp to pack everything up and get ready for the big travel day tomorrow! We continued our group game of trivia where Henry and Abigail carried their team to victory! We enjoyed a delicious dinner and ended the night with moonup around the campfire.
We have had such a blast with this crew, and are so sad it is coming to a close! Written below are some shoutouts from the group to cap off one of our last trip updates:
Abigail- Hey!! Missing you guys but having literally so much fun! Can’t wait to tell you all about it 🙂
Charlotte- Hi!! I’m having so much fun! I can’t wait to see you guys and tell you all about it!!
Julia- Hey! I am having lots of fun and miss you guys lots!
Elizabeth; Hi!! I’m having so much fun. Love you and see you soon:)
Henry- Hey, just got to Zanzibar. See y’all soon, love you.
Ks: Hey! Made it to Zanzibar I’m having the best time! Ps got a Jawn, love you more:)
Sophie: Hey!! Having such a fun time love and miss you guys and happy birthday mom love you!!
Grace: Hi guys!! I am having the best time! We just made it to Zanzibar! Can’t wait to see u all soon!!
Clay: hey! I am having so much fun. Cant wait to see u. Love ya
Ben: hey mom and dad! Had a great time in Kenya and looking forward to Zanzibar. Love y’all
Max- Hey mom and dad I’m doing great! Just got to Zanzibar, love y’all.
Tyler: Hey mom and dad, I’m having a lot of fun. We just got to zanzibar, love you
Braxton: Hey! We just got to Zanzibar and I am having a great time. Love y’all.
William- We’re havin a blast just landed in Zanzibar. Can’t wait to see y’all soon love ya.
July 15, 2023
Jambo from Kenya! We began our first morning bright and early. We indulged in a big breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, and potatoes before hitting the road to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Henry took some great photos on the way of the Kenyan scenery. We stopped halfway for a quick bathroom and shopping break! Clay showed off his bartering skills and got this awesome Monkey statue down in price. He didn’t end up getting it, but we were impressed nonetheless. Nate, William, and Braxton were able to meet up with us and the group! We did a switch-a-roo and traded cars for the remainder of the drive. Julia was our videographer and entertained us with her fun vlogs! We were just in time for a delicious, authentic Kenyan lunch featuring chipoty. After we played a game of “Don’t touch my rock” where the objective is to not have anyone touch your rock! Tyler was our reigning champ and was especially great at the game! Then we played a few rounds of some boys vs. girls Family Feud! Elizabeth came up with the girls’ team name “Fuchsia Cheetahs” while Ben came up with a very creative name for the boys’ team. Max was getting really expressive in his Family Feud answers and kept us laughing! Meanwhile, Abigail and Sophie had a natural gift for knowing the Family Feud answers. We played more games and Katherine Scott gave us a tough riddle- Charlotte was the only one in the group able to guess it! By the time we were done our guides were here to pick us up for our game drive! We saw a family of elephants and even got to see some hippos! Everyone got some awesome photos of the animals and had fun playing music! When we got back Grace helped teach people how to make a type of friendship bracelet. We had a lovely dinner of lentils and rice before going straight into Moonup, our nightly reflection time! What a wonderful end to our first day!
Jambo from our first full day at Ol Pejeta! We woke up early this morning for a delicious breakfast! Our LOD’s Henry and KS led us in Morning Huddle before heading over to our first activity for the day! We had a conservation talk and learned about the operations of the conservancy and how everything works! We came back to camp for a tea/coffee break before our next activity for the day! Charlotte and Ben indulged in some mid-day hot coco and doughnuts during our little tea party! We all loaded into the land cruisers and headed to a small farm for a community visit focused on the agriculture in the area! On the drive Max kept the tunes flowing with his amazing DJ skills! We learned about the different uses for potatoes in the area and how to properly sort and plant them! Grace and Abigail immediately got to work helping and learning from the local farmer on how to identify and sort the potatoes! After sorting for some time Julia decided to work on her juggling skills with a few potatoes and immediately started a competition! After we finished sorting out the potatoes we all circled up for lunch! After a well-deserved meal, we all hopped in the cars and headed to our next activity in the community of learning how clay stoves are made from scratch! Braxton manned the wheelbarrow while Clay shoveled in the dirt we were going to use to create the stoves! Once the dirt was collected, Elizabeth led the sifting crew and sifted all the dirt to then be turned into clay! We all worked together to mix the dirt and water using our feet and the power of dance! Tyler was the first one to hop in the middle of the dance circle and mix it up!! After learning how to construct the stoves with clay we made, we came back to camp to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner was our night game drive!! We ended the night with a moonup under a star filled sky!
Jambo! We had a busy day today starting with our LOD’s Ben and Charlotte waking everyone up for breakfast and morning huddle! We had some downtime before heading over to the Rhino enclosure. We helped out the rhino caretakers by cleaning out the enclosure, cleaning out their water troughs, and scooping poop! Elizabeth and KS tag teamed cleaning the water trough and quickly finished! Meanwhile Julia was doing a great job carrying the full wheelbarrows from pile to pile! Tyler was having a great time scooping and shoveling! Sophie and Charlotte were keeping the group morale high by singing and dancing. After we had a lovely tea break full of donuts, tea, and coffee! Clay was showing off some of his tumbling tricks and even did a backflip! We then got to see Baraka, the blind Black Rhino! Everyone loved getting to pet and take photos with Baraka! We loaded up the land cruisers and headed over to meet the last two Northern White Rhinos in existence! Grace was our first brave soul to hop out of the vehicle and greet them! William and Max got some sick photos with the rhinos and made sure to pose! We surprised the kids with an impromptu lunch at a nearby restaurant! We all got burgers and chicken sandwiches with sodas! We had some time before going lion tracking so Abigail led us in some yoga.
Then we went lion tracking! We were anxiously waiting but eventually we were able to find a pride of lions! Henry took some awesome photos of the male lions and cubs! We enjoyed some sodas while watching the sunset and nearby elephants grazing. Braxton pretended he was in a Sprite commercial while Nate filmed him on the GoPro. After all our laughs, we headed back for our final dinner at Ol Pejeta! We played some games before ending the night with Moonup under the stars!
July 11, 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!