It was unanimous that today would be a rest day and I was oh so fine with that. I attempted to sleep in however was down at breakfast around 8:00am. I needed to go into town to do some banking as well as finalize some of our safari details so John had his friend Gabriele drive us in to town. Jim came along for the ride and Sian opted to enjoy her ‘day off’!
There is always some sort of challenge in Africa and today’s had to do with the ATM machine. It gave me my cash and then a note said you can not use this card at the bank any longer and took my debit card – I almost had a heart attack! My first reaction was that my bank had suspended my card due to “unusual transactions” even though I had a note on my file that I would be travelling in Africa. I went in to the bank and explained my situation and she asked me to wait and she would see what she could do. It was nerve wracking but about 15minutes later she walked up to me and handed me back my debit card – just as simple as that! Only in Africa. I tried another bank and all was well – whew!!
Following the bank we drove to the office of Hotels and Lodges to finalize our Safari stay at the Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Lodge. By 2:00pm we were back at the Snow Crest. I had some work to do while Sian and Jim enjoyed the hotel.
Around 5:00pm I was getting quite hungry as we skipped lunch however didn’t want to eat anything as we were having dinner in town. I invited Mrs. Munisi from the Bethlehem Children’s Home, her husband and two sons to join us. I also invited Livingston and our safari driver Rick (good African name – ha ha) to join us as well so we had a wonderful group of 10!
Rick arrived on time at 6:30pm and we ordered wine and soft drinks until the Munisi’s arrived. With such a diverse group the conversation was polite and intermittent but before long everyone was chatting and it was like old friends getting together. When our meals came everyone was so hungry that the table was silent once more until the food was finished and then the laughter and chatter started up again.
Rick told me that as we are in Maasai country beef was the dish to have and I asked ‘would it be as good as Alberta beef?’. To my surprise a lady at the next table said, ‘I am from Alberta as well and although good, it isn’t as good as our Alberta beef’. Regardless I decided to order the beef medallions with blue cheese and garlic mashed potatoes (almost as good as yours Fero but not quite). The beef was ok but the potatoes were a piece of heaven. John is allergic to garlic so this was the first we were able to eat since before Kili.
Mrs. Munisi gave Sian and I beautiful African saris and cards for us all and then it was time for hugs and farewells. What a great group of people. We start our 3 day safari tomorrow at 8:30am, so it was good night as soon as we arrived at the hotel – a good night was had by all!