Month: January 2018

Review: Yapperville

While we were on Christmas holiday in Lamu, Oreo was on her own vacation at Yapperville. Yapperville is a boarding facility outside Nairobi for cats and dogs. They are also part of the IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association) in Kenya, taking care of the export and import of pets. We chose them because we had gotten so many great reviews from fellow dog owners. Everyone we know who has used them says that his or her dog loves it there. Oreo agrees! She had a great time time. The place is like a big safari lodge for pets. There are a number of kennels with little boma-style huts. Dogs also go on walks in vast open fields (the facility is fenced along the perimeter) where they can run and play. It’s really nice. It made me feel better knowing that Oreo was enjoying her own vacation! If you’re interested in Yapperville, you can contact them:   Tel: +254 722 732 547 / +254 722 833 277 between 8 am and 1 pm and then …

Review: Kizingoni Beach Bandas

For our Christmas holiday in Lamu, we stayed at the Kizingoni Beach Bandas. It was absolutely wonderful! Tucked away on Lamu Island, far from Lamu town and Shela, it was paradise. What do I mean by paradise? I mean just a few little bandas (cottages/huts), all spaced out from one another, and all very close to the beach. It’s quite Robinson Caruso, but with wi-fi. (If you forgot sunblock or a toothbrush or something, you’ll need to trek to Lamu town to get it. This is not a big, fully-stocked resort.) Our Banda, Low Tide, was gorgeous. The lower portion was a covered but open deck with swinging day beds, a table and chairs, and then an additional lounge area. Upstairs, we had a balcony/terrace and then the room itself. Everything was very open. The room was decorated in the traditional Lamu style with attention to detail. The bathroom was a bit dark, but it was spacious. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water was a nice surprise. I didn’t expect it given the …

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. 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. 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 …

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 …

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 …