Tag Archives: shukka

August 8 & 9

With my ankle still swollen, I need a reason to not have to hike around the bush. After receiving yet another hot water massage, I am in need of a break. I asked Joseph about the possibility of taking a motorbike into Nanyuki since it was then 11 am and I had missed the 6 am matatu by about 5 hours. To be honest, I didn’t really want to take a matatu anyway. We went into town and Joseph called a few of his pastor friends to see if any of them wanted to make the trek into the city.

Eventually, someone I knew walked up who I knew owned a motor bike–John Seleon. I was happy that I knew the person driving, although I felt bad that he was taking me for only 1000 Ksh when it normally costs 1500 Ksh. He came and got the money so he could buy some fuel and then pulled up on his bike. Before spreading my legs (get your mind out of the gutter) to get on the bike, I looked him in the eye and said, “You have to be careful. If something happens to me, my mom will find you.”

I thought that I had exhausted all of my bad luck for the summer, but when Mother Nature started peeing on me I knew I hadn’t. However, seeing three giraffes grazing in one of the parks on the way and then about 50 zebras made up for it.

We arrived at the Ibis Hotel and he helped check me in for 1000 Ksh (about $11) and then had the most expensive tea in Kenya (40 Ksh) and walked around a bit. John hated for me to be lonely, hence his accompanying me despite him becoming later and later for his classes at the local bible school. John’s English is also sub par so me telling him that I was okay and he could go was a waste of my breath.

After he left I continued walking around and stumbled upon Nyama Choma Village for dinner, the nice place I came the last time I was in Nanyuki.  I ordered Chicken Choma (roasted chicken) and chips (Fries) and a massive coke because they were out of fresh mango juice. The waiter here was super friendly, partly because they had a smile that went from ear to ear.

I have yet to really master the eating of chicken here. I’m having a hard time deciding between using my fingers or a fork, but either way it’s good. The chips also provided a nice reminder of home, even if what I thought was ketchup turned out to be sweet and sour sauce.

Following dinner I searched for an open bookstore that had a “Swahili Phrasebook,” a task that would carry on into the next day since most of the stores had closed at 6 pm. The internet was also down so I just went back to the hotel and sampled of few of Kenya’s fine beer offerings (Tusker, Pilsner, and White Cap) and talked to Humphrey, the waiter.

Bed came early, around 9 PM to be exact. I think I’ve adjusted time wise because I woke up every hour just about. It seems that some people in Nanyuki never sleep. At 4 AM there were still people outside yelling and carrying on. Going to bed early means waking up early. At about 7 AM I got up and flipped the switch to turn on the hot water and got back in the bed for about 20 minutes to give it a chance to warm up. The hotel provided shower shoes, but I couldn’t get my fat feet in them–that’s not good for the ego. Forget the shoes…that shower was amazing. I really took advantage and washed every nook and cranny of my body…several times.

For breakfast I went to this really “white,” or Western (to be PC) place. I had a mocha (OMG good), a ham and cheese omelette (a real one, not a flat egg w/ a piece of swiss cheese on top), roasted potatoes, and toast! Can you say breakfast of champions?

The rest of my day was similar to the day before except I used the internet and got some blogs posted. I also bought my first Maasai shukka (a big piece of fabric morans wear when herding and around town), as well as some mangos, and all the food for the youth event on Thursday.

I thought that I had exhausted all of my bad luck but on the motorcycle ride home when Mother Nature peed on my yet again, I was reminded that my bad luck is inexhaustible. This time there were three of us on this motorcycle and we were completely drenched! We made it back to Doldol and a friend saw me and took me up the hill on his motorbike. He showed me our house from several kilometers away and handed me the car battery that powers our TV and I was on my way. I got lost twice… I thought it all looked the same without the rain, but with the rain the trails were nearly impossible to see. I would get frustrated, set the battery down and stand in the pouring rain looking up at the sky hoping for some divine insight. Luckily I saw one of the sisters and was so relieved my heart nearly skipped a beat.

Home at last, soaking wet, but home.

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Day Four: August 1

I woke up a little after the sun today and had water waiting for me to bathe. I  decided to just wash my hair since I wasn’t able to the last time due to my poor rationing skills. I poured some water on my head and yelped because of its scalding temperature. Wow, that is not something you expect from a shower in Africa. It was a very kind gesture for them to boil my water and I do not mean to seem ungrateful at all. Now, I know to wait for the steam to settle before touching the water to my bare skin.

There was no wasting time today before getting to the jobs. All the new trees and other crops needed watering before the sun rose to much and just dried it up, a lesson I learned from my own mom. We also had to remove some of the old fence posts. Following all of that, Joseph and Franco took me exploring for elephants, something I was originally excited about until I saw that they were carrying a spear, machete, and cane. I kept turning around to Franco and asking, “Is this safe? Are you sure this is safe?” I was honestly a little terrified. Although I tried to hide it, they could probably smell my fear–you know, one of those special Maasai skills.

Unfortunately, we saw no elephants this time, only the dung that showed they had been there. We did run into some Maasai groups in the process of migrating to another area, one of which had a herd of about 15 camels. They were dressed in the traditional attire, complete with beads, bangles, and shukkas, some even had the red clay in their hair for conditioning. Their dress gave them the appearance of something very regal and truly beautiful. It didn’t hurt that they stood against one of the most beautiful backdrops I have ever seen–mountains that kissed the clouds on which you could see other bright flashes of color where Maasai were leading their cattle to graze.

Even though we didn’t see any elephants, that trek was by far the highlight of my day. Following our walk, we had lunch and then I was told to go rest (still not sure whether or not that was optional). I also went back into the bush to chop down some limbs to reinforce the fence around the property that the elephants had knocked down the last time they came to drink from the watering hole. I’m not completely sure how the twigs we used this time around will stop them either, but maybe the thorns buried within them will.

Elephants hate the smell of their own blood, so if somehow they got cut, they would never come back. Joseph also has a bow and arrow that he shoots them in the butt with if they come around, that way they bleed and don’t die, then we’d have a court case on our hands.

Oh crap, I just noticed I was laying in a baby cow pie. Likes like I’ll be taking a “wet-wipe” shower tonight rather than the morning.


Sam G

I absolutely dig adventure and travel!

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Verbal tantrums of a writer & an anxious spectator of life.

Mathematical

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