Monday, February 19, 2007


Today was our afternoon excursion to see the hippos! (see more of the "journey" in the pictures below) Once we got down to the shore of the lake where we saw the size of the "boat" (see below), Kelly & Becky stayed on shore with the kids, but still within sight of the hippos periodically sticking their heads above the water! It was quite a sight...then Randy and two of our African friends hopped into the small dug-out canoe and headed out to look a little closer! Timo kept saying, "My Daddy is so brave." Some of you might choose other adjectives ! :)

The guide took us out several hundred feet, but we maintained a distance of the 3 hippos that were in this lake (we found out that this is a special project of an NGO to help promote tourism in the area...they put 3 hippos in this lake and hope to breed more (why I'm not sure?)...anyway, the guide knew right where they were...while we kept a safe distance, it was quite the adrenalin rush to be out in the same water with these huge creatures! I thought it was a fun experience, but my African friends were less impressed...they kept saying, "we want to see their whole body come up out of the water." To that, I said, "if I see that whole body start getting out of this water, I'm running as fast as I can to the truck!" It was a fun afternoon to spend with my family and my African friends as well. Anyone up for a visit to Benin and a trip to see the hippos up-close and personal?!!

In the above collage,
(Top Row)
Payton, Tori, and Timo are eager to see some hippos on the truck ride down to the lake; some kids in Djoukonta; the 30-minute walk from the road down to the lake was truly part of the "African experience"
(Middle R0w)
The kids kept commenting on the "walk through the jungle"; one of the kids who found us more interesting than any hippos (we are somewhat accustomed to the stares!); here Randy is getting in the boat with 2 of his African Christian brothers who made the journey with us
(Bottom Row)
here's a couple of more pictures of Randy on the dug-out canoe heading out to get a closeup view of the beastly creatures!; a few more of the on-lookers

The long haul through the "jungle" wore out the boys...Uncle Randy took his turn with Payton while Mathias (mah-tee-AHS) carried Timo.

Of course Tori did her part in helping out with Payton!

(Top Row)
the kids enjoy some pool time to beat the heat!; Lael & Jonathan looking cuter than ever (especially when they are sportin' their much-needed new clothes from America!)
(Middle & Bottom Rows)
Tori, Timo and Payton really love their new nerf guns from Uncle Tony!; Tori loves reading bedtime stories to her brother and cousin; fun cousin pictures of PTT; finally the bottom right picture is literally just 5 feet from where the other pictures were taken...Jonathan & Lael were supposed to be on their beds taking a nap when Kelly spotted these jealous cousins more interested in the fun outside than what Mom wanted them to be doing inside (resting!)


CommentRV said...

Oh, my I would love to be there! Joy abounds! I love Randy in the dugout canoe...and
Tori & Payton's everything but encouraging faces...Timo encouraging Randy...and K&B trying to figure out how they were going to tell this story if RV got tipped over with the hippos...I do remember taking a ride in a dugout canoe over there...we did not want anyone to take a deep breath for fear of tipping us over......again it sure makes you appreciate US govt safety regulations!

Absolutely love Jonathan and Lael looking out the precious...blessing to

shell said...

the "should be napping" cousins is adorable!!! i love little lael's eyes barely above the window seal. poor things -- never get to have any fun, always have to take crummy ol' naps. :)

love you all!!!!!

vicki said...

these pix are definitely the proof positive of a wonderful trip! Jan called to tell me to look...she doesn't know how to comment but she talked about the joy she felt "sharing" the experience with all of you! Keep on having fun, and keep on posting!! Love you each and everyone, Aunt VG