I Have Officially Become an African Woman

Today I awoke at 6 am and was unable to go back to sleep, so I got dressed, cleaned my hut and did some laundry all before breakfast.

After eating and packing a PB&J sandwich for lunch I walked 30 min by myself to Keminini to get a matatu to the junction. When you take public transportation here there are men who try to persuade (push) you to ride in their matatu, but you have to stand firm and insist on knowing the price before you get in, otherwise you might get the white person price.  The first guy who approached me wanted 40 Bob to the junction, hell no, its 50 Bob all the way to town and only 10 Bob to the junction. He took back the first offer and I road for 10.

Once we got to the junction I walked another 30 min to the primary school. Several motorbikes stopped and asked if I wanted a ride, but I waved them on. I don’t like motorbikes, plus I prefer to get the exercise. One thing I have noticed here is people dont just walk  for the sake of walking, they only walk if they have somewhere to go. So they think it is very strange that I actually like to walk, even when I have no where to go.

When I arrived at school everyone was asking “where were you last week”, “we missed you”, so I had to explain Continue reading

An Afternoon in Kitale

This past Sunday I went with Kristiana and Joshua to a “nature reserve” outside of Kitale.

We had been told me were going to some sort of domestic animal freak farm where they had a cow with 3 horns and other unusual animals. However we came to discover that was only a small part of our adventure.

Joshua having been to this place several times decided to wait for us while we went with a guide through the park. Our tour began with a walk through  the botanical gardens which other then trees had a large population of mosquitoes. Neither of us had brought bug spray because we thought we were going to a sunny farm.

As we emerged from the garden we saw before us Jesus crucified on the cross and several other biblical displays. Krisi and I just looked at each other–What did we get ourselves into? I gentleman came over and explained to us that they had built 10 mountains representing different stories from the old and new testament.  As we were told the stories of each mountain I  couldnt help but reflect on the strangeness of the situation. I had come thinking I was going to a freak farm, but turned out I was going to a nature reserve with biblical statues.

After the man finished telling us about the mountains we continued on to the nature trail where we were met by a swarm of mosquitoes and lots of stagnent water. As the usual afternoon storm began to creep in we finally made it to the freak farm part of our tour.

We saw a dwarf cow, a cow with 4 horns and 4 eyes, a sheep with 4 legs and several other unusual features.  Some of the animals I wanted to just kill to put them out of their misery because it was clear they were suffering.

Sunday evening Krisi and I brought our iPods down to girls group and had a dance party. The girls taught us some local dance and we taught them how to line dance. It was the best part of the whole crazy day.

Alisa Recovers from Bug and Teaches Grammar!

Alisa has gotten over the infection/virus/bacteria that has plagued her for the past week as she adjusted to life in Kenya. She was taken to the nearest hospital earlier in the week for a malaria test, which was negative, and is finally regaining her appetite and strength. She is currently living with Emanuel, a school teacher with 4 children, near the town of Kilgoris. During the past week she and a group of other volunteers from the British Isles and the US put together latrines for the school, and also moved in beds for the boys’ dormitory in anticipation of the approaching school year. Emanuel’s school has been set up to prepare children for the national high school entrance exams that determine which high school you will be admitted to. Two of Emanuel’s own children attend boarding school two hours away in anticipation for these exams. Alisa has learned that public schools do little to prepare children for high school, as they adjurn for the day at noon. Thus Emanuel has set up his school for the children of the region. Continue reading

Review: Kumuka Worldwide

The decision to go with an Overland Tour to complete our bucket list of places to visit in Southern Africa was one that we arrived upon late into our two months in the region, but in the end provided us an opprounity to visit places that would have been very cost prohibitive had we done it on our own. Victoria Falls was number one on Alisa’s list, and as I had wanted to take the opportunity to visit Botswana, we looked for a trip that would cover both of these. Since we were approaching the end of our trip, money was becoming tight, thus finding the right option, time and cost wise, was imperative. Our search was extensive, but Alisa decided on Kumuka Worldwide as our best bet because they fit the timeframe we wanted, had an affordable cost, and had openings on the upcoming trip. Booking last minute proved to be difficult with some of the other companies so we quickly made the booking at Kumuka as Alisa assured me that I would be able to buy Travel Insurance through World Nomads (Kumuka requires travel insurance, and it was very easy to purchase from World Nomads). Our trip from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg was booked, so now we had to get up to the starting point. Continue reading