We are heading to Tanzania at 5 am tomorrow morning. We will be staying with the Hadza tribal group and camping and hunting and hiking and not showering. I can’t wait. Nairobi has been great but it will be nice to get out of the city, traffic, construction that is happening everywhere you look and daily 2-hour Swahili classes. I love the language but being in a class for that long gets exhausting.
This week, however, some great things have happened.
My government professor let loose in class. He went on a few tangents. One of which included explaining how all leaders call on their closest comrades to help them lead: Jesus’ disciples were all from a 10-mile radius away from where he lived, President GW Bush pulled in the TX crew to the white house, President Kibaki of Kenya has all senile ministers in his government because he loves to play gold. And, so it is only natural for Kikuyu presidents to select Kikuyu ministers – this alone doesn’t necessarily make the Kenyan government corrupt.
I learned that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp.
I got drinks at Que Pasa, a bar in Karen, with a journalist living in Kenya. His name is Tristan McConnell. In spite of the Mexican name, he bar it is not Mexican in the least. The joint felt sexy. Bouquets of red roses on the black bar top. New York infused with cracked mirrors hanging on the wall. Cobblestone floor, bringing in a thread of Europe. Tristan went back and forth between sucking his cigarette and sipping his Tusker beer. He explained how it is hard to dive into the world of journalism. “You go out with fellow journalists and they all ask, ‘so have you been anywhere interesting lately?’ It is like a ‘how big is your dick’ competition.”
I painted my fingernails blue.
I saw a monkey climbing when I was out for a run with Sarah.
Two Kenyan boys acted like lions for 3 hours as I ate dinner at their house with three fellow students. We were at the home because it was a friend of Emily’s father’s friend so he invited us over.
My mouth melted as I ate a tomato and cheese panini at a French Café in Nairobi.
This week, I have faced hurdles, too.
I have felt cooped up in Karen – a very ‘white elephant’ esque town.
I have stressed about what I should choose to do for my independent study. This is when I choose what I want to do for a month’s portion of the program.
Kristina, one of the girls, got food poising and had to go to the hospital all day on Wednesday. She needed comforting, of course. This also meant that I had to hear about her stay there, which included needles and blood tests. And, two other girls got food poisoning as well.
Boys with wide eyes asked us for money on the streets of Nairobi.
But, as I write this, it is harder to recall the bad than it is to recall the good.
Another good thing: my bed is now covered in a mosquito net, which makes me sleep a lot better than I have been.
Six-hour bus ride in the morning! Down to Tanzania!