Saturday, August 29, 2009

My First Giraffe Kiss

When I go to Africa with Africa Is Life Changing one of the first things we do is visit the Giraffe Centre in Lang'ata just outside of Nairobi, Kenya. It was founded in 1979 to help rescue the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and to educate Kenyan school children about their country's wildlife. Most of them have never seen a giraffe.

So, here's how it works. You climb the wooden steps of an elevated platform that puts you at face level with the giraffes. Next, you grab a handful of cigarette-butt-sized pellets of giraffe chow. Hold out your hand and the graffes slurp up the tasty morsels.

After you have been brave enough to handfeed the giraffes, the attendant offers up a more intimate encounter. He says to put one of the pellets in your mouth (with as much poking out as you possibly can---wait, maybe that part just goes without saying) and the giraffe will take it from your mouth like a junior high boy/girl party game.

This photo (click on it to make it really big) is the result of my encounter. Mostly I think I was slimed by giraffe slobber.

So, there you go. My first giraffe kiss.
Maybe my last, but I'm leaving my options open.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's a fine life?

Hey, look at me! I'm entering the blogosphere. (Thanks JoSue!) I had no idea how stressful it could be. Right off the bat, I had to think of a title. A title? I didn't want it to be too specific. Or too cute. I wanted it to include whatever topic I wanted to yammer on about. So, Sunday, Nat and I were playing Scrabble while the musical "Oliver!" was on tv. One of the musical numbers sung by Nancy (the sweet and way too good for him) girlfriend of Bill Sykes (the scruffy and mean, bad guy) comes on. She sings as she's working the crowd at the pub "It's a Fine Life." So half-listening and trying to come up with a triple-word score---(it takes every neuron working at full power to beat Nat)--I thought that "It's a Fine Life" would encompass everything I wanted.

After JoSue helped me get the blog set up, I came home and wondered what the rest of the words said. In my mind it was just "'s a Fine Life!'s a Fine Life!

Thanks to today's technology I found the rest of the song.

The other lyrics: "If you don't mind having to go without things, it's a fine life!"
[Yeah. That makes sense. Life isn't about "things".]

The song continues, "If you don't mind taking it like it turns out, it's a fine life!"
[So far, so good. We don't always get to say how things are going to turn out. But life can still be good.]

Then comes, "If you don't mind rats bringing the plague in, it's a fine life!"
[The plague?....Really?]

Hmmm...well....that could put a damper on things a bit.

I think I can change the title if I need to.