stories

building unconquerable relationships

Summer 2013 Kenya – Days 16-19 (FINAL)

With an eight-hour drive ahead of us we started out at 6am for the Maasai Mara National Reserve with our new driver, Felix. With only an hour or two left of darkness and a short distance of paved roads, the journey would be a long one, and so the group tried to quickly fall asleep in the van. The last hour of the drive stretched through a small portion of the National Reserve (Game Park), where we saw our first wildebeests and zebras. As we entered the Game Park, the local Maasai women happily greeted us with bracelets and other souvenirs, pugnaciously sticking their arms through the van windows in the hopes that we would buy something. Here we were, taking on the part of tourists again, a role we thought we had left in Nairobi almost two weeks ago.

Upon arriving at the camp, we unloaded and stretched our legs. Meeting some of the Maasai warriors that would be protecting the grounds from wild animals during the night, we learned that a few of them actually remembered Mike and the 2012 Invictus team. In fact, a Maasai named Jackson was still wearing a watch that Gabe, last years team member, bartered in exchange for an authentic Maasai necklace.

After dinner we gathered around the campfire. Nearing the end of our trip, the next couple of days would be spent here. As a team, we’ve experienced so much over the last fifteen days. Entering the country as tourists, only to integrate into a community we’ve all grown to love and admire. We managed to break through the surface of the National Geographic-esk picture-perfect scenes and dig into a world of struggle, heartache, joy, and happiness, varying greatly from the world we’re familiar with, that of the American way of life. The friendships and experiences made over the last two weeks have not only altered our perspectives, but will certainly stay with us as we carry them in our heads and hearts for the rest of our lives.

The Invictus Initiative Kenya 2013 Trip

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