August 13: 7 AM – Sundowner Last Night
We planned an early game drive yesterday so we could return to the camp for lunch and rest for a while before we took part in a Sundowner. On our drive back to camp around 12:30 PM we received a call from our safari company stating that they made a mistake and the sundowner that we planned our entire day around was a typo in our itinerary and not included in our package. We were about 10 minutes from camp and a good 60 minutes from any animals and Ilise, my brother and I were not so thrilled with the phone call.
We told Dennis, the representative from Gamewatchers, that we appreciated him informing us that the Sundowner was a mistake but that they needed to honor their mistake. We have had our itinerary for over 4 months and most everything else was clearly delineated as to what was included and what was not. I hung up the phone explaining that we understand the mistake but believe they should honor the itinerary. We went to lunch and then back to the tent and I received another call from Dennis. He apologized for the mistake and said that everything was taken care of and we should enjoy our evening. That was a very good decision on their part.
So, it was a bit before 6 PM and we find our driver, David, and start to head out for our little view of the sunset. We leave camp and no more than 5 minutes later we are driving up a hill to an area with a formal table with appetizers and a full bar. There is a man playing guitar, the chef, a bartender and the manager of the facility, Alex. I started to look to see if any other cars were coming and there were none. This whole event was just for us. This Sundowner was amazing.
They built a big fire and Ilise and the kids started dancing to the guitar players music. We all enjoyed the food, the music and the people. I had a wonderful conversation with Alex about his country and how their culture effects their work ethic. We also enjoyed the beautiful sunset and got lots of pictures. The entire evening was excellent and when we returned to camp we had a quick dessert and everyone headed to bed early except for my brother and I.
Kenny and I had a really nice conversation and met a few more people around the restaurant and bar. I ended up meeting a Kenyan entrepreneur who owns a steel distribution company. It was a very interesting conversation as he has been in business for 25 years and is stuck at 60 employees. He is very passionate about his business but it is set up as a lifestyle business and takes care of the people that have been with him for a long time. I am sure that I will get an email from Shamik and we will see where that goes. He was at the camp site with a friend from Boston who is working on open education initiatives and we had a very good discussion about the Kahn Academy and other open education platforms. He was very passionate about his work and I believe he might be able to help another non-profit I am working with called Teach-a-Class. We will see where this all leads.
As for our day tomorrow, we are up early for another day in the park and we are heading straight for the river to sit and wait for the wildebeest to cross. We will see what happens today, but either way it has already been an amazing stay. Beyond seeing all the animals the staff at Siana Springs has been so kind and generous it has been a pleasure to stay here.
‘Til next time ……