While I have been on a solitary journey in Larkhill, Wiltshire in England, Mr Nomad has continued to fly the flag for the Nomadic Family Unit in Kenya. Little has changed for him except that he has been carrying on maintaining security in a foreign country far from home alone, although he has had the comfort and assistance of our able side kicks, Hound Solo and Princess Zuri.
Both of the furry children have embraced new roles and have been going into the office to accompany Mr Nomad in his day to day business.
Solo has been promoted to Sergeant ‘Sniffer Dog’ Solo and Zuri has become known as Corporal ‘attack beast’ Zuri. Although Solo’s expertise lies in his ability to sniff out danger (and lizards), he has also attempted to seize the role of getaway driver. Zuri has simply maintained her defensive stance at all costs and has served Mr Nomad well in her enduring talent to scare away all potential threats.
For some time after my departure, Solo had been seen to be searching for me and Mr Nomad reported that Solo would run to check the spare rooms in the house, expecting to find me.
He was witnessed sitting on his favourite perch in the garden, surveying the grounds in his usual fashion and continuing to patrol the perimeter but clearly his efforts were all to no avail and he has settled into a new routine with Mr Nomad attending at the office.
Zuri, coming from the rough streets of Kenya is as hard as nails so has seemingly been oblivious to any such upheaval, proving that she is a Daddy’s girl! I have been able to keep in touch with the Nomadic furry children and I have spoken to them on numerous occasions utilising Whatsapp video calls. Zuri has been quite attentive but Solo is a typical boy and cares more about his bed and has continued to catch up on his beauty sleep when he has had a hard day at the office.
Mr Nomad has on occasion, treated Solo to a boys night in with pizza and a beer so as to ensure he does not feel that he’s missing out on attention, given that Zuri demands fuss from her Daddy constantly and rules the roost when it comes to sofa time. She has remained true to form though and there has been at times, some wanton destruction to our home.
During my time away, I have unfortunately missed Solo’s 7th birthday. Mr Nomad treated the dogs to a new bed which they have embraced enthusiastically and I did send some new toys in a package. I also missed Zuri’s first anniversary of joining the Nomadic Family Unit.
The one year anniversary of her ‘rescue day’ has now been and gone and she remains firmly cemented into our family. I can’t imagine our family unit without her now despite her mischievous nature, her uncivilised manner and a trail of destruction wherever she goes.
In between work responsibilities, Mr Nomad has enjoyed safari’s at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. As a treat, the Nomadic furry children joined him on one occasion and a great day was had with Mr Nomad sighting the wonderful animals contained within the conservancy including elephants, giraffes, Hartebeest, baboon, lions to name but a few.
There was I’m told, a very close encounter with a juvenile hyena who attempted to vandalise Mr Nomad’s vehicle, trying to munch the mud flaps and tyres on the car! The dogs behaved impeccably whilst this was going on, perhaps in fear of such a formidable opponent although Zuri’s hackles were raised and she couldn’t help herself in letting out a defensive growl, living up to her reputation as ‘attack beast.’
As with the entire world, the global lock down and closed borders has affected tourism substantially and Ol Pejeta is crying out for financial assistance. There are still rangers to employ so Mr Nomad’s entrance fees contribute to a desperate situation. Poaching has been on the increase as the Kenyan population starve and they seek out ‘bush meat’ with which to feed themselves. A safari in a vehicle can be a solitary affair so social distancing is no problem, although I long to return to Kenya to join Mr Nomad on all such adventures.
Mr Nomad also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Najin, one of the last two remaining Northern White Rhino. With only two Northern White Rhino left in the entire world, these curiously cumbersome creatures are functionally extinct. The anti-poaching patrols at Ol Pejeta are worth their weight in gold in their protection of such magnificent beasts, and Ol Pejeta are engaged in a programme to save this sub-species of rhino. With any luck, when the Kenyan borders re-open, tourism will be revived and funding will pour back in to allow such valuable work to continue.
The lock down has began to ease in the UK despite the startling figures of confirmed cases of Covid-19, along with the substantial death toll. Non-essential shops and businesses have been allowed to re-open and despite the opening of clothes shops and such like, some pubs, restaurants, hair dressers and other such places, the Covid curve is flattening and the death rate has slowed. Confirmed cases stands at 300,692 and the staggering death toll is 45,878. Life is however, starting to get back to normal although there is the ever pervading threat of a second peak.
Kenya did not follow the predicted curves at all and remains in a relatively preferential position. To date, there have been confirmed cases of 19,125 with the death toll standing at 311. These figures do not compare with the UK whatsoever and Kenya has fared so much better than was ever expected. That said, since President Kenyatta’s address on 6th July 2020, when lock down was eased a little, and a shift in the timings of nation wide curfews, there has been an escalation in cases and the death figure is increasing dramatically. Whether or not the peak has yet been reached in Kenya is anyone’s guess but hopefully, the spread of the virus can be abated shortly. Notwithstanding this news, the President decreed that international flights can resume on 1st August 2020 so my return to the Nomadic Family Unit is imminent. The risks of contracting Covid-19 will have to be managed, much as it had to be in the UK and life must be allowed to go on. Tourism must be resurrected in Kenya if the country and its people is to have any chance of survival.
Whilst I have endured an evacuation and a heart breaking forced separation from Mr Nomad for some considerable time, I have been fortunate in that I have maintained good health, as has Mr Nomad and all of our dearly beloved family and friends. The furry Nomadic children have barely noticed any changes and as we emerge unscathed, I am thankful that the world is starting to recover.
A reunion with the Nomadic Family Unit is rapidly approaching, my aching heart will be repaired and I look forward to continuing our adventures in the amazing African wilderness…. onwards!