Archive for the 'Lake Nakuru' Category

Less Than 48 Hours to Go

I’m in Nairobi, back from Lodwar and the Lake Turkana region.  Our trip was filled with all sorts of cramped transportation and intense, constant bargaining, so in a way it was a nice final Kenyan trip, because it was nice to see how much better we can handle all of it than when we first arrived, but also it made us feel very, very ready to not have to deal with it anymore.

We spent a few nights at a lodge from the 70s that appears to have been abandoned long ago.  If you can get past the lack of any toilet paper there and in the surrounding village, and if you put aside any fear of the long snake that sleeps in the beds, it’s really quite nice.  Here’s a view from it, looking out at Lake Turkana, where the locals spend all day fishing, bathing, and singing songs.  This particular village felt so idyllic that it really challenged my understanding of poverty.  Unlike everywhere else I’ve seen here, people here really seemed quite content.  Maybe it’s just that I wasn’t there long enough, but it left a very different first impression on me.  I think it was the singing that did it.

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In the middle of Lake Turkana is an island, and on the at island are three smaller lakes, if you can believe it.  Here’s “Flamingo Lake,” taken from one of the higher points of our pretty strenuous hike around.  If you look closely there are about five flamingos in the bottom left corner.

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Here we are in front of “Crocodile Lake.”  I saw two crocodiles, but was assured that there were thousands hiding in there.  We did see a tracks of a crocodile that ran across the hiking path in one spot.

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And it’s a little out of order, but here’s a picture from the “blow out party” I mentioned previously.  There was a lot of this—sitting around with the Indian Ocean in view, doing nothing in particular.

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Today was a big day in Kenyan politics—a bunch of high-level politicians got subpoenaed by the International Criminal Court—so I was a little worried that there might be protests and violence, and when they said the announcement would come in the next hour, I skedaddled from the office where I was saying goodbye to my colleague from the Nairobi Project, since it’s about a block from parliament and it seemed best to head to the suburbs.  So far things have been calm, though.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing all my final paperwork, closing my last bank account here, and taking my final Language Proficiency Exam.  I’ll be doing my best not to use any American Sign Language on accident, but we’ll see how it goes.  In the evening I’ll be attending the Ambassador’s Christmas party, and then the following day, I’m stepping onto a plane that will take me out of here.  For the past to years, the farthest I’ve gotten from Kenya has been Rwanda, so I’m bracing myself for the culture shock that everyone tells me I should expect.  Personally it’s hard for me to imagine having difficulty adjusting to a world that has an abundance of Dr. Pepper, but there may be some things I’m overlooking.

1 Response to “Less Than 48 Hours to Go”


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More Vacations

Sometimes I think about the way I portray my Peace Corps experience on this blog, and I worry that especially recently, it looks like I do nothing but take vacations.

In any case, I semi-recently had a visit from my dad and stepmom, in which we quite possibly saw every single individual animal in Kenya over the course of four different safaris.  It was a wonderful time.  I of course love staying in hotels, which have modern amenities like running water, sit toilets, showers, and other things that have to do with water, but on top of that I was happy to have them come and witness this place firsthand, even the parts that involved long, bumpy bus rides.  Without any further ado, here are some pictures of animals.

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And here are some pictures with people (I am not related to the guy with a chicken leg in his mouth):

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Not long after my dad and stepmom left, my girlfriend came for her fourth and final time to Kenya. Again, wonderful.  We traveled to Zanzibar and Ethiopia.  Here are some pictures from Ethiopia, where we went to a fun New Year’s Eve event (they use a different calendar, so their thirteenth an final month ends in September):

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ErinRose had helped me in the classroom many times, and the students were sad to see her go (and I believe the feeling was mutual).  The time she spent in the library with portions of my vocational class allowed me to focus on a smaller number of students, so I am grateful as well.  Thanks, ErinRose!

Not long after getting back into my routine (without any guests), I missed a week of school to go to my Close of Service (COS) Conference.  This is when Peace Corps lays out the details of how and when I go home to America.  I generally don’t comment on Peace Corps trainings because I get upset and frustrated, so I’ll maintain that policy here. In any case, it looks like the date of my return will probably be December 17, so I’ll be home for Christmas (again, PROBABLY).

In addition to the conference during the day, the volunteers who are in my group (meaning the ones who will go home around the same time I do) had lots of leisure time in the evenings, and we had productive gatherings like this one:

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It’s worth noting that only 24 of our original group remain.  I think we started with 41 or 42 or something.  This is much higher than the usual attrition rate.  We definitely lost some good ones on the way.  If any of you are reading this, just know that you were missed at the conference and that we’ll all be back in the states soon so we can spend time reminiscing!

3 Responses to “More Vacations”


  • I’m reading this! Man, forget meeting up in the states, I’ll try to find you in Mombasa one more time before the 17th and you should let me know if you have any plans to visit Arusha.

    Pole about the substance of COS, but I’m glad you guys had some good social time. I did a session at IST and even though I felt really lousy reliving the memories from Swearing-In, I was glad to see that some things had improved.

    Safaris look like fun. Good luck with the last term and I’d love to hear what your plans for post-PC look like.

    -M^2

  • Hi Paul,
    Your Blogs are always so interesting and exiting,sometimes too much so.
    You mentioned your numbers are down to 24 out of 41. Is there a commomon thread here or is it for a variety of reasons? If you dont reply , I can understand.

    Good luck,good health,

    John

  • Hi!
    I am an AJWS volunteer and new to Kisumu Kenya. I just happened upon your blog and was wondering if you knew anyone in the area that might want a friend. I feel like I’m 4 years old but honestly I don’t know anyone here and I am quite lonely. Anyway, thanks for your time.
    Tali

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