This story was written by a student at Canyon-Lister Elementary School for It’s Elementary!, a monthly feature in the Creston Valley Advance.
My friends and I love to learn about animals, so we decided to go on an African jungle safari to Kenya. Our backpacks were full of camera gear and stuff to survive in the jungle, like dried food and an emergency medical kit. We were going to meet a friend named Amadi, who is an expert guide and knows the laws of the jungle and how to safely get around in it.
So we started out one bright sunny day. We drove to the Calgary airport in our jeep and caught a flight to Paris, where we spent the night with my aunt and uncle. The next day, we took the direct flight to Jomo Kenyatta airport.
After hours of flying, we finally arrived, and Amadi was excitedly waiting for us! He drove us to his family’s home where supper was on the stove. We were too tired to ask what was being served so we had no idea what we were eating. They had bought drinking water, so we wouldn’t get sick from their tap water.
After a restful night, we started our African jungle safari! Amadi had prepared everything for us. We were so exited to get started. We travelled in Amadi’s jeep from camp to camp or cabin, stopping to take pictures of landscapes and wildlife we met. We were able to get pictures of the following animals: giraffes, monkeys – swinging from tree to tree, pandas, lemurs, zebras, hippopotami, many types of insects, reptiles, wild cats and colorful birds; we even witnessed elephants bathing by using their trunks. It was so cool!
Every night we would make a campfire and sing and dance and tell stories while sitting around it. Sometimes we just sat and enjoyed the sunsets. There was a cook at every camp so food was provided. We slept in tents with mosquito nets. When we stopped at camps or cabins, we had a great time meeting people from all over the world, on their own safari tours.
We traveled on dirt roads and spent the day hiking between trees, trees and more trees. We felt like we were in another world. There was high humidity and heat, so we drank lots of water. Kenya is close to the ocean and when near the ocean we saw white sand for miles and miles. There were no people except us.
One day, while eating a banana snack, a big hairy hand suddenly came through the jeep window and stole my banana! I started screaming; Olivia and Meredith, also scared, looked at me. Amadi explained to us to that it was only a monkey. From then on I made sure that I was never by the window when I ate a banana!
After this incident, while driving on the dirt road, the right tire blew with a bang! The tire had popped! Right away, Amadi jumped out of the front seat, jacked up the vehicle, put on the spare tire and away we went. Less than two hours later we heard the same noise as the last time — bang! This time, we were in trouble because we had no spare tires left! Amadi used his radio to contact help in town. They made arrangements to bring us a couple of spare tires.
While we were walking around waiting, Makayla screamed and slipped on a rock. “Ow! Ow! Ow!” She was in pain so we tried to help her stand up and walk but she couldn’t put any weight on her left foot. A helicopter arrived and it was decided that Makayla would go back to town with the helicopter. There was only one night left at camp before returning to Amadi`s house so she didn’t miss that much.
The next day, we enjoyed our last hours in this amazing part of the world. We were glad to find Makayla with a smile on her face and moving around with the help of crutches. Amadi drove us to the airport the next day; we made him promise to come see us so we could show him our country. Back home, we wondered if we had just dreamed about this wonderful adventure but looking at Makayla`s foot reminded us that it had been real.
— EMMA PENNER