August 5th

Getting up early is the routine here i guess.  i’m trying to be cool with it.  somehow, we can’t seem to escape the roosters.  or loud people in cramped hostels.  but we found some real coffee today, which was amazing. 

since the minister of education decided last minute to postpone the end of school for another week, we still have a few days before our summer camp starts.  so we decided to head to Mombasa, a city on the coast of Kenya.  the bus ride took about 10 hours…quite an experience!  i think we spent more time off the roads than on them.  it was dusty, bumpy, hot, and stinky.  however, we saw some incredible things along the way that totally made up for the discomfort.  what stood out most was the intensity of the drought across the whole of kenya.  the land is so cracked and dry–with almost nothing left alive.  i felt hypocritical, sipping my water and looking out the window at these poor people desperately trying to collect enough water to survive.  some of them obviously had to walk for miles just to fetch drinking water.  and the dry land doesn’t do anything for their crops, so many are starving as well. 

we also saw many different types of houses along the road. there were obviously little communities of people living together…each one with a distinct dwelling style.  mostly mud huts with thatched roofs.  some more rounded with garbage bags and fabric on the roof, some more structured.  very few with doors or proper windows.  we also drove through some very desolate areas where we saw a few lone huts–out in the middle of nowhere–maybe with a herd of bone-thin cattle and a tired looking shepherd.  i can’t imagine living in such a place–so far from anything even remotely civilized. 

then there was a drastic change in landscape and foliage as we approached the coast.  there was suddenly a lot more green…gorgeous palm trees, bountiful gardens, and lush grass.  the contrast was very striking.

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