Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE
Location: Kenya, Africa
The telephone was ringing its head off, and when we picked it up we heard Gali and Gemma saying, “Can you meet us for a giraffe-o-licious breakfast?” We said, “Well, absolutely and by all means.” Then we stretched and packed our sunglasses and sunhat and SPF 9000 and our camera and our pajamas and our toothbrush and our toothpaste that tastes like strawberries. It’s a must.
Gali and Gemma are giraffes! They live in Kenya, a country in East Africa. Kenya lies on the equator right next to the Indian Ocean and five other countries: Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Somalia. Here’s what we think: that’s a lot of countries and one ocean.
Gary and Gemma eat leaves and buds from the tippy-tops of the trees in the savanna. The savanna in Africa is a tropical flat grassland with some trees. There are only two seasons: wet and dry. Monsoon season is when it rains for six months in summer. That’s when the savanna can get 50 to 120 cm of rain! This weather helps the grasses and leaves grow. Kenyan raindrops are larger. It’s rather refreshing.
Lots of animals live in Kenya’s lowland savannas. There are elephants, lions, cheetahs, zebras, hippos, rhinos, and giraffes! The government of Kenya has set up more than 50 reserves and parks to protect these animals. You must always protect animals if you possibly can.
Jambo means hi! Hello! and habari means good day, how are you? Asante means thank you and karibu means you’re welcome. Excuse me is samahani and hot is moto. When we meet new animals, we say, “Jambo, jambo, mimi ni Frederick, mimi ni Sophie!”
There are terribly much things to do in Kenya. That’s why you need a room with a bed to fall on and slippers to put on and room service to call for lemonade with twelve ice cubes. We prefer to stay at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya!
At Giraffe Manor we have breakfast with Gali and Gemma. We eat pistachio croissants with strawberry jam and scones with butter and giraffe shaped pancakes with applesauce. We drink 2 liters of jasmine tea with almond milk. Gali and Gemma eat lettuce, carrots, apples, bananas, and acacia tree leaves.
Here’s what Gali and Gemma like to do after breakfast. Prancing and sashaying and twirling to African music. There are a lot of drums in African music. When you drum, your hands are dancing. You can drum on pots and pans, or even on your legs! Gemma and Gali are not the only ones who like to dance. People also absolutely love to dance in Kenya. When the Maasai celebrate the Eunoto ceremony, young warriors dance the Adumu. They must jump really high to become a senior warrior! And the Agikuyu people dance the Mwomboko dance on Madaraka Day!
When we are tired from eating and dancing and drumming, we all watch a movie. We have seen The Lion King 137 times. When we say good night, we say, “Lala salama and hakuna matata Gali and Gemma.” Giraffes give the biggest goodnight kisses.
Don’t you just love, love, love giraffes as high as they can reach? (see P.S. for how much that is exactly, thank you very much).
Frederick & Sophie
P.S. Gali and Gemma can stretch their necks all the way to the moon!
P.P.S. Do you know why giraffes have super long necks? Find the answer HERE.