This morning (our first morning here after a 31 hour travel day) we woke up and got ready for our first day of this adventure. We drove through Nairobi into a more rural area where warthogs ran through the bushes and Baboons sat on the side of the road.
We arrived at an elephant orphanage where zookeepers take in orphaned elephants (aging anywhere from a few weeks to a few years old) and raise them until they can be integrated into a herd in the wild. We were directed to an area in the back of the compound where it opened up to a beautiful view of the grasslands as far as the eye can see (imagine the Pride Lands from the movie The Lion King). We are told to stand behind a rope no thicker than my pinky finger and within 5 minutes elephant only the size of small dogs come running into the roped off area! The keepers feed the elephants from bottles as we are told that if we are quiet, the elephants will come toward us and we may touch them. Larger elephants then come rushing into the small roped off area where they are promptly fed by their keepers and begin rolling in the mud hole inside the area.
They played in the water, splashing and spraying mud everywhere, my sister Grace ended up with a good coat of thick orange mud (and quite possibly poop) covering the front of her. I found this rather amusing, she however, thought otherwise. But how often do you get sprayed with mud by a baby elephant? Anyway, the elephants walked paraded around the area, often coming close enough to let us pet them!
I praise God for his creativity in creating such funny and beautiful creatures!