Monday, March 23, 2009

Wanyama (animals)

Seeing wildlife is like seeing celebrities, only better. ~ Tanja Andrews

I find it very interesting that many people are curious to know what animals I have seen since I came to Kenya so I thought I would write a post about the different animals I've seen...
In a previous post I described an interesting encounter with a chicken and her young chicks. Even though the prior story was only one example, it is not uncommon to see many chickens throughout the day. In the morning I usually see a few chickens and a rooster as they roam around the compound. Some neighbors also have geese which have been known to roam around our compound from time to time. Speaking of geese, there is a group of geese that tend to hang around puddles on my way into town. These geese tend to stare me down as I walk by and they have been known to greet me as I walk by.
Cows are also seen on a daily basis. In the compound where I live we have three cows plus one calf. Cows can also be seen walking down the road on their way to being grazed. Sheep are also seen regularly as they are being walked to their grazing locations.
There are of course many different types of birds that can be seen and heard all around the community. If you walk down by the rice paddies when there are tractors in the area you are guaranteed to see flocks of birds looking for a meal (worms) as the ground is being turned.
In fact, there is one bird that when sing or call out predators in the area make a sound that I recognized upon first hearing it as a sound commonly used for error messages on a computer system (Mac I think but I can’t recall for sure under which circumstances this particular error can be heard). Which reminds me that the other day I heard a “tie-fighter” squeal coming from a chicken roost (I know, I’m a sci-fi geek). I swear I’m not going crazy! I heard some chickens or maybe roosters making some noises from a roost and I swear for a moment I thought I had gone back to watching a Star Wars film in which some Tie Fighters were chasing other space ships.
Aside from the animals already listed, I also have bats flying around at night in the compound I live and some that even like to hang on the roof of the pit latrine.
I have also seen camels walking near the road on one occasion. I’m not sure where they were going or what they were doing, but it was cool to see them from roughly 20 meters away.
I have also seen lions, elephants, monkeys, wildebeests, water buffalo, and a giraffe from afar during our initial trip to our training location. One day I’d like to visit some other volunteers and possibly travel into a national park to see more of Kenya’s beautiful wildlife.
I have been truly blessed/lucky to have seen all these different types of animals in the short time I’ve been in Kenya.


  1. What is the Kiswahili word for Wildebeest...and where is mine? It better not be in Jamaica.

  2. Hey George aka "Blothar vonWombat" (your profile picture rocks by the way),
    Your Wildebeest was sent to the direction that Danielle aka "Doc" gave me and somehow your Wildebeest did end up in Jamaica. I'd suggest you ask Doc for the address and try to contact the Wildebeest directly. Who knows, maybe your Wildebeest can even speak English by now. ;)