The Enchantment of the baobabs (KilifiNYE2020).
Updated: May 19, 2020
Is it too late to say happy new year? I know, I know, but can we acknowledge how fast this January is going? Anyway, how is the new decade treating you thus far? It has been extremely kind to me. This post is a cornerstone for me because it sets the tone for the rest of the posts I put out in 2020. And boy oh boy do I have a lot lined up for you my eco-warriors.
Without further ado, let's dive straight into it, shall we? So on the last week of 2019 I attended my first ever eco-friendly event, the Kilifi New Year's Eve 2020 that took place in the green, lush and serene town of Kilifi. First of all, I was not planning on documenting this event because I had taken a break off blogging last December. However, I was not prepared for Kilifi to knock my socks off in the way that it did. So I packed my bags and off I went to the train station. The train was a pretty comfortable choice because it would have a lesser carbon emission percentage compared to my other choices and of course because it was affordable. The train ride was surreal and I saw not one, not two but so many elephants. Although it got me thinking: is it okay to build such infrastructure in the middle of the animals' natural habitat in the name of amusing us at the expense of disrupting them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
The #KilifiNYE2020 was located somewhere in Mnarani. I say somewhere because it was a 15-minute drive from Kilifi Town and another 5-minute drive into a forest literally in the middle of nowhere. From then on, you would have to get your ticket and walk down a meandering path for about 3 minutes to the main entrance. The thrill of that walk cannot be described in words! There is something about being deep in the virgin woods: natural, untouched and in its full element. The event covered quite a big area hence navigating round different areas would be difficult. The Woov app was a game changer and in my opinion, a genius idea. It had a map, a full line-up chart for all 3 days, a community chat to chat on the trending topics, and an option to create a group with your group of friends to keep track of their location. Also, at the bar, there was a no cash policy so one had to convert their money into vouchers, which was the #KilifiNewYear currency. Once that was done, you could purchase your Beneath the Baobab cup which is plastic but is not single-use. Although it is a step forward, as an eco-warrior I would suggest that the event organizers look into having these cups in other reusable but compostable material.
I hit off my first experience of #KilifiNYE2020 by doing yoga at the Baobab Deck beneath a huge baobab tree. I do not know if you can fathom the size of this tree because it was extremely massive! Its circumference was probably 7 metres. The yoga session was surreal because it was outdoors and beneath a baobab! At the end of the session, we got into the Shavasana pose which is a rest position you get into at the end of every yoga class where you lie flat on your back and reward yourself for putting in work. My view was the baobab and the blue skies. For just a moment, it felt as though everything was exactly where it was supposed to be and the world was perfect.
After yoga, I sat through a presentation on living off-grid at the Kilifi New Year University. Most of the time we think of living off-grid as living in a deserted cabin far, far away from civilization. Although that could be the case, does it ever cross your mind that this includes living off the grid on the land as well as on water? The presentation was made by Paolo, the Captain of the boat, the Musafir, which means traveler in many different languages. The boat was built from scratch by the Kenyan locals living along the Indian Ocean's coastal region. It is 100% sustainable and has plans of sailing to Asia in the next few years. I just might sign up to be part of the crew this year. It was a very interactive session where someone asked Paolo if he had ever encountered pirates, to which he replied teasingly, "We are the pirates!" I was also the panelist discussing the topic: Environmental Conservation in which I thoroughly enjoyed. The need for more eco-friendly events came up a lot and I agree. The use of single-use plastic is rampant.
The following days were filled with laughter and enjoyment around the three stages: the main stage, the muze stage, kizazi stage and baobab stage; mingling with people from all walks of life, sunburns, getting tans and just enjoying the year as it came to an end and finally there was a burn to usher in the new year. I cannot begin to explain the alure of the baobabs. It is definitely something that should be on everyone's bucketlist.
After a lit New Year's like this one, it is without a doubt that the tone for 2020 has been set. From the looks of it, 2020 looks extremely good. Am I right?