Under the Kenyan Sun


THE KENYAN SUNRISE STRETCHES OUT ACROSS THE PLAINS. Elephants, rhinos, and cape buffalo gather to drink at the watering hole while sunlight refracts off the surface. Curious explorers look on from afar. Is this the opening scene of a Hollywood blockbuster? Or just a day in the life of the Principia Lifelong Learning (PLL) travelers in Africa?

The goal of this latest expedition: to spot “The Big Five”—African elephant, lion, leopard, cape buffalo, and the endangered black rhinoceros. The starting point: Nairobi, Kenya. Whether they were surrounded by baby elephants, learning about Kenya’s rich culture and wildlife, visiting a Maasai village, or taking off in a bush plane from a dirt runway, the explorers were keen for good adventure. Learning is never dull when your teacher and guide is Renee Bumpus, Chief Animal Conservation Officer at the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, or when you have an entire African land conservancy as your classroom.

The PLL expeditioners experienced nature up close and personal, from witnessing a fresh lion kill on a night drive—female lions and their cubs cleaning a carcass mere feet from their vehicles—to sleeping in tents in Kenya’s Ol Pajeta Conservancy. And yet, it was the moments between the planned events where some of the most genuine learning occurred: discussing Kenyan politics and environmental issues with safari drivers, or dancing with members of the Maasai tribes and later singing hymns with them at a Christian Science testimony meeting. All these moments underscore the essential, and deeply rewarding, human element of travel.


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    This Kenya trip has been insightful and fun, challenging my thinking and bringing a true sense of God’s government and provision for all. This has meant new friendships, wonderful memories, and a very deep and humble gratitude for Christian Science demonstrated and shared within my new family of travelers.

The Maasai and Kenyan people were welcoming and friendly, eager to share their lives, and learn about mine. The chance to visit a Maasai village to see their way of life was revealing and very moving.”

—Linda (Whitemore) Bradstreet (C’67)

    This was my first venture through Principia, but hopefully not my last. The Kenya trip was rich with animals big and small, incredible scenery, knowledgeable and fun local guides, and an amazing Wildlife Specialist and Wildlife Conservationist, PLL’s trip scholar, Renee Bumpus. But what set this trip apart from any other I have taken, was the immediate and close relationship I shared with the other participants on the tour.

This trip was a quest, a most rewarding one. How grateful I am to PLL for their attention to detail, their array of fascinating trips to choose from, and their care and attention to each individual while on the trip."

—Ann Blamey

I loved so many things on this trip, but one that stood out was the precision and exactitude of the many stripes on the thousands of zebras. The way the stripes covered the body and met exactly in balance to each side was phenomenal.

I was in awe of the entire experience and a side note, zebras bark like dogs when they communicate with each other!”

—Carol (Mitchell) Stocking (US’65)

. . . it was so much more than a vacation. We traveled with amazing people and saw some spectacular things. 

It was so fun to be in awe at what we saw so many times each day.  We loved having expert guides driving us and helping us to find so many animals and birds. We loved hearing the visiting lecturer share insights and perspectives to make the trip richer. 

We took time to watch a mother elephant stand over her sleeping baby while it rested along its journey. We got to watch birds and start noticing some of their behaviors we hadn't previously seen. We took time to talk to our guide and learn even more about his life, culture, and perspectives. Each of these made our trip unforgettable. Thank you, Principia, for organizing a trip of a lifetime!”

—Amy Patzlaff (US’88, C’93) & Jeff Patzlaff (C’87)



I liked the attached photo only because it illustrated the opportunity that we had to have  meaningful and sometimes personal discussions with our host Kenyan peoples. Having a discussion with this young Masai tribal member and father (as well as some of his companions) gave me a peek into their interesting lives.”

—Chuck Stocking (C'66)

Kenya Safari Trip 1

Kenya Safari Trip 2

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