This weekend was definitely not what I was expecting. Going into it I thought we would be camping in a very rural, flat area, but I was very wrong. We ended up staying at Mama Ana’s house, which is located in the foothills of Mount Meru. Here she leads a women’s organization and they make and sell their own coffee, cornstarch, honey, and mozzarella. Mama Ana’s husband taught us the process of making coffee and we even made some! He also showed us how they collect honey and we tasted it. Learning all of these things was great and something that many do not get to see in their lifetime.

The first day of this excursion we went on a walking safari. This was not what one thinks of a safari since it was more of a hike up the mountain and back down. I was not prepared for this and I ended up struggling a bit to make it to the top, but I did it. Looking back on this hike I did have fun and we did see a few really neat animals. At the beginning of the hike we walked through a field full of buffalo and were about 10 feet away from them. We also saw a few monkeys and many biting ants. The safari was nice even though we did not see as many animals as we did in the Serengeti.

On Sunday we were woken up by a rooster at 4am and then again at 5am by the cow. I think not one person from the group knew this would happen and we ended up getting up an hour and a half before breakfast time. Mama Ana and her friends made us a traditional African breakfast of mandazi and fried bananas with tea and coffee. After breakfast we started another climb to a viewpoint at the top of one of the foothills. Again, we were not prepared for this 2 hour hike since we were told it would only take 30 minutes. But again it was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the area and the mountain. Overall, this weekend turned out to be great even though much of it was unexpected and I am very happy to have been able to experience it all.


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