Tuesday, May 28, 2013


My daughter Val and I arrived in Kenya May 6, Monday night, got our Visas, got our luggage and cleared customs without a hitch. Our ride was even there to meet us. I had been so worried that one of those steps would fall through and we wouldn’t be able to leave the airport. I pictured myself being Tom Hanks in the movie “Terminal”. I don't know why I worry about everything so much.
Kenya is just so different from the US; it is impossible to explain it to someone who has never been here. Pictures can't explain it, and surely my words can't either.
The first thing we noticed as soon as we walked out of the airport was the smell. Driving to our volunteer house, so many odors bombarded us through the open van windows. Diesel exhaust, decaying something or other, smoked meat, and body odor, but not “normal” body odor, more the smell of someone sweating who has been eating something strange. 
And the traffic. I don't know if there is any place in the world with traffic like Nairobi's. Everyplace is a passing lane and there are no speed limits. The roads have improved a lot since I was here last, the potholes are greatly diminished. But in their place are massive speed bumps. I mean, massive. A small car would barely clear them, and our rear fender hit bottom quite often going over them.
I should have gotten a picture of the passing truck we met right on a curve. It was centimeters from us. 
By the time we drove through Nairobi after nine Monday night, most of the shops lining the streets were closed. Still there were people everywhere, walking home most likely, if they had homes.
The driveway up to our compound was typical for East Africa. One deep rut after another, boulders in the middle of the road and only a foot to maneuver on each side.
Yes, this really is our driveway.
The guest house where we stayed was quite nice. Val and I had a room to ourselves. It was small, with a bunk bed and nothing else. A small bathroom was attached, but the plumbing hadn’t been hooked up. It did at least give us extra space.
Can you guess which bed is mine?
After a quick tour of our home away from home, I pretty much crawled right into bed. I fell asleep with my head whirling with thoughts of what the next day would bring. 

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