Kate’s Kenya Journal – Mile 11 – Is this the Wall?

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Theme lyric of the moring:

“Good Morning, good morning,

How I hate to stay up late.

Good Morning, good morning to you.”

Stayed up until 2A typing blog entries and up at 530A for a last game drive. Coffee was great, a needed boost to compensate for the lack of sleep.

Second week, Monday June 27, was a rough day. Nothing tragic, and nothing at all to complain about considering the obstacles the Kenyans face everyday.

It started with a new driver scheduled to take us to visits this morning. The Kenyans have unique rules of the road and this person believed his half of the road was in the dead center, swerving radically to miss people and buses and donkey carts and taking the frequent speed bumps like a Dukes of Hazzard car chase. One particularly tough launch caused everyone in the back seat to smack their heads on the ceiling – no seat belts in this model. Luckily I am short and a slight pop on the head was not a problem, but my team mate Alex took a heavy hit and was dazed for quite a while.

It was great to see Paul’s farm, Alex’s cyber café and Carolyn’s copy and graphic design shop – but another long day of business diagnosis is very tiring and I collapse into bed at the end of the day.

I did get a chance to get back to Alex’s cyber café and upload 25 photos – it only took 1.5 hours – which is better than the laptop modem I was using which was taking 15 minutes per photo.

When we are in the countryside, I know I am an oddity – but sometimes when I am in the larger cities I feel uneasy on some streets. I get the vibe that some passersby think I reek of money – even when I am purposely casually dressed. It is not hate or harm that I feel – but it makes me cautious.

I also don’t have my bearings, so while sitting at the cyber café I got to thinking that I don’t know how to get home should my mates not get back from their shopping trip. I don’t know what direction to walk, I don’t know how to get a taxi – because they are not marked – or a borda- borda (motorcycle taxi) or if they speak English. Tomorrow we are walking into town and I will study the trail so I feel more in control.

Overall I feel well – none of the usual traveler maladies except for some hip pain flaring up from a long ago car accident. The roads here would wear on anyone. Imagine going over endless railroad crossings (but their aren’t any railroads here any more) with that bone shaking, tire busting rat-a-tat-tat of a crossing. When it’s not rough road, they are washouts and pot holes as big as bathtubs. The roads here are so pitted that our drivers zigzag down the street oftentimes driving on the shoulder of the road to find a smoother path.

I collapse weary and worn into bed and hope to find a better day tomorrow.

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