Birthday Adventures in Amsterdam

Last weekend Adam and I visited Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities, and I'm pretty sure Adam is now in love with it too. We didn't really make any plans to visit museums or do any tours, we just kind of wandered and did what we felt like. Just wandering is our go-to way of getting to know a city, sitting in local cafes where tourists never go (the kind that only serve coffee!!), and just talking about the things we notice. Other trips are more packed with activities, but some cities just need to be strolled through.

As it was Adam's special birthday trip, we stayed in an

extra special airbnb apartment

. We went out for a few extra special dinners, and went to see

Kill It Kid

play live. We stuffed our faces with pancakes and wandered the city while Adam occasionally interjected observations about no longer being in his 20s - I think he handled the whole thing really well, better than I will I'm sure. I also got him a really special birthday present, but I'll share that another time.

Amsterdam is the best. Oh, and fondue is my new favorite thing.


hello from nairobi! kenya part two

today has been non-stop since 7 this morning. i feel like i have done more today than i normally do in a week back home - but every day seems feels like a completely life changing experience.

today we drove into the rift valley to visit various places, one of which was a school my organisation works with to educate children on the importance of animal welfare. when we got out of the car i realised what it must be like for a movie star because we were mobbed! a million little hands grabbing at us and yelling for our attention, apparently they didn't believe that we were real! it nearly had me in tears, they were just so sweet and excited!

i really need to go to bed now. tomorrow is another long day - hopefully we won't get stuck in another two hour traffic jam like we did today! i'm pretty sure i inhaled more exhaust fumes in those two hours than i have in my entire life!

a view looking down into the rift valley, that is where the masai live! we saw a few, they're generally pretty handsome guys if i'm honest...

after the children did some dances and recited some poems for us. can you imagine having this as your playground? it was beautiful.

being mobbed - it was great! these little guys made me happy beyond words.

oh yea, and me photographing a dung beetle. i have no shame when it comes to photographing bugs on poo apparently.

hello from nairobi! kenya part one

today was the first day our our visit to kenya, me and eve, a friend from work, are over here to visit our organisation's partners in kenya for four days. we flew in a day early to have a look around the city as neither of us have ever been before, and we had heard of a few must-see places.

one being the

david sheldrick wildlife trust

. this animal welfare organisation takes in orphaned baby elephants from all around kenya and rehabilitates them until they can be released back into the national parks.

some of the elephants are so little that they need blankets to keep warm in the 25degree heat. 

this one above was the littlest - he just loved playing with the water, and whenever his carer came over to move him away, because he's too young to play sensibly, he started trumpeting and having a tantrum. poor little guy...

this was one of the older ones. they drink two liters of milk each, about six times a day. pretty sure adam could finish off as much if he put his mind to it...

i may have fallen in love a little...

and then we went off to the the

giraffe center

! same deal with the elephant orphanage really, except these guys won't get released because they are the endangered rothschild giraffe and need to be protected.

eve got up close and personal with this little baby giraffe - it was so gentle and cautious while taking the food from your hand (or mouth, as it were...), the others just wrapped their massive blue tongues around your wrist and chowed down on whatever you were holding. clearly its a technique they develop over time. 

 this was the first time i have ever had such a close encounter with such a massive mammal. i'm standing up on the second story of this building here! and his head is about as big as my whole body. i have been in awe ever since, i am so lucky.

this guy had me in fits of laughter with his crazy long tongue, man can they slobber.

eve and i also went to a market today where we both got scammed mercilessly and spent way more money than we should on things that we could probably buy in the UK for half the price. nairobi is not cheap, no sir, not at all. though having said that, we went for ethiopian food (a first time for both of us) for dinner, and that was VERY cheap. and also probably one of the best meals i have ever had.

i think i may just have had the best day of my life!

off to bed now, its work in the morning and i suspect the animals we will encounter over the next few days will not be nearly so well cared for. it may break my heart a little i fear...