June 7th, 2017
Good morning friends, old and new - Fantastic response to my first blog, thank you all!
We've been away with the children for the half-term weekend here in Kenya, taking part in the Rhino Charge which is a car challenge over unimaginably difficult terrain in the remotest parts of Kenya to raise money for fencing around some of Kenya's most beautiful and fragile ecosystems, and assist the local communities wherever the Charge is run. Every year we enter a family team (car 49) and the car is put together by my brother in law, also the driver. Unfortunately we didn't do too well as we broke a prop shaft fairly early on, got it welded back together and then promptly launched ourselves over a ravine at the gauntlet...........needless to say we did not make it and spent the next hour winching about 40 meters backwards through ‘wait-abit bushes’ - oh what fun!!!! This was however different from last year, when we rolled and completely burned out the car entirely - again not finishing the event. I know it sounds nuts - but it was a great weekend anyway and I'm the only girl in an all-boys team which is something of an honour in itself.
We've also had our annual "Owners Summit" at Lewa Downs hosted by Sophie and Calum Mcfarlane, part of the legendary Craig family and owners of Lewa House, perched on a hill overlooking the plains of Lewa. Two weeks previously Bush and Beyond released an incredible video showcasing all the various destinations in Kenya which are handled in their portfolio, with us owners as the cast, (that's me drinking wine!) and with amazing shots of game and landscapes which will blow you away.
It's always a fantastic party when the owners get together, arriving as we do by car, plane and even helicopter, comparing experiences, criticising each other's performances in the video, discussing how to keep a veggie patch when half of Kenya's game regard such an effort as an invitation to dinner, guests we would love to see again and those we would not ...............and always, game sightings, poaching and environment, regular hot topics at these meetings.
Back at the Emakoko, our regular visitors whom we could do without are the Hyrax, who love to bite the head off the roses in my flower arrangements. This is absolutely infuriating when you have done the flowers for Reception, lounge, bar and dining room and half an hour later the predominate feature is bare stalks! However, we have worked out that they prefer the scented roses so this will mean sniffing through 15 dozen roses every Monday to pick out those with no smell. Oh well, a lodge owner-manager's job is never done.
Coming back to earth, on the topic of the Owners Summit, we lodge owners are about to release over the next year lots of 'sneak peaks' into our homes, and we really hope that you will enjoy seeing how we live.
So that's the news from the Emakoko. For the next fortnight I will be recuperating from scratches, bumps and bruises acquired as a "runner" for Car 49 at the Rhino Charge!