Once-in-a-lifetime trip takes former British soldier back to Kenya

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

It's not every day you get to live a dream. But that's exactly what Mike Redwood did, when he took a once-in-a-lifetime trip with his son, Lee.

In 1955, Redwood was conscripted into the British army, and stationed in Kenya, to help settle the colony's Mau Mau uprising.

It's an adventure that has stuck with him; he's shared countless stories with his family, and longed to go back ever since. This January, 50 years later, he got his wish, when his daughter-in-law gave them a trip for Lee's birthday.

"What's the point of working so hard, if you can't achieve your dreams?" she wrote in his card.

The trip allowed Redwood to revisit many of his old haunts. Although Kenya has been an independent nation for decades, The Stanley, Nairobi's colonial hotel, still stands. It was where British visitors congregated, sent mail, and made phone calls.

But there has been plenty of change.

Nairobi is no longer the colonial town of Redwood's memory. It's a bustling, smog-laden metropolis, that contains one of the world's largest slums. A corrupt government hoards what money the country has.

"It's dreadful," said Redwood.

But the breathtaking countryside was just as he remembered it. The pair went on safari through several game reserves, where they saw herds of animals, from buffalo to giraffes, to millions of pink flamingoes.

"There were pink flamingoes as far as the eye could see," he said.

The most striking element of the country was its citizens, who are unfazed by the poverty surrounding them. "They're such happy, happy people," said Redwood, who recalls children walking along dusty roads through shantytowns, with smiles on their faces as they made their way to school.

"That's just life to them, and they don't think anything of it," he said.

Although the trip wasn't a mission, Redwood and his son did deliver a truckload of water to a town in the southern end of the country, where drought had ravaged crops and pastures. They were welcomed by the locals, who sang and danced and invited them into their homes.

The trip has given Redwood enough new memories to last the rest of his life.

Although he doesn't see himself going back again, he's grateful he was able to live his lifelong dream.

"It was a big experience," he said.

Once-in-a-lifetime trip takes former British soldier back to Kenya

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

It's not every day you get to live a dream. But that's exactly what Mike Redwood did, when he took a once-in-a-lifetime trip with his son, Lee.

In 1955, Redwood was conscripted into the British army, and stationed in Kenya, to help settle the colony's Mau Mau uprising.

It's an adventure that has stuck with him; he's shared countless stories with his family, and longed to go back ever since. This January, 50 years later, he got his wish, when his daughter-in-law gave them a trip for Lee's birthday.

"What's the point of working so hard, if you can't achieve your dreams?" she wrote in his card.

The trip allowed Redwood to revisit many of his old haunts. Although Kenya has been an independent nation for decades, The Stanley, Nairobi's colonial hotel, still stands. It was where British visitors congregated, sent mail, and made phone calls.

But there has been plenty of change.

Nairobi is no longer the colonial town of Redwood's memory. It's a bustling, smog-laden metropolis, that contains one of the world's largest slums. A corrupt government hoards what money the country has.

"It's dreadful," said Redwood.

But the breathtaking countryside was just as he remembered it. The pair went on safari through several game reserves, where they saw herds of animals, from buffalo to giraffes, to millions of pink flamingoes.

"There were pink flamingoes as far as the eye could see," he said.

The most striking element of the country was its citizens, who are unfazed by the poverty surrounding them. "They're such happy, happy people," said Redwood, who recalls children walking along dusty roads through shantytowns, with smiles on their faces as they made their way to school.

"That's just life to them, and they don't think anything of it," he said.

Although the trip wasn't a mission, Redwood and his son did deliver a truckload of water to a town in the southern end of the country, where drought had ravaged crops and pastures. They were welcomed by the locals, who sang and danced and invited them into their homes.

The trip has given Redwood enough new memories to last the rest of his life.

Although he doesn't see himself going back again, he's grateful he was able to live his lifelong dream.

"It was a big experience," he said.

Once-in-a-lifetime trip takes former British soldier back to Kenya

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

It's not every day you get to live a dream. But that's exactly what Mike Redwood did, when he took a once-in-a-lifetime trip with his son, Lee.

In 1955, Redwood was conscripted into the British army, and stationed in Kenya, to help settle the colony's Mau Mau uprising.

It's an adventure that has stuck with him; he's shared countless stories with his family, and longed to go back ever since. This January, 50 years later, he got his wish, when his daughter-in-law gave them a trip for Lee's birthday.

"What's the point of working so hard, if you can't achieve your dreams?" she wrote in his card.

The trip allowed Redwood to revisit many of his old haunts. Although Kenya has been an independent nation for decades, The Stanley, Nairobi's colonial hotel, still stands. It was where British visitors congregated, sent mail, and made phone calls.

But there has been plenty of change.

Nairobi is no longer the colonial town of Redwood's memory. It's a bustling, smog-laden metropolis, that contains one of the world's largest slums. A corrupt government hoards what money the country has.

"It's dreadful," said Redwood.

But the breathtaking countryside was just as he remembered it. The pair went on safari through several game reserves, where they saw herds of animals, from buffalo to giraffes, to millions of pink flamingoes.

"There were pink flamingoes as far as the eye could see," he said.

The most striking element of the country was its citizens, who are unfazed by the poverty surrounding them. "They're such happy, happy people," said Redwood, who recalls children walking along dusty roads through shantytowns, with smiles on their faces as they made their way to school.

"That's just life to them, and they don't think anything of it," he said.

Although the trip wasn't a mission, Redwood and his son did deliver a truckload of water to a town in the southern end of the country, where drought had ravaged crops and pastures. They were welcomed by the locals, who sang and danced and invited them into their homes.

The trip has given Redwood enough new memories to last the rest of his life.

Although he doesn't see himself going back again, he's grateful he was able to live his lifelong dream.

"It was a big experience," he said.