How About An Environmental Travel Kenya Safari

Ever heard of the famous Professor Wangari Maathai? She is a Nobel Peace Price Laurreate, the Member of Parliament for Tetu Constitituency, the founder and leader of the Green Belt Movement. With so many attributes to her name, she is the so down to earth Lady that you may not pick up from the large crowds she pulls campaining for the conservation of the environment both Globally and in Kenya, where she was born and Brought up.

Like in many many other countries in the world, Kenya has had its share of deforestation through illegal logging, land degradation by use rudimentally farming practices and burning of fossil fuels leading to the Global warming threat, where the world is expected to warm up by over 2 degrees centgrade over the next 100 years. It expected that increased temperature changes could lead to drastic and erratic weather changes with some parts of the world becoming either too hot or too cold. This is going to affect food production to an ever growing population especially in the less deveoped african countries making human survival harder than in any other period in the history of mankind.

Professor Wangari Maathai has has taken the leading role in organising communities and Non-Governmental organizations into condemming land grabbing, degazettement of forest land and illegal logging, throgh her Green Belt movement. Many youth groups and women organizations have taken the cue from her and started indigenous tree nurseries all over kenya. These initiatives are going to change the face of Kenya, making your dreams of that covetted Safari even more interesting, imagine all the bare countryside coming to life with lush green indegenous trees that save our soils from the from raging rain waters running into the rivers that feed our National animal conservatories.

As a tourist in Kenya, you could get involved. Lets call it an environmental Safari. You could help plant a tree or two. Let us exchange views. What is your country doing to conserve the environment? What lessons can Kenyans learn from from your countrys’ conservation efforts? Do you have an alternative to fuel wood that 90% of kenyans use? What will Kenya do with the menace of plastic waste management? The list is endless, but the options are there with you and the whole lot of us will appreciate.

Kenyans are a very hospitable people. They wil not mind to host you as a tourist as you travel to other covetted tourist destinations scattered all over the country. Talk of budget travel and you have it, it cannot come cheaper. There are many diverse tribes in Kenya and you are sure to be treated to the many traditional cuisine that are prepared in the countryside. You will also be treated to the many cultural events, unique to each cultural group.

Too Good to Be Forgotten – Nobel Prize Winner Sigrid Undset

Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) was always considered a Norwegian writer, but she was actually born in the Danish city of Kalundborg. Her father, Ingvald, was an archeologist and her mother, Anna Charlotte, was the daughter of an attorney. It is obvious that intellectually Sigrid was most influenced by her father as she developed a never dying fascination with the medieval history and mythology of Scandinavia. She may have resented her mother’s criticism of religion, but she was nevertheless influenced by her down-to-earth attitude to life.

Unfortunately Ingvald died, only forty years old, which was a financial catastrophe for the family which had moved to Norway. Anna Charlotte had to sell his collections of books which Sigrid later on tried to hunt down and buy. However, the financial situation of the family made it necessary for her to train and work as a secretary and she worked as such for ten years while reading and dreaming on her spare time. Also she started to write herself, but her first historical novel was turned down with the words that she lacked talent for writing about history. The first one she had published was the “Fru Marta Oulie” (1907) about an unfaithful wife which was a shocking subject for some critics. This contemporary novel was followed by a collection of short stories, “Den Lykkelige Alder” (1908), but it was the historical novel, “Fort√¶llingen om Viga-Ljot og Vigdis” (1909) which got her the government scholarship that made it possible for her to stop her job as a secretary and become a full-time writer.

After “Jenny” (1911) she traveled widely in Europe, but in 1912 she married the Norwegian painter Anders Castus Svarstad who had three children from his previous marriage. In 1919 they separated and she settled down with her mentally retarded daughter, Maren Charlotte, and two sons. This development went parallel with the shift in religion that she underwent. When she converted to Catholicism she also had her marriage annulled. Over the years she had moved from a more traditional feminism, wanting jobs and social equality for young women, but then she started to argue for women keeping their traditional place in the home and not leaving it for jobs or careers. When she converted she was adamant that this was the place for women and that they should not give it up no matter what.

Her most famous novel and the one which earned her the Nobel Prize is the trilogy “Kristin Lavransdottir” (1920-22) which depicts women’s life in Catholic Norway of the 13th and 14th centuries. Kristin is the beautiful and spoilt daughter of Lavrans, based on her late father, who is seduced by the handsome Erlend and marries him, thus ending up in a hate-love relationship which tears at both of them and which makes her bitter. They have many children and problems abound, but being the housewife Kristin is the strong pillar of the family. In the end she dies, reconciled with God, and even welcoming her death.

In this fictive, medieval character Sigrid Undset depicts her women ideal as the strong centre of the family and society. Women in her works are depicted as someone above men because they have an ability to bring order and save families by sacrificing all that the traditional feminist movement fought for, i.e. individual freedom. I would say that what has been seen as blatant reaction is turned upside down and used by her to lift women to a higher position that they find in our time.

She published many more books, but she also took part in historical events like e.g. the resistance against Nazism. The money she won with her Nobel Prize she gave away, part of it to a foundation for mentally challenged children. She also sold her Nobel Prize medal and gave the money to the relief effort for Finnish children. When Norway was ockupied by the Nazis she joined the Resistance, and as she was very outspoken against Germany she had to flee the country and not return until after the war. She lived in Brooklyn, New York, and made friends with e.g. Willa Cather whose writing I think she may have influenced.

After returning home to Norway she was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav for her service to the country and for her distinguished literary work. She died in 1949 after having lost her mother, her daughter and her eldest son some ten years earlier.

Two Giants of Travel Writing

Many people dream of making a break from the hum-drum day-to-day and travelling the world, to chronicle their journeys with a literary flair that echoes down the generations. There’s something decidedly romantic about the literature of great journeys, and the internet provides even more opportunity for writers to create inspirational and finely-honed travel articles. While it can sometimes seem the journals and blogs of those making their way around parts of or the whole world are not exactly literary gems, there are some truly great writers who cut their teeth by visiting other countries and cultures and journaling about their experiences. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some of the big names who once set out with a suitcase in one hand and a typewriter in the other:

Pearl S Buck

Perhaps the Grande Dame of this kind of writing, Pearl Buck was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the Nobel Prize in 1938. Buck was born in the US but moved to China with her missionary parents when she was only three months old. Although she spent significant portions of her life in the US, she frequently returned to live in China for prolonged periods. She wrote numerous travel articles and non-fiction books usually dealing with countries in Asia.

Although much of her writing centres on the people and states of eastern Asia, her travel articles, commentary and political analysis had a wide scope and found publication in magazines and newspapers across the globe.

Ernest Hemingway

Not a man to do things by halves, Hemingway’s work was strongly rooted in what you might call participant observation. His non-fiction writing is often over-strained with desperate bravado and machismo, but he nonetheless brings some fine prose and incredible observations to the places he visited. ‘Death in the Afternoon’, first published in 1932, is the definitive English language book on the mood and atmosphere of a bull-fight in the first half of the 20th century. His time in East Africa led to the publication of the ‘Green Hills of Africa’, a book published in 1935 that detailed Hemingway’s stay in the Lake Manyara region of Tanzania.

The fiction that he produced was also heavily influenced by the places he visited – most famously of all through his experiences of working as an ambulance driver for the Italian army in the First World War, which would form the basis of his seminal ‘A Farewell to Arms’. His journalistic work also included a number of travel articles for publications across the globe.