Daily Archive for November 19th, 2008

Catching up on photos…

I knew my nice Pelican case would be good for something...

I knew my nice Pelican case would be good for something...

11 Responses to “Catching up on photos…”

  • hi paul!
    well i already love reading your blog, i am totally gonna follow your adventures. it already seems amazing..

    i myself am heading off again in 3 weeks. this time i dont have a return date, so we’ll see what happens.

  • Hi Paul,
    Thanks for keeping us informed and letting us follow you on your fantastic adventure. Be safe! Have fun!
    Uncle joe

  • jean j. blair

    hi! this is grandma sending love and best wishes to you. neat hair cut! is this a new game? uncle joe called and explained the blog world to me and this pm i will read the blog – so glad you are ok. grandpa says good luck and may the Lord be with you. Love from both of us

  • Hey Paul! Cool to see your blog! 🙂
    ErinRose came up today and we’re having a great Thanksgiving–too bad you’re not here to play games with us. The necklace is absolutely beautiful–I kept watching the diamonds sparkle at dinner. 🙂 Be well and enjoy!!! xoxo Alejandra

  • Hey buddy, great blog! We all miss you at Thanksgiving. Hope o hear more on your blog about your super keen adventures. Stay safe and be well.

  • Great Blog. I hope all works well. If you need any techno help I am only an e-mail or call away. My mobile is 614.361.6475 and you got my e-mail address if not call. Sounds like a great adventure, best of luck and may the Lord be with you. Stay safe. PS The CEO’s advise is write on and I would add the following: Do NOT eat any fruit or vegetable that is pre-cut or washed with water. Only drink from a bottle or can, NO ice. Keep your finger nails short and clean. Don’t rub your eyes or lips with your fingers, use the corner of your wrist.

  • Hi Paul,

    I am enjoying your blog. Please give my regards to my nephew Jon McLean if you see him.


  • Jeff i will pass on the regards. You may be interested to know that jon was the first non-deaf-ed trainee to receive a sign name: hand under chin (die) followed by two fists (hard). Its one of our favorites. Im not sure he even knows. Johns a real problem solver so i can see him doing good things here.

  • Amber your turtle blog was one of the main reasons i wanted to have my own. I hope you contine to visit. . . Ill try to keep it interesting. Greg thank you and i hope things are well it the new house. Uncle chuck im trying to take all the advice but its hard to dodge all the vegetables. Grandma i have no idea what game is in the picture but we are playing a lot of hearts and in still trying to figure out pinochle. Whew! I didnt realize i had fallen so far behind with the comments.

  • Hi Paul,

    Got your website from my brother-in-law Jeff Briggs. You are in Kenya with my son Jon McLean. Hope you are all doing well and i know you are getting ready for the swearing in and assignments. Good Luck and stay safe.

    Kim McLean

    • Kim: As it turns out, out of the entire training group, Jon is actually the closest to me. I haven’t seen his place yet, but I have seen the ferry that I’d need to take to visit him. On the Mombasa side it’s right next to Nakumatt, the big Target-style store here.


My Kenyan Sign Language is coming along.  A typical day in training
consists of morning KSL class, followed by some sort of health or
safety-related lecture, lunch, then a trip to a deaf school to interact
and watch classes in action.  Pre-lunch everything is pretty well
containd in the hotel.  To get to lunch we usually walk as a giant
group, moving through Mombasa like some fat albino snake, getting lots
of stares and the occasional shout.  People yell “Jambo” here at whites,
which means “hello,” but it’s reserved for our pleasure exclusively.
Sometimes other words are peppered in, like “Jambo Obama Hakuna Matada,”
which playfully mocks us as we pass.  I say playfully because I sense no
ill will.  It seems mostly like a way to be a funny guy in your group of
friends.  We rarely (as in single digit) see other white people.  I
generalize about he whiteness of our group, however, because the entire
group is not white, but the fact that the fat albino snake has a few
spots doesn’t draw any less attention.

Lunch is usually taken in a relatively small storefront (think
hole-in-the-wall Mexican food in San Diego).  The signs in town and the
menus are in English— I see very little Swahili in general, and as you
may have gathered, we are not in touristville.  I still have little
sense of what the menu items are, so I order at random, and with the
exception of the stinky pungent intestines with corn meal (eaten with my
hands, as customary), I haven’t had anything with a surprising taste.  I
usually get a cold Coke in a bottle with lunch.  There’s rarely AC
anywhere, and although I’m getting used to the oppressive humidity, a
cold Coke does wonders for my morale.  If only it were a Dr. Pepper…

From lunch we typically follow the existing volunteers, who are our
unofficial guides around town, as they flag a giant van that has enough
empty seats.  In Mombasa, at least 50% of traffic is made up of these
vans.  We pile in, and others come and go while we wait for our stop.
“Stops” happen whenever someone bangs the side of the van from the
inside to indicate they want off.  If there are too many empty seats,
the van’s tax collector jumps out and tries to get people to pile in to
fill it up again.  We each pay our 15 shillings (about 25 cents) and we
get out.

At school today I actually carried on a semi-effective conversation with
some new deaf adults.  I am still signing at baby-level, but it people
sign slowly and repeat a lot, I eventually seem to get it.  I am really
starting to enjoy “deaf sounds”  Deaf individuals obviously do not
depend on sound to communicate, but they still make them.  Laughing and
the like are more accentuated in some deaf individuals, often I think
because is is possible to do it while you continue to communicate.  In
the speaking world, it’s one or the other.  Similarly, sounds that I can
only describe as “squeals of delight” occur much more often.  They are
often quiet and sustained while the signing continues, which adds
another level of understanding for the hearing like myself, because it
conveys another level on top of linguistic and facial expression.  I
really enjoy the classroom for this reason.

We’re about to head to dinner as I write this offline (will post
later).   I visited Fort Jesus (no joke) earlier this evening and hope
to go back when there is more light to check it out and to get a better
view of the Indian Ocean!

1 Response to “KSL”

  • Hi Paul, hope you are having a blast! It must be extemely interesting in what you are seeing and experiencing. It is Thanksgiving weekend in Naples I did the usual and purchased a turkey dinner that was already cooked and all I had to do was warm it up. Safest dinner I ever made. I really enjoyed all your updates and look forward to reading more of the super keen adventure. Stay safe and well
    Love you