the BIGGER picture


Just a glimspe. Susan's Perspective.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve: Unforgettable Memories

The hundreds of clunking cowbells rung harmoniously in the distant pastures and also immediately right next to me, “Clunk….clunk…Clunk…CLUNK”. The fresh manure smell was overwhelming but there was something peaceful and musical about the clunking, somewhat like giant ringing cast iron church bells in Europe. Except I wasn’t in Europe where beautiful cobblestone paths lined the laneways; I was somewhere in the Mara.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a place where tourists realize their legendary Kenyan safari dreams and where great memories are conceived.  And undoubtedly, at this very moment, a great memory was conceived.

Together with our team of visitors, I had been invited on a nature walk with some of the Maasai in the community. Mind you this was not just any “nature walk” like those in Canada where we look at rocks and enjoy the enclave of refreshing pine forests. No, a nature walk with the Maasai in the Mara means you’re roaming where the Lion King animals roam. Yes, Simba…Pumbaa…you name it, they were around.

The afternoon sun comforted my tired body with its warm rays. The gentle valleys and the green plains of the Mara were expansive and absolutely unforgettable. In the distance, I could see herds of zebras and a few giraffes grazing freely. The clunking continued to get louder and soon after, we ran into some cows owned by the Maasai.

That’s when it hit: the animals, Maasai and I were all roaming in the Mara!

Nature walk with Maasai by Susan Wong

Expansive green plains and gentle valleys of the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan Wong

A lion in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan Wong

Pumbaa a warthog and family in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan Wong

Pumbaa a warthog and family in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan WongPumbaa a warthog and family in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan Wong

Maasai on a nature walk in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by Susan Wong


Filed under: Africa, Canada, Kenya, Life, Photography, Thoughts, Travel, , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Girl In Town: Just Remember Everything Will Be SAWA

If you haven’t had a chance to read and be inspired by the incredible words that Michael Nigigi pens, take my word for it, check out his blog A Day In A Dog’s Life Michael asked me to contribute on his latest entry, so if you haven’t stumbled upon it yet, here it is.

Have you seen The Bigger Picture? Well it’s one of the blogs that have inspired me and given me pointers in writing my own. I am honored to know the owner of this blog and she happens to be a good friend. I have taken time to study her work especially in writing and photography. My conclusion? She is gifted. Meet Susan Wong, a Chinese Canadian who has travelled the world extensively. Wong is a traveller, writer, radio personality, photographer and fashion designer. When she told me she was on a flight on her way here, I didn’t waste the chance to request that she write me a blog note while on the plane. Today was her first day on radio (Capital Fm 98.4). She was good!

By Susan ‘Lucky’ Wong

My body ached and my head throbbed from exhaustion.  Coming up on 20 hours of travelling time, jetlag was definitely catching up to me.  As I flipped through my colourful Kenyan guidebook in a desperate last attempt to absorb as much information about my new home, the captain spoke over the intercom and informed us that we were descending into Nairobi, and moments later the flickering city lights welcomed us.

Mesmerized by the enchanting lights and the new adventures that awaited me, I reluctantly closed myguide book and put it away.  I realized that no amount of homework could really prepare me for my relocation to Nairobi.  I suppose the best preparation was to put aside all expectations and just humbly enjoy every moment, adventure and opportunity that crosses my path.  And with that mindset, I penned this journal entry to myself just before the plane touched down…

Dear Self,

Young Lady, you are no stranger to Africa, Kenya, Nairobi or the challenging task of relocation.  With that said, ignore those butterflies in your stomach; stop thinking about the ‘what ifs’ if you had made another choice; and tell your Mom’s chanting of “Nairobbery….” In your mind to hush!

Undoubtedly there will be a lot of challenges ahead.  You will face challenges that seem impossible to prevail.  You will meet people that will challenge who you are and the core of what you’re made of.  You can do this.  Remember that you’ve been blessed with this opportunity to follow your passion and perhaps answer a call.  There are amazing people that are waiting to support you.  Be bold. Just be you.

Don’t forget about the lessons you’ve learned in the past.  And yes, you’ve learned so much in Ethiopiafrom the past few years.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  Trust people until they give you a reason to not trust them.

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to explore the diverse restaurants in town!

Don’t fret.  Chin up Girl because everything will just be Sawa.

Voice over the intercom: “Welcome to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  The temperature outside is 18 degrees and expect a light drizzle …. Thanks for choosing….and we hope you have enjoyed your flight.”

Filed under: Africa, Kenya, Life, Music, Photography, Thoughts, Travel, , , , , , , ,

Through My Eyes


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