Monday, May 18, 2009

Back in Africa

Wow! This is weird. It's been nine months and here I am again at the cyber cafe in Chuda writing in my blog. The weirdest part actually is that it feels surprisingly normal to be back here, like I'm coming back after a weekend away. It's nice. I feel a lot more comfortable than I expected.

The trip was good. Long, but I slept for a lot of it. Probably couldn't stay awake without the mass amounts of coffee I've been drinking since exam period. When I arrived in Nairobi, I stepped off the airplane and the heavy air and the vaguely incense-like smell hit me with such a barrage of memories that I couldn't stop grinning te whole shuttle ride to the airport. Two of my friends, Moses (Bobo) and Mwangi were there to pick me up. It was really exciting to see them.
I spent the next few days in Nairobi, visiting various people. My photgrapher friend Jose recently had a baby, so we had to visit him and bring some gifts. I spent an afternoon with his wife, Tracy, arguing pleasantly about whether white or African babies are cuter and cooking mboga and ugali. We met a few other people on Friday and went for drinks. We ended up staying there for hours as the rain started and we couldn't even manage a step outside the bar without getting drenched.
It was really awesome to be back in Kenya, walking the dirt side streets of Nairobi, with the colourful concrete apartment buildings and endless clothelines, the crazy traffic and bustling atosphere of downtown. I'm sure that doesn't sound like paradise to most people, but I've missed it.

Moses and I took the bus back to Mombasa on Friday night. I was grinning again as the Tuktuk pulled into Chuda, even though there was no one there and it was still dark. Since then, my time has been a whirlwind of meeting everyone again and being welcomed back. On Saturday several of us went out with Bobo's friend Junior who runs his fathers shipping company and was more than happy to buy us all drinks. I culdn't buy them because I'm a little tight on money. I forgot my wallet. Those of you who know me are rolling your eyes right now. Actually it's turing out to be an interesting experience. The guys here know how to live on almost nothing and they are teaching me quite well.

Junior is very interested in Nuru and has given us some excellent advice. He invited us to his place for a meeting yesterday which was incredibly productive, and we now have a course of action for the next week which includes securing the office promised to us by the head of the Mombasa council, and making a few amendments to the consitution. I don't have the time or money to go into detail right now, but I will definitely keep you updated as our plans play out.

Today, we are going to visit the school. This morning, seveal uniformed students were hanging around outside our place. It turns out they had bee sent away when they were unable to provide an extra fee of 60 shillings that the school was suddenly requiring of every student. That's a dollar by the way. Bobo and Jay speculated that government food has come for the school, but they don't have the resources to cook it. Aparently the headmaster was worried about this several weeks ago. So we're going today to see if we can help. if we can get some stoves or whatever for the school, we can save all the families of the kids in the school the trouble of coming up with a dollar, and the school won't have to send home the students who can't pay. I will let you know how that does in the next couple of days.

Thanks for reading!! Lots more to come!


1 comment:

SteveIngold said...

What a great, and nostalgic read. Your arrival this time around is so different from your arrival last time. I actually remember when you landed in Dar, your sun burnt self trying to file a police report on a stolen camera, your overheated and overwhelmed self in your first Dalla Dalla ride. What a long way you've come "softy" lol.

Have a blast and kick butt!