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(Kenya) Coming to America

11 October 2016 | Inside Angama |

In the first six months of every year, the Angama Mara sales team hits the road with a vengeance selling up a storm. This year, we acquired two industry friends who also agreed that a trip to the States was a grand idea. Kate Fitzgerald Boyd writes about this year’s sales trip as “Team Kenya”

In the first six months of every year the Angama Mara sales team (of two) hits the road with a vengeance selling up an Angama storm. The road has taken us to many corners of the globe, but each year there is always the much-awaited and much-welcomed trip to the United States of America.

Last year, when Nicky and I set off for the US, we got as far as Angola before a hydraulics failure caused the plane to turn around and ground us for 19 hours before we could start all over again. Needless to say that it was with some trepidation, in March this year, we started planning our 2016 American quest. I sat for hours doing research. Which agents should we meet? What was up on Broadway? What restaurants do we simply have to try? You know, the necessary homework.

presenting-presenting

In a small twist of fate a few weeks into planning our trip we acquired two tag-along industry friends who decided that a trip to the States sounded like a grand idea: Jens Kozany, GM of Segera Retreat in Laikipia and Ross Evans, Operations Director of Hemingways Expeditions. It was especially appealing to Jens and Ross because the girls were doing all the hard work … just saying.

Lunch with the AFAR team

Nicky and I had no idea if the boys would be capable of keeping up with our pace – I have been known to pack it all in. The boys were duly forewarned that in between a grueling 10-day schedule of presenting to 153 agents, across 2 cities (with countless minutes holding our phones in the sky waiting for Google maps to kick in because we were lost … again!) we were also going to squish in: two media lunches – one with Greg Sullivan and Jennifer Flowers of AFAR Magazine where we just had to toast the Mara being on the cover of their summer edition; three trade dinners; 14,000 Ubers (well, it felt like it anyway); a couple of planes, and more stories shared on the country we all know and love than I care to remember.

team-kenya-eating-out

On top of this, and because I am not such a hard task master after all, and we had a weekend to fill, we also managed to fit in: a Broadway show, a theatre production in Chicago, a visit to the Bean, a Chicago architectural boat cruise, a visit to the Art Institute, our first deep dish pizza, lobster rolls, more delicious food and of course – just the required amount of shopping – lots! It was a pity that some of us had deeper budgets than others … sigh…one day.

kenya-does-chicago

The trip was a huge success, even though there were times we were so tired and jetlagged we spoke about Ridiculous Giraffes instead of Reticulated Giraffes. It was such a welcome change to go into the offices of some of our favourite trade partners and present KENYA instead of just Angama Mara, or just Segera Retreat, or just Hemingways Nairobi – we wanted to tell a new Kenyan story, and our audiences loved it.

As I write a WhatsApp has just pinged onto my phone from Laikipia asking me when our next sales trip will be next year, and that he is quite happy that we travel for 9 months of the year while my husband ‘assists’ us. Although that does sound like a fabulous idea, and I could travel with Team Kenya for months on end, the jury is out as to whether my husband will throw up his career as a teacher to schlepp us around the US. Hmmm?

the-bean-chicago

AUTHOR: Kate Fitzgerald Boyd

Kate was born in a chafing dish – well almost. The date she was due to arrive was perilously close to Christmas and her mother wasn’t taking any chances so out she came just in time for a decent Christmas dinner to be served to the guests at the hotel of her childhood. Back-of-house babies, they call them. And she has never looked back and now logs more air miles than she knows what to do with sharing the Angama Mara story far and wide.

COMMENTS (10)
Janet Martin
October 12, 2016

Whenever you are in NYC, you must let me know! I will be happy to host you and share some fabulous meals. Our scenery can’t compare with that of Angama Mara, but it is always interesting! XOXO

REPLY
    Nicky Fitzgerald
    October 12, 2016

    That’s a date! Thank you so much dear Janet – looking forward to welcoming you home to the Mara soon – warmest Nicky

    REPLY
Nicole Powell
October 13, 2016

It’s always so great to see you two! The media could not have been more in love with you and the men. 🙂

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    Nicky Fitzgerald
    October 16, 2016

    It was definitely the men!

    REPLY
Roxanne Sissons
October 13, 2016

You both look fantastic!!!! Sounds like a great trip:) Missing Africa and all there:)

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    Nicky Fitzgerald
    October 14, 2016

    And we MISS you too – please come back soon

    REPLY
Barbara Giffuni
October 14, 2016

Please contact me when you are here in New York City
Thanks,
Have a great day.

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    Nicky Fitzgerald
    October 16, 2016

    Hi Barbara
    We definitely will but as of now have no plans to visit in 2017. Is there anything I can help you with in the interim. My email address is [email protected]
    warm regards

    REPLY
Lisa Corcoran
October 15, 2016

I loved reading this…Just laughing to myself as I compare NYC to the place that is Angama Mara. Talking of sales, I think I could be on the team for Angama. It made such a lasting impression on my husband and I. Very rarely have I had tears in my eyes when leaving a place but the staff were so special and I hated saying goodbye. The Out of Africa music literally gives me goosebumps, I really hope to return one day and maybe I can even get to meet a Fitzgerald!!

Very best wishes,
Lisa x

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joash Osugo Ogucha
April 22, 2017

Real you are a blessing to us . Great people their.

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