So, it’s already that time of the year! With the year coming to an end, I just want to share the highlights of what has turned out to be a beautiful year filled with lots of fantastic memories, lots of foodie and travel adventures, cute dogs and a little art.
These are just a few moments of 2018 that have made this year special. I…
Launched Women Who Inspire
Something I’ve wanted to do for a while, I started a series, Women Who Inspire, highlighting women who motivate me, especially right here in Kenya. The first post in the series was a piece on the wonderful ladies at Conkrete Roses and later followed by a post on the remarkable Shreya Karia.
Celebrated my great-grandmother’s 100th birthday
Early this year, we flew to the coast to celebrate my great-grandmother’s birthday. She turned 100 and the celebrations were lovely. I can’t believe that she is still as strong as ever with a pretty powerful memory.
Attended the ever-popular Fashion High Tea
Held at the Zen Garden, the annual Fashion High Tea is something I’ve always desired to attend. This year, I got lucky and attended this fabulous event. Despite the rain, it was so much fun to see how well people had dressed up, shopped from some amazing local and international vendors while indulging in some delicious food and drink.
Started writing for The Asian Weekly
Early this year, I started writing a monthly travel column for The Asian Weekly, a local free publication for the Asian community in East Africa. Each month, I write a travel article based on my own travels.
Experienced lots of brunches
This year, I feasted. From the Asian brunch, called the Weekend Wok, at the Pan Asian Yao to the spectacular Sunday brunches at the Fairmont Norfolk and the Sarova Panafric Hotels to discovering my peculiar love for Bloody Marys. I did it all. I also ventured beyond buffet brunches to check out the updated brunch menu at Wasp and Sprout (now, a firm fave for me!) and the now-closed Pharley’s Cafe at Spinners Web.
Enjoyed several adventurous safaris
From dreaming of visiting Treetops after being inspired by Netflix’s TV show, The Crown, to actually visiting the historically-famous lodge to enjoying luxurious one-night stays at Chui Lodge and Lentorre Lodge. With different landscapes, each safari has been uniquely different, creating some pretty amazing memories for me.
Relaxed by the beach
For the first time in my life, I flew directly from Nairobi to Diani Beach for a three-day beach getaway at what I can only call paradise – the Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa. Not only were we pampered, but we were also treated to some scrumptious food and swam by the beautiful Diani Beach. It was a dream come true and Diva and I came back home with fun souvenirs including monogrammed pillows and napkins.
Celebrated the third anniversary of my blog
It’s been over three years since I started this blog and this May, I celebrated the three-year blog-versary with a fun Instagram competition where I grabbed a cuppa with my winners at the Spring Valley Coffee.
Hosted many giveaways
Speaking of giveaways, I started the year off with a giveaway with Conkrete Roses. Then, after a fun Instagram contest for my blog’s three-year anniversary, to celebrate my birthday, I gave away two vouchers to the winners of my How Well Do You Know Me Quiz for breakfast at the new Nyama Mama Capital Centre.
Developed a new logo
To kick off my birthday month, I announced a brand, new logo, something I had been working on for a while. The new logo shows my love for elephants, as I continue sharing travel, food and lifestyle content on the blog.
Got a new (elephant) baby & my other baby graduated
For my birthday, my wonderful friends fostered an orphaned elephant from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Dololo as a gift for me. Dololo was found submerged in Mzee Kirema’s Dam on 9 September 2018. Found by the local community, it was concluded that Dololo had slipped into the well. With only his trunk raised for breathing, the elephant herd may have abandoned him as they were in a community area.
With the assistance of Kenya Wildlife Services and the DSWT Voi Relocation Unit keepers, the elephant was stabilized. To ensure a higher rate of survival, he was flown into the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi, where he is slowing coming alive as his condition improves.
And in other news, my brave little girl, Mbegu, made the long relocation journey to Tsavo to the DSWT Voi Relocation Unit. She has quickly settled in and has excitingly taken to her leadership duties as the matriarch of her herd. I can’t wait to go see her in action!
Some of you don’t know this but I had also previously adopted Pare, a young bull named after the Pare Mountains that shadow Lake Jipe at the southern end of Tsavo West. He was rescued after being reported to be alone by community members at the Rombo Group Ranch, neighboring the Tsavo West National Park. Having arrived weak at the DSWT Nursery, he recovered with the profound love and care he received. In December 2017, Pare was moved to the DSWT Ithumba Relocation Unit in Tsavo National Park. Despite this move, he still remains very much dependent on both his milk and Keepers as just like us, elephants take a while to gain the confidence to spend nights out with older ex-orphans and wild friends, and the process is a gradual one, so even once they fly the nest they still return regularly to visit their human family. I hear that Pare is loving his new home.
Played with lots of cute dogs
Travelled to India
In December 2018, I took a break from blogging as I was off to trail the adventure path to…India. Returning to the home of my ancestors after 15 years was incredible! We spent a couple of days in Mumbai, shopping and mostly eating. Then, we headed to Goa for a big, fat Indian wedding, before going back to Mumbai for a few more days. I’ll be recounting all my food and travel adventures in Jaini’s Indian Journey, a new series on my trip to India, so stay tuned.
Now, join me in 2019 for a refreshed, energized and highly entertaining blogging journey.
Happy Holidays from your favorite blogger-photographer duo!
Photos, unless stated otherwise, are by Diva Shah