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Published on July 13th, 2008 | by tdnimz7S

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Elephant etiquette, and “the guy with the machine gun is…”

…always right.”

So when two gentlemen carrying machine guns the size of attack helicopters invited me to stop in downtown Nairobi last night, I stopped. They had no uniforms. But they had guns. And attitudes. After lengthy negotiations, while Marge and two grandchildren prayed in the car, they decided to settle for a “quick fine” of $17 for “dangerous driving” at 20 km per hour down a street that suddenly changed into one way, with no sign. Funny, the air around them seemed to carry a hint of marijuana…

All of which did not take away from Sherry’s graduation Saturday. We thank God – the main hymn during the ceremony was the same one that the nurse sang in Marge’s Nairobi hospital ward 18 years ago, when Sherry was born. She has been accepted in McMaster University, Hamilton.

Gord and two of his children, Lauren and Ethan, have seen elephants, giraffes, warthogs, illegal police harassment (on 2 occasions), and the school their Dad, Allan and Sarah attended.

Which remind me: next time you are standing beside an elephant, don’t squat. A few onlookers did as we studied 9 orphaned African elephants. The pesky pachyderms thought they were toys, and nudged (!!) them.

It looks like I will be returning to Canada later this year to renew contacts. I will keep in touch. God bless.

Ken & Marge MacGowan


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