October 31, 2011

Flat, be-speckled

Still here; still safe.  The most significant "problem" of our first week has been the buckets of rain making the roads impassable muddy swamps and thereby impeding our community-based work.  Of all the set-backs, large and small, that I've encountered in working in Kenya, I never expected "torrential rain in an extreme drought/famine zone" to be one of them.  But for our first 3 days it was, literally, buckets.  

Collecting a bucket of rainwater in our atrium.  

As for my other problem, the flying nighttime cockroaches, I found the solution to be right under my nose: I've simply stopped wearing my glasses after dusk.  In dealing with bugs, as with much in life, denial is a most efficient coping mechanism.

But more to the issue at hand, it began to dry out a bit yesterday, both the sky and the land, and we took the opportunity to take a walk around town and hike up to a hill-top shrine with one of our new coworkers.  I think anytime one needs to orient to a new place, heading for high grounds is a good first step.  Removing yourself from the fray and observing it all from a distance, in rarefied airs.  We looked over the town.

My home for the next month.

And then we looked beyond the outskirts.

The landscape is unlike any others I've seen before.  Flat, be-speckled with moonscape hills that hardly seem unintentional.  And if you look closely, there's a long dirt road that cuts through the plain.  If you take it going left (south), it's the road to Nairobi.  If you take it going right (north), it becomes the road to Ethiopia.  A long delicate vein, snaking through the heartland Kenya.

And we turned back towards home in my favorite hour of light: pre-sunset late afternoon, the ground ensconced in warmth.

 In the sun, we are giants!

Beneath trees, we stand dwarfed.


  1. Loving the blogs, im going Kenya for 6 months in February to volunteer also! :)

  2. Thank you! Hoping you have a great experience over here.