August 29, 2011

It was splendid

What I forgot to mention about last week's camel derby was that it was also my birthday. Which makes sense, as I actually forgot about my birthday itself for long swaths of the day as well. Bumping and thumping along a dirt road for many hours will jog things like that straight out of your head. Apparently.

My last birthday was a goodbye to San Francisco and all the hominess and stability that it entailed. This birthday dawned with a trek across the Kenyan countryside. I will refrain from waxing too interpretive about the changes incurred in a single year, but I think my recent trajectory is best illustrated by this pictorial juxtaposition:

Wine and s'mores at dusk before moving to Seattle (Aug 20, 2010)

Layers of clouds at dawn while flying over Kenya (Aug 26, 2011)

The airplane picture is from this past weekend's trip to spend time with Anjuli and Laura in Kisumu.

For as much as I hate waking up early (and even more so, getting out of bed early), I love flying at dawn. Although I suppose this isn't terribly odd, since no one could possibly deny that the aesthetics of seeing a sunrise from above the clouds are impossibly beautiful. The last time I flew at dawn was from Seattle to San Francisco, and in my groggy state I sincerely thought that the lakes dotting the Pacific Northwest were pools of liquid gold on the earth's surface. Then I woke up a bit more and realized that the gold rush ended 150 years ago (and also, that "pools of liquid gold" was a ridiculous notion). But still, it was splendid.

The flight from Nairobi to Kisumu lasts a mere 30 minutes, and as such we barely had time to breach the top layer of clouds, spending most of the flight gliding between them. Not particularly accomplished in topography, but having a decent working knowledge of Kenya's layout, I think we saw the summit of Mount Kenya ascending through the clouds.

And other Rift Valley ranges peaking through as well.

A 'Good morning!' from Kenya.

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