This post is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, "150 Times Around the World," by Dr Jac Fitzenz. Its a culmination of his life's travels around the world and a compelling window into his vast journeys. Take a seat and come along for the experience of a lifetime as you join Dr Jac on his travels. Click here if you'd like to be notified when "150 Times Around the World" is available for purchase.



Friday morning with nothing better to do, I booked a tour for us. We started at a giraffe farm. The plan was for tourists to get up close and personal with a giraffe by feeding it. We boarded buses and headed for the farm. On arrival, we could see a couple dozen of those monsters roaming around an enclosure. When they saw us, they quickly congregated around several stages. These were shaded platforms about eight feet off the ground. Our guide stood at the rail and when the first animal put his huge head over the railing, the guide stepped between the giant and us. He explained, “You have to be careful. They bite.” Given that warning, we followed his instructions and tentatively handed leafy branches for the giant to take in. It was a fun half hour. Then, we’re off to the next stop.

Out of Africa. There were other sites on the tour, but the most interesting was the cottage where Out of Africa was filmed. Author Karen Blixen’s brilliant opening line captured readers. I’m certain we all wanted to see Africa after reading: “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills.” The 1984 film starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep won seven Academy Awards and twenty-eight film awards in total.

That day we drove down a dirt road and stopped in front of a modest cottage in an open field. The building in front of us was the home of Karen Blixen. It was quite charming, but not as large as the house in the movie.

When we completed our day’s tour and returned to the hotel, there was a message from my banker friend. In short, he couldn’t make the sale. He said the chairman believed anyone could talk a friend into becoming a customer. It’s difficult to talk to an ignorant person who has already made up his mind.

The last interesting episode was at the airport as we were waiting for our flight. We were there a couple of hours as the incoming flight was late. I noticed a number of people in native costumes who had commandeered one corner of the small terminal. On asking what was going on, I was told they were having visa problems. They had been in the terminal for nearly two weeks.

When our flight finally arrived and we queued up to board, I watched as a uniformed man at the gate was talking to each passenger and exchanging something between them. When my turn came, I handed him our tickets. He looked at them, then said, “Sir, may I have a coffee?” For a second it didn’t register what he was talking about. Then, I got it. I reached into my pocket and gave him several Kenyan Shillings. He thanked me, smiled, gave me back our tickets, and we were on our way—out of Africa.