Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You say goodbye & I say Hello...

The Most Important Part of Travelling – Is the People You Will Meet.

This week closed a chapter of my Kenyan story as I said farewell to two fellow interns who returned home to their European countries.  I was lucky to have such positive roommates who helped turn every negative into a positive story we spent hours laughing over later. It’s never a fun thing getting fleas/bed bugs on your adventure no matter what country your visiting.  One thing is for sure however – it is a whole lot easier putting up with those critters when you’re not in it alone. 

Once my last roommate boarded her plane I wasn’t alone for long as a reunion took place in a Nakumatt in the North side of Nairobi only one hour later.  The reunion included my best friend Kaetlyn, her mom Phyllis (hereafter referred to as Mama P) and Amanda a school/travel friend!

I had a busy week planned for us in Nairobi and the first adventure started at 6AM dodging crater sized potholes, down washed out roads in our version of off-roading with six in a five passenger car out to Kajiado (the village I stayed at earlier)

After experiencing the fine art of Nairobi driving we made it to the outskirts of Kajiado just in time to have our tire replaced after crossing rough tracks that were not so tire friendly.

This gave the four of us an opportunity to stretch our arms and loosen our legs, which had fallen asleep on our tight drive – almost leading to a few cases of clubfoot. 

After some visiting with the locals and giving them the tools to partake in a small game of football – we were off to an even more remote place - Kilo.

Immediately out of the car we don our Massi attire and follow some donkeys to the watering hole, where there is an abundance of animals getting their fill of water.

And when you’ve committed yourself to experience the real Africa, you grab a container and help the locals gather water.  Not only to realize soon after, the container your filling with fresh water, was once a petro oil container as it’s label states.

Since Chris’ sister lives not far from the watering hole – we stopped by to visit, shake a few hands, hug a grandma and have a few babies pee on us.  Baby Fidel was as cute as always and the family, full of grins and ready for pictures.  Grandma’s wrinkles amazed us, as she looks like someone we would see in National Geographic.  Whatever hardships they may have experienced this month is forgotten as they grin ear to ear for our pictures until their teeth begin to dry.

And when there is no access to diapers and you have a 6month old baby, you proudly wear stains like below, showing no embarrassment or effort to clean it up.

A welcoming crew of Chris’ family sang a Massi chant for us while performing their traditional dance.  We shook hands and the girls hid their shock when they met the father and his two wives who have a total of sixteen children. 

In no time we found ourselves laid out at the popular (and only) shade spot – a thorny tree outside of the first wives manyata - enjoying massi tea despite the scorching heat.  Or as the girls have since described it ‘’skin scolding, ear swelling, sweat staining heat’’

When you come to Kenya though - you expect the heat. And after our short siesta to no surprise we immediately found a baby to cuddle and a hill to climb.  

Mama P impressed us with her thirty second spurts of energy which always ended with her squatting on the thorny grass to catch her breath.  We nick-named her Timon for her spastic sprints and constant yet entertaining chatter, while the locals that led us up the hill yelled after her "Poley-Poley Mama" (slow down mama!)

My first experience of a 'shy-kenyan' was short lived as the thirty boys who first stared from a distance slowly followed one by one to us, surrounding the tree we were waiting by. Within minutes they were wanting email addresses and answers to all of their queries about this cold place called Canada.

Bottoming out numerous times on our night time off roading trip home as we dodged locals on bikes, led us to believe we were either dragging our muffler or a man on a bike all the way back to Nairobi.

This trip was as great opportunity to close the chapter of my Kenyan life by returning to my weekend getaway. A successful first day in Kenya - I am truly grateful for everyone I have met on my trip so far AND for the trio of girls I look forward to finishing the trip with.   

1 comment:

  1. Very cool to see you playing tour guide. I am sure they are loving the adventure!