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.