A Travellerspoint blog

Sweet Home Chicago!

Monday, June 14th:

What a week it's been!
1. Got to meet little Henry, who is absolutely adorable!
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2. Fam gets their presents, also now named "Africrap." Dad decides to try EVERYTHING on!
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3. Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and Chicago goes crazy! Sadly, I missed the parade so I could attend the CROSSTOWN CLASSIC BASEBALL GAME between the Cubs and the White Sox. Thanks Rob!
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4. Wisconsin VB girls come to visit and we have a fun night on the town!
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5. An all-day shopping excursion with the little sister, including a stop at McDonalds for some fries and classic deep dish Chicago pizza from Giordanos.
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LIFE IS GOOD!

Posted by BlakeSims 08:47 Comments (0)

I'm coming home!!!

Sitting in Amsterdam's airport, surrounded by orange. I think the world cup is starting soon!

Monday, June 7th:

I'm not quite prepared for the arrival back home and still getting used to the idea of bouncing around couches and laying on the beach instead of avoiding matatus, dealing with corrupt police that stop you for no reason and expect "tips", and Tusker beer. BUT, I'm super pumped to see everyone and live the enjoyable lifestyle of teachers, who work hard for 10 months and then party harder for another 2. Best job ever.

What have I been up to? There's been a lot of goodbye parties and packing going on in my life. I've moved from my apartment to a vacated house a few miles away. This means a beautiful yard to chill out in, but much more space and responsibility...ouch! So, there's plenty of room for everyone to visit!!!!!

80S PARTY!!! What an awesome theme, even though I was asked why I didn't just wear a diaper. Funny.
Looking good!

Looking good!

Everyone stepped up and found the most ridiculous outfits possible. Good times!
80s Ladies!

80s Ladies!


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Before moving I had to have one last get together at the apartment. It's now all packed up and empty. Painting done, except for my one beige wall in the living room that I refused to paint because it looked too good! Always need to find one reason to piss off my housing coordinator.
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And lastly, we celebrated all the June bdays at a new restaurant in the hood, Taj Mahal. It has since been renamed to just Taj, and has the best (and only) long island ice teas I've found in Kenya! Awesome!!!!!

June Birthday Ladies: Lillis, Amy, Heather and Lindsey
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Hanging out at our favorite pool hall, K1. Always a good time for dancing lessons, inappropriate photos, and laughs.
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See you all soon!!! Stay posted for details about my time home and running amuck in Chicago!

Posted by BlakeSims 22:38 Comments (1)

Update #2!

I'm an aunt!!! And, I was the largest oompa loompa ever in the middle school play. Plus, random evenings out in Nairobi for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, May 16th

Yeah, I'm an aunt (well, for almost a month now!) Baby Henry Charles Sims was born on April 26th and he's a big boy!
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SOOOOO cute! Can't wait to get home and meet the little guy in person!!!!

And then, on to even bigger news, Emily, Allison and I helped out in the middle school production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hot. Emily and I were glamourous oompa loompas, and thank goodness the orange body paint wasn't too hard to get off!
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Now that you're all laughing, on to more entertaining photos of the gang up to no good in Nairobi!
IMG_1929.jpg The ladies in the classic pose.
IMG_1937.jpg Franklin and Franics show us the latest dance moves to hit Kenya. You do an awkward hamstring stretch, then bend down, and pretend to tie your shoes! Hardcore.
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More dancing lessons.
IMG_1963.jpg Dancing is exhausting!!!
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Night out at Tribe for some Sauti Sol and ridiculousness.

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IMG_2103.jpg Amy and Sammie dancing and drumming the night away!
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IMG_2114.jpg The only ones to make it til the end of the night!

A group of us have been "taking" Swahili lessons. AKA, a great excuse to have family style dinner and lots of wine once a week. And, we've learned some verbs with the millions of tenses! However, while I often yell at our teacher, Mwita, and explain that assigning homework is absolutely pointless, I have also been thoroughly entertained by phrases such as Si,Hu,Ha and crap for me Brake! We treated Mwita out to dinner at Smokey's, a classic Kenya restaurant.
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And finally, last night we celebrated our wonderful co-workers that are sadly leaving Nairobi for new locations. A little bit of dancing and drinking to wish them off!
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Posted by BlakeSims 04:16 Comments (0)

Mom and Dad come to Kenya!

March 26th-April 5th

Wow, it's been A LONG TIME since my last entry. Here is update #1.

Mom and Dad arrived in Kenya and after a brief rest at my place, we jumped on a plane to Amboseli, a Kenyan National Park along the Tanzanian border with breath-taking views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Mom had to bring her Hemingway book along and relive the glory days.

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Just kidding! Although the "landing strip" was paved, so that was a plus. The only downside: running into a student (gotta love that) on the ride out there!
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Mt. Kilimanjaro about 100 km away from our camp.

Our Lodge in Amboseli had spectacular views!
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Each day we had 2-3 drives. There are TONS of elephants in the area, but a lot of the other animals have migrated to the Masaai Mara. Luckily, we spotted a good variety of wildlife, even though the were sometimes few and far between.
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Hyenas are semi-cute looking when babies!

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Mom got a little nervous when we got too close to the animals!
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Lion spotting!
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Sunset drives were great!
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Bye Bye Amboseli, and hello Diani Beach on the coast!
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Mom's favorite flower, but it's impossible for her to pronounce!
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Hanging out at the beach, pool, and scuba diving!
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Fancy dinner at Ali Barbour's Caves, a restaurant located below group with tons of candles and hidden treasure!
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LAST STOP, NAIROBI!
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Lots of day trips all over the place!
1. Elephant Orphanage:
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2. Giraffe Center:
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3. Karen Blixen Home
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4. My favorite Ethiopian Restaurant, Habesha
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5. One of the many malls in Nairobi!
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6. Crescent Island to walk with the animals!
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7. A visit to ISK:
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8. And even church service on Easter and a casual lunch.
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What an exhausting trip! I'm still recovering!!!!!!!

Posted by BlakeSims 03:02 Comments (0)

Lake Nakuru

Say what?!

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd:
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A view of the park from Baboon Cliff

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A view of baboon on baboon cliff

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A view of Lindsey and me on baboon cliff!

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There's a baby rhino playing hide and seek with some water buffalo.

Have you ever been stuck in a car, deciding whether to stick to the "road" made of dirt tire treads, trying to squeeze your way between one angry looking 30 year old water buffalo and three massive, and also angry looking, rhinos and deciding if maybe you took a wrong turn somewhere? That just about sums up Lake Nakuru. A gorgeous national park about 2 hours outside of Nairobi boasting a massive saltwater lake, flamingos, and more rhinos than you can count on two hands.

However, the route there is almost as entertaining as the destination. Avoiding matatus, small children and their herds of goats, yellow fever thistles and the Rift Valley are only a few of the highlights...

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Fresh tree tomatoes and rhubarb anyone?

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Beware of matatus and loose baggage!

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Official gazelle crossing.

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Coke is not messing around with its advertising

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We know we've arrived in Nakuru when even the lampposts are covered in flamingos!

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Typical Lindsey move, getting into an "discussion" with a Kenya Wildlife Services employee

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Zebras in Kenya...no way!

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Um...this one was big, and way too close for comfort!

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Have you ever seen lions in a tree?

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Three lionesses waiting to devour a water buffalo carcass from the night before.

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Being a mzungu here never gets old. We had a whole bus of kids waving and sticking their faces on the window for a good hour, not once getting tired of it.

Posted by BlakeSims 08:46 Comments (0)

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