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Christmas in Lamu

This year, continuing our tradition of spending the holidays local, we went to Lamu. We were on Lamu Island and stayed at the Kizingoni Beach Bandas. I can’t tell you much about Lamu town, Shela, or anything else about the island.

We didn’t leave the beach. We were not near either town. We were exhausted. All we wanted to do was hang out on the beach and relax. So, that’s what we did.

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Here’s that little crab wiggling about:

Our one excursion was to go snorkeling. The water was a big rough so visibility was poor. But, I love the ocean and even a bad snorkel is a fun experience for me.

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J. shot some GoPro video. I’ll post that once it puts it all together

It was a much needed break. Rest and relaxation proved to be the best Christmas presents we could give ourselves.

So, that’s it. That’s this post. I will have a review of Kizingoni next week, followed by a review of Yapperville, where Oreo spent her Christmas vacation.

I hope your Christmas was as peaceful and enjoyable as our and wish you all a very happy new year!

Life in a Sh*thole Country

It gets more and more difficult to be an American abroad. The orange one will not shut up and his words grow more offensive every day. It’s hard to protest from outside the U.S., but I’m doing what I can.

I posted on Twitter. I posted on Instagram. I shared to FaceBook (although that is largely preaching to the choir). Now, I’m writing this post.

Kenya—all of Africa actually—falls under the fake-bake-bad-dye-job’s definition of “shithole country.” Guess what. It’s amazing here. I love it in Kenya and I never want to leave.

Guess what else. America’s shithole president and his supporting political party are turning America into a shithole, and fewer people want to visit let alone live there. Who wants to go to a racist land where you run the risk of getting shot just by going to see a movie? Why would anyone want to visit a place where women’s rights are being stripped away while white supremacists and rapists are applauded?

I don’t even want to visit home. I’ll happily stay abroad for now.

In closing, please enjoy these scenes from a shithole country. You’ll notice that it’s anything but that. I hope you’ll come to visit. If you can’t come to Kenya, then travel elsewhere. Go see the beauty in the parts of the world that the scumbag in chief will never be smart or sane enough to understand.

If nothing else, at least look at these pictures to see how wonderful Kenya is, and this is just a small slice.

 

There Is No Petco In Kenya

Oreo is a smart dog. Oreo is an active dog. Oreo is a young dog. A dog like Oreo needs to stay busy. Back in New York, this would mean lots of play, toys, and a vast assortment of canine enrichment contraptions for puzzles and games and feeding.

There is no Petco in Kenya. There is no place to buy such things. We have to come up with our own schemes. It takes some imagination, some research, and some dedication. But, it is worth it. Your dog will be happier and you will be happier.

Here are some of the ideas, tips, and tricks that I’ve come up with thus far:

  • Hunting for dinner in the garden by hiding her kibble around the yard and walking over to the piles of food.
  • I had a feeding toy built
  • Making a snufflemat
  • Using toilet paper and paper towel rolls for hiding food or making it an obstacle for getting to food
  • Using cardboard boxes to the same effect
  • Having friends bring in Kong feeders because Kongs are so awesome (people who bring us stuff are the best!)
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Hide kibble or treats in *some* of the tubes

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I had my local hardware store build this for me. Put kibble in the bottles and have your dog work to get the kibble to fall out of the open tops.

How do I come up with ideas? There are a number of ways:

  • Ask people. Your dog-people friends will have ideas to share.
  • Walk around hardware store with an imaginative eye to see what could be made into a toy.
  • Look up canine enrichment for sites and groups. Here’s a good one on Facebook.
  • Ask trainers
  • Look up canine enrichment or DIY dog toys on Pinterest

I’ve been collecting various ideas and helpful site on a Pinterest Board. That board is going to be up for a long time as Oreo is good at figuring out how to work around the game. For example, she figured out that she can pick up her snufflemat and give it a shake to get the food out faster. I need to keep coming up with new ideas and have an arsenal on hand to keep Oreo on her toes.

What can I say? She is one smart cookie!

Here’s a short video of us having creative fun with Oreo:

No Petco in Kenya from curriedpotato on Vimeo.

 

Special Announcement from Oreo

Hi everyone! I am getting a little sister. Her name is Maddie. Like me, she is a TNR dog, she had a broken leg, and she’s a cookie (Maddie is short for Madeleine). Once she gets here, she’ll write a guest post, just like I did.

I’m so excited!!! Here is a picture of her:

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One Off Art Gallery

I discovered the One Off Art Gallery while taking obedience classes with Oreo. The gallery is on beautiful grounds with an arena where Custom Made K9 holds classes. After going every week for training and getting a small glimpse of some really lovely art, I wanted to go check it out properly.

I am so glad I did. The art is amazing and there is a range of items. You’ll find large pieces, smaller pieces, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and a range of prices as well. If you are interested in East African art, especially from Kenyan artists, you need to go to One Off.

One off was started in 1994 (with a break from 2000-2009) by Carol Lees. The gallery  represents Kenyan artists (many of whom are represented exclusively by One Off) as well as some artists from Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Rwanda. This is real art—serious pieces and not touristy souvenirs. Again, there is a range in prices so don’t be scared of not finding any affordable art.

Here are a few photos to walk you through the gallery:

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One side of the ground floor of the main gallery space

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View from the other side of the main floor

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Some sculptures

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Gorgeous glass beaded piece

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As you can see, there is a wide variety of work

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Coming Home by Peter Elungat – I wish I could buy this one!

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Wooden sculptures outside the top floor of the main gallery

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A wide range of work for sale

If you live in Nairobi or are just visiting, you should really check out the gallery. Give yourself time to browse and chat with Carol, who is an expert in East African art.

E-mail:  oneoff@africaonline.co.ke
Phone:  +254 722 521870

Address:  #16 Rosslyn Lone Tree Estate, off Limuru Road, Nairobi 00621, Kenya.
Opening Hours:  Tue – Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm