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Pelican House

Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Nanyuki, Kenya
August 19-20, 2018

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Pelican House amazes us: a swank cottage with a big kitchen open to a big living room with couches and fireplace, a dining room and three bedrooms, two on a deck overlooking a watering hole. The chef, William, greets us. Elizabeth shows us around. Says we can choose our room. We misunderstand at first, assuming we are the first to arrive and we can choose which room. But we are the only guests, and she means that each of us can choose our own room.

Pelican House delivers our first reliable WiFi in three days. We're all glued to our phones, posting on social media. I say: "Willliam comes out and says, "you guys the WiFi router is smoking."

We joke about failed attempts to write trip journals. Journals that start out with the best of intentions: a detailed first page about the first two hours of the flight, describing the air plane food and the view down to Arizona... and then go blank.

We settle in and relax on the soft beds, the savannah wind blowing lightly in thru the doors, then out on the deck. Elizabeth comes and gets us. They've set out lunch for us on the stone table: a good chicken-with-peppers African dish, pasta, a salad made with fresh crunchy greens. We haven't allowed ourselves any salad on the trip, wary of its being washed in water that could make us sick. But we can't resist this: we quickly fish out Travelan and pop tablets in hopes they will prevent us from getting sick. Joel joins us for lunch. As we sip water from the pitcher, he questions whether it's been boiled. Goes and asks. They say it's safe, from a dispenser of clean water. (12 hours later. Still ok,)

6am. Dark black just giving way to blue-gray sky outside. After four mornings waking at exactly 3am, happy to have slept to 5:15.

At breakfast, looking at the generous spread of our third meal at Pelican House. "Remember when we thought we would lose weight on this trip?"

Then, me, as we're tucking into our private breakfast at Pelican House: "What if we become really snobby really fast by our time in East Africa?"

Ellie: "What if we became really snobby really slowly over the course of our entire privileged lives, so gradually that we didn't even notice it to the point that we could be sitting down to breakfast in our own private lodge looking over our private lake on the African Safari with a chef making our breakfast, and then ask, what if we became snobby?"