Personal Narrative Essay: Holiday Memories
Brian sat lazily on his bed going through the things he kept on a large box. There he found it! It gave him nostalgic moments. The photo album from his trip to Kenya, Africa. The photos spoke a thousand words. Last summer’s holidays were the most enjoyable and memorable moments for Brian. His father had at last fulfilled his promise to the family, an adventure to Kenya. Brian had only heard a lot about this East African country, especially since it was the motherland for the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Brian had conducted an extensive search on the internet and discovered the magnificent experience that awaited him. This time, he was all set to cross borders, oceans, rivers, and mountains for a lifetime experience. Truly, a change is as good as a rest, it was time to break the tradition of attending summer camp every other summer. He had gotten used to the summer schedule. He could not help imagining the surprises that awaited him ahead.
The trip was long and they had to connect through a couple of cities as there was no direct flight to the destination. During this flight, Brian could not help marveling at the expansiveness of the oceans and the continents which they passed over. “And you call all this a global village?” he wondered. If so, he thought they needed a new definition of what a village entailed. Arriving at the airport gave him a feeling of freshness, despite the tiredness and jet lag for the long journey. Huge welcome bill boards decorated this airport. “Jambo, welcome to Kenya”, was the warm welcome they got. A tune “Hakuna matata”, was playing somewhere in the background. As he came to learn later, it meant no trouble. He doubted whether the Indians during the Man-eaters of Tsavo era could have sung that tune. Well, things had changed and Brian was longing to see the mighty African lion, known for its strength and huge mane, the King of the Jungle.
The family went to a hotel in the city where they would be staying as they explored this famous Nairobi city. Traffic jam was chaotic, but he was accustomed to traffic hold ups in New York. This country was well known for its cultural heritage and diversity. This was all evident after a visit to a cultural center within the city. Here, different cultures were on display, the housing, dressing, tools, songs, and dances. Those Africans could shake their bones to the tunes of the drums and other music instruments on which he had never set an eye. This was beautiful and totally different from the hip-hop, rock, and other western music that he had been accustomed to back at home. The jig in these dances were amazing, Shakira ought to ask for a leaf to spice up her videos. These people had so many languages, but all spoke in Swahili language that was the national language.
More exploration of the city instilled a lifetime’s memory. But the life in the city was too common. It was time to hit the road and go to the bush, for a “safari”. Maasai Mara was well known for the famous wild beast migration. It was time to experience what he had only read about and watched on the National Geographic Channel. The roads may not have been very smooth but in the bush, it was rough. But luckily the land cruisers they used seemed to be made for the African roads and were expertly driven. It was a great sightseeing Maasais clad in red “shukas” with their great herds of cattle mingling with the wild animals such as zebras and gazelles. The drive seemed like endless rounds around the park which made him wonder how the driver was getting his way without a Google map application. It must have been installed in his head. During the day, as the tour guide explained it was a tough task to catch a sight for many animals as most tended to retreat into the bushes to escape the hot sun. The sun really burned!
The food in this place was very different and awesome. Menus had traditional foods such as nyama choma which was barbecued meat. The delicacies complimented by the warm hospitality of the staff helped create memorable times. When it came to time for the game drive, Brian was all set and eager. Armed with a pair of binoculars and camera, he was ready to experience this wonder of the world. As they moved around the park, it became clear to him that the animals had the right of way, after they had to wait for a pride of lions and its cubs pass the road. This offered him a great chance to take clear shots of the “royal” family of jungle. The towering elephants roaming at a distance left one wondering how these huge mammals were denied the kingship position. The wild beast herd was in thousands, if not tens of thousands. Together with others such as zebras and gazelles, the procession across the river was such an amazing site. Cameras were clicking from the many tour vans and videos rolling to capture these spectacular moments. The fight and struggles across the river reminded Brian of how challenging life was.
As Brian finished going through the photos, he could not appreciate what nature offered to mankind. The last photo was of him suited up in Maasai warrior “Moran” regalia, with a spear and “rungu” on his hand and a knife strapped on his waste. And then he decided that this would be his costume for this year’s costume party. The holiday memories made him smile as he stuffed back his album. Memories worth having, made his life more beautiful.
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