Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brown Dirt and Broken Matatus

During this past week, I had the opportunity to visit the Center’s 40 acre “ecovillage” in Lamuria (home to brown dirt, not red; surprisingly exciting to see and reminiscent of home). The visit to the land itself wasn’t too thrilling though there is a lot of opportunity for the youth to make use of the area. During my trip I did get a chance to see a little wildlife. First, in what was supposed to be one of the colonized bee hives, was a field mouse (only slightly frightening…and a little cute). Then, highlight of all highlights, I saw four zebra right on the side of the road.Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a picture since I was riding a piki piki (motorcycle). Hardly would have been a safe decision.

On Monday, I went with some of the guys to a town where they will be spending three weeks cutting grass and making hay bales. It was nothing but a good sign when we broke down just getting to Nyeri Town (the big city, if you will). After pushing the Center’s matatu up the road a little, the van was jumped started and we were ready to continue on our journey. We barely made it to our desired desert destination before the matatu stopped working once again. In the middle of nowhere we were stuck just waiting for the possibility of finding a battery to jump start the vehicle once again.  All of the strife was totally worth it for the best view of Mt. Kenya I’ve seen thus far. Not only did I get a clear view of the mountain, the little rain from earlier that day created a rainbow. I tried to take a pic with the rainbow, but it doesn’t quite do it justice so Mt. Kenya will suffice…

Once we realize we wouldn’t be finding any help around where we were, the guys began pushing away. Luckily, I was there to help by documenting the experience…

Good news is we finally found a car battery (just the battery, mind you) and cabled it up to ours and got the things rolling once again. We made it all the way to our turn before it broke down…again. We did finally make it back to the Center and what would have probably been a 2-3 hour trip turned into a 5-6 hour one. Just another day in Kenyan life and totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chew Lightly in Kenya

There are many precautions one must take while being in a foreign country (eg. Not losing your passport, not being “taken”, not drinking the water). However, in Kenya, more important than any of these is being on the lookout for stones in just about any meal. I am becoming very skilled in the art of “jawing” my food as I recently found this little guy in my daily consumption of githeri (a soup-ish substance with beans and maize)…

Also, I think it’s only fitting that you get a full view of my home for the next five months. I look so awesome in most of the video because I am getting acquainted with the farm life (“the shamba”) this week. The youth working on these small crops are some much stronger than I will probably ever be both in physical and emotional strength.