We are headed into our fourth week here in Bungoma and the stay is beginning to feel much easier. Temperatures are finally cooling down as we prepare to enter the rainy season. The mosquitoes are still bothersome. Whenever we aren’t out-and-about, we watch movies on our laptop under the protective netting over our bed. It may sound silly but believe me, this has made a world of difference, both physically and emotionally.
We also have a new housemate. His name is Ratatouille and he is a tiny mouse that apparently feels very comfortable around people. I don’t have the heart to kill him. Not yet at least. Although, the lizards will probably get him before I do. Or maybe this thing will…
Our water has been much more reliable so, your prayers have worked. Here’s a picture of our “water-donkey.”
This dude works hard and may be the most unappreciated animal in the world. I would take him home with me but, last I checked they don’t allow these kinds of asses on the plane.
Last weekend, we made the 2 hour trek into Kisumu which is the only major town that’s near us. The ride was pretty slick save for a few dirt roads and potholes. Our trip was impeded several times by cows, goats and other farm animals (they seem to take the right of way out here).
We also saw countless men and women carrying stock piles of wood and bushels of sugar cane on their heads or on the back seat of their bicycles. Africa is home to a gorgeous, widespread landscape and the majority of the world’s savannah. It is easy to gawk at the vast, uncharted green hills and for a brief moment, escape the ubiquitous poverty that remains in the peripheral. Many people work very hard for a ridiculously small amount of money. It is so small that it cannot be called a wage.
The main airport is in Kisumu so the town actually feels more like a small city. It is very busy and hot and more like Nairobi than Bungoma. We stayed at the OAF estate with our Spanish friend Moises and his family. He does country scouting for OAF and commutes several hours away into Tanzania every week. As they expand further into Africa, OAF expects to start up in Tanzania with over 1000 maize farmers which is almost unheard of!
Through a mutual friend back home, we were also able to make some new American friends in Lisa and Eric Kjeldgaard. They work for a Modesto, CA based non-profit called Agape that rehabilitates street-children and reunites them with their families. They are doing a good work in a very difficult place. Plus they have eight children of their own. (!) Here’s a picture from the dining area of the restaurant we ate at called Kabuke Bay. Ritzy!
Also, here is some footage of us on a Tuk-Tuk running around downtown Kisumu.
We cooked burgers for the OAF staff last week and they came out pretty good. There is a restaurant here where people can buy “safe” beef and pork from a small freezer. I’m told the butchers around town are sketchy and may serve “beef alternatives.” Not sure what that means but I’ll leave it up to your imagination…
Thanks for your many prayers of support. We are holding up well although we do miss the States considerably. We just got a new wireless router so I should be able to post lots of new pictures and more blogs this weekend.
I’ll leave you with this incredible song/video by a Brooklyn based band called Lucius. The song is titled “Go Home.”
Hata Sisi Kukutana Tena.