In the summer and early fall of 2009, my son said he was going to take me to Kenya in early spring 2010, as long as I got myself into good shape for the trip. I said "sure, sure", and continued to be my usual lazy self. I really didn't think it would happen, since there were so many other things on our plates - work-wise and family-wise.
My son, on the other hand, continued to make the promise of Africa every time we talked.
This repartee continued throughout the fall of 2009, right up to Christmas. At that point, my son said that the trip would happen immediately after the Olympics. He couldn't take leave before then, because of his work. Mona (the one who rules) said.."You should go. It will be the trip of a lifetime to go on safari with Ashley." Of course, she who rules is always right! So...I committed to go.
Then, Mona suggested to us that we should invite the uncles to come along. Well, another good idea! Ashley sent everyone an e-mail on Dec. 27th, inviting them on the trip. This is what he wrote:
"I hope everyone had a good Christmas and is looking forward to the new year. Things have been getting pretty busy for me on my end, and will only get more hectic with the lead up to, and during the Olympics.
So I've finally had a chance to find out when my Olympic Leave Restrictions end, and also when we might be able to pull this trip together. As it sits right now, I work March 6th, and am ready to take off anytime after that. I was hoping that we could roughly plan something from March 7-21, giving us a full two weeks out there. Obviously things are fairly flexible so give me some feedback about what you giuys think. I know some of you are still thinking about whether this trip can pan out for you, so i'll keep everyone in the loop regardless. Also, if I can shift things around to make sure we all have a chance to do this, I'd love to make it happen for us all. I think it'll be a great "guys" trip.
The rough plan is to head out to Kenya for two weeks.
Recently Dad and I were talking and we though it might be nice to fly out to London, spend the night there, and then continue on to Nairobi, the next day. Just a thought for now.
Once out there, we will do either a 3-6 day safari hitting Maasai Mara, Serengetti, Tsavo. We'll head to the Western Province in Kakamega and Shikokho to catch up on some projects that Imbenzi and I have on the go out there and for you guys to see real rural Africa. While in Western Province we'll hit the Kakamega Rain Forest for a day trek or two before we head back to Nairobi.
If everyone is interested, we can boot on over the coast in Diani Beach and catch a Dhow trip on the Indian Ocean with a seafood feast. Its all pretty awesome stuff out there.
And as I said earlier, everything should be fairly inexpensive, with the airfare being the most costly (approx 1700), followed by the safari (approx.300-600 all inclusive). While in Western Province our accomodations are free with Imbenzi's Base Camp and Headquarters out there. Coast is cheap with just the cost of the hotel and the dhow trip being about 50 bucks.
Anyways guys, if anyone has any questions just send me a message and i'll get back to you."
Well, things happened, and life got in the way. We had some family misfortune, family loss, and a lot of misery. Throughout it all, we remained committed to doing the trip. It was like a light at the end of a long tunnel.
When everything had settled, we had 7 of us going on our trip of a lifetime.