May 11, 2010
Attack of the Killer Monkey!
While in Africa we did manage to take one day off from working in the slums and drove about two hours northwest of Nairobi to the Lake Nakuru National Park for a Safari.
When we pulled into the parking lot of the park we spotted a handful of monkeys hanging around. I've never seen a monkey face to face, but never in person.
So like an idiot I decided to get a close up video of one monkey. At the time I thought it would be a good idea to make chirping noises at the little dude while I was filming.
Well, I must have said something offensive in Monkey talk because he turned and started chasing me and I ran like a little girl as shown in the video above.
Our safari vehicle.
Like a clown car we packed 12 people into this small van. The road we traveled wasn't smooth either. If you didn't watch yourself one good pothole could easily bruise a kidney.
Baboons among us.
There were several baboons walking around the parking area at the safari also. Knowing these creatures could easily tear off a scrotal sack, or suck out one of my eyeballs if provoked, I made sure to keep Justin Ahrens between me and the roving beasts.
Stereotypical Africa Tree.
I captured a lot of texture images in Africa and will be releasing that to the design world as a new set of design resources later this summer.
Rule29 and Glitschka Studios will be teaming up on a cool design project inspired by our time in the Nairobi slums, but more about that later.
Waterfall in safari.
As we drove the safari we came upon this cool waterfall that spilled out and flooded over the road we had to drive through.
Staring at this waterfall I thought it looked like chocolate milk and I envisioned large Oreo cookies bobbing in the water below it. (These are the type of thoughts I usually never tell anyone about, and for good reason.)
Strange plant and bug.
As I was heading back to the vehicle I spotted this plant with a colorful bug on it. I set my camera to macro and got in really close to capture a good picture. (1 inch or so) That's when our guide leaned over and said pointing to what I was shooting "That is poisonous."
I wasn't sure if he meant the plant or the bug, but that was all I needed to hear and skidaddled.
I would have liked to get a better picture of a Zebra but this was the best I could do. Shooting pictures with several pro photographers means they get the best angles, and for good reason I suppose.
During the safari I did manage to see a Monkey, Wild Boar, Flamingo, Ostrich, Giraffe, Rhino, Water Buffalo, Impala, Gazelle, Millions of Butterflies, and even a Lion sleeping in a tree.
So why am I not posting pictures of these animals? Well the fore mentioned shutter bugs all got great pictures of most of these because they had sniper quality lens, and my point in shoot is good for textures and up close like the lethal plant I shot, but not so hot on the zoom.
Seriously though, how many times have you seen a good photo of a Zebra butt? Bet you didn't realize all the stripes pointed to the pooper did you? See, it's educational.
Traffic in Nakuru.
Whether you're in Nairobi or in this case Nakuru, traffic is absolutely chaotic.
Lets put it this way, if you owned a company that painted road lines you'd go out of business fast. No one cares about lanes, right of way, or paint jobs for that matter.
Come to think of it I don't think I ever saw a speed limit sign the whole time there?
My travel hat.
I've worn this hat all around the world now. Took it with me when I went to Israel and Jordon and now it's been to Kenya as well.
When we were leaving and heading back to Nairobi we stopped to get something to drink. I was in the passenger seat and a street vendor was trying to sell me some home burned CD's of African pop music. (I'm a sucker for African pop and bought two) That's when a younger street urchin walked up to our vehicle reached in through the window and nabbed my hat sitting on the dash board and took off running.
I was too tired to respond. I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought "I guess he needs it more than I do." But our driver within seconds, put the car in park, set the emergency brake and exited the vehicle in a blur.
All of a sudden I felt like I was watching an African episode of Cops. He caught the kid, hog tied him, retrieved my hat and the whole van applauded. (OK, he didn't hog tie him, that was writers embellishment)
It was an entertaining way to end the day.