There really is no environment like this that makes you fully aware of God's beauty in nature and His presence.
By Paeton Outman
Day 5 - MASAI MARA
Today was full of laughter, bumpy roads, snack stops, majestic African animals, and delightful people.
Our early morning began at 6am for a quick breakfast of crepes and eggs before a 7-hour journey to the Masai Mara.
Ms. Kelley and I were trying to explain how glorious and vast this beautiful place is to the other team members but came to the conclusion that the English language simply lacks any vocabulary to truly capture the Masai Mara. Our road trip went smoothly, with no major problems except a few bumps in the road ... quite literally.
It was such a treat to get to spend time chit-chatting with Natalie, Sara Ruth, and Cassidy over every subject possible from goofy childhood stories to what life is like in a sorority house. Our driver Benson was able to get a few words in, too, shouting out fun facts about Kenya and places we were driving through. Our group took a quick stop to see the Rift Valley then continued for the safari park.
Once we arrived, we were spoiled with a delicious lunch then headed out for an evening game drive.
The wildebeest migration started early this year and we witnessed this event through all 5 senses. Not only did we see and hear many many herds of wildebeest but we also caught a whiff of their smell. The group walked across a bridge over the Mara River where we saw hundreds of the animals stranded in the current after unsuccessfully passing the record high waters. Above us, swarms of vultures circled waiting for their next meal, and that's when we decided we had witnessed enough and ran back to the bus.
This evening, we we saw giraffes, water buffalos, hyena, hippos, crocodiles, mongoose, ostriches, lions, zebras, elephants, impalas, gazelles, birds of all shapes and sizes, incredible trees, pumba, lizards, heartbeast, baboons, wildebeest, and so many more free, happy animals. There really is no environment like this that makes you fully aware of God's beauty in nature and His presence. All throughout the day we have made references and sung songs from The Lion King, especially The Circle of Life.
The Masai Mara could not exist without a perfect God organizing each perfect detail in the circle of life for all of the animals, plants, and people we see here.
Ms. Kelley says it best: “I’m pretty darn sure that this is the exact spot God came to when he created the earth.”
Paeton Outman, a junior at the University of Arkansas and the daughter of h.o.w? Ministry's founder/executive director Michelle Outman, is a frequent traveler to Kenya with h.o.w? Ministry. She has enlisted the generous support of her sorority sisters in the Arkansas Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi. They helped fund a water capture system for our Women's Empowerment Center in Kinangop, and numerous sorority sisters have joined her on mission trips, including 3 this time: Cassidy Dutton, Natalie Hundley, and Sara Ruth Nelson.