Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Reason Why I Have Not Been Posting ...


Too-adorable-for-words Olivia.

Yeah, yeah, we like our Christmas stockings along with our Hanukkah candles!

Hope the holidays was wonderful for you and yours!  Hope everyone has good health and good fortune in 2010!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Nakuru Photos

The flamingos - I had a hard time accepting that they are actual birds, rather than fake plastic lawn ornaments.

Me, Erin, and Matt at the shore of Lake Nakuru.

Sitting on the top of Menengai Crater, eating weird tasting sweets / snacks from the local bakery and enjoying the views.

The Perfect Dive

[Full Disclosure: This was blogged with the specific purpose of putting off the packing of my bags for the trip.]

Secured in the pocket, I waited for my chance.  I have been secured, safe, and cared for over the past year, and my digits and everything about my sleek plastic body screams freedom!  When the folded pants where the aforementioned pocket is attached to was shifted from the top of the toilet tank, I saw a chance and grabbed it. 

The pocket released its grip slightly and I readied myself for the chance of a lifetime.  My dreams of doing a perfect dive were finally here.  All those times I was safely secured in bags and pockets, I have always dreamed of the day I would be able to take a three and half rotation somersault with the air rushing through my screen.  I could only hope that I would have an audience at this time that is not solely consisted of spiders. 

Suddenly I was free, my black case slipping through the grasps of demin, and I started my dive.  After the third rotation, I saw the bowl, and realized that I would not make it, so I decided to land on the floor and then jump up again to make the bowl.

It was a gorgeous thing, I tell you, I swooped right into that bowl with the grace of a swan.  After being fished out of the bowl to what I hear as thunderous applause (but most likely was a string of obscenities from my owner and laughter from her friends), I promptly went wonky and shut down. 

Even if my digits couldn’t work for a few days, the chance of a lifetime was well worth it.  I have left my mark in that baby swallower in Nakuru, and the spiders who were awed by my performance will never forget it for as long as they live.  

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's that time of the year again ...

Like Jon, or to Deaf Eds, Die Hard, said in one of his blog entries, mango season is upon us.  I walked through the streets of Mombasa yesterday, and saw the carts full of huge mangoes, hawkers trying to out-sell each other, and the sweet scent of mango juice running everywhere.  I immediately started drooling and knew that apple mangoes (which are smaller but insanely delicious - Kilifi is known for their apple mangoes, and this may have also ruined mangoes for me for the rest of my life) was just about to follow.  

For the next few months I'll be paying 15 cents instead of 30 for apple mangoes and 7 cents instead of 20 for normal mangoes, which fits nicely into my Peace Corps budget.  However, there is a huge trade-off.  While the mango season is upon us, it is now again the "summer," or what they call the dry season out here, which means the days of 95-105 degrees are upon us again.  Last night, after spending time in Nairobi, Nakuru, and cold Loitokitok, I had to finally turn on the fan to sleep.  

So, yeah, it's the dry season.  But at least we have fantastic and juicy mangoes.  

Speaking of Nairobi, Nakuru, and Loitokitok, here's the gist of what happened the last couple of weeks.  

I was declared healthy and fit for the second year of my service in Nairobi, and of course, hung out with the fellow PCVs who were poked and prodded at the same time.  Erin, Matt and I then decided to head to Nakuru for a a couple of days, checking out Lake Nakuru National Park and looking at the wildlife, and the actual real life flamingos (not the ones on your lawns!).  My phone then did a graceful swope into the toilet (how's that for a topic seque?!), but luckily the mobile shop in Loitokitok did some magic and it's back up and running.  

Matt headed back to site, Erin and I hiked the Menengai Crater cursing the fact that the Coast was at sea level and there were no hills for us to practice hiking on, so we were wiped when we got to the top.  The gorgeous views were worth it, regardless.

Erin and I then headed to Loitokitok again to see the new trainees who have now been in Kenya for more than a month, and we found them in good shape, and raring to go.  Over the week, there were discussions, support, sessions, KSL classes, some videotaping, and then finally ending the week with the movie, "Through Deaf Eyes," which I absolutely recommend to everyone.  

And ... I've been prepping for my trip back to the States!  I'm flying to Amsterdam on Thursday night, arriving on Friday morning to see one of my old college roommates for the weekend, as well as Sarah.  After the weekend, I'll fly to Seattle to meet my family, and I can't wait to see them, especially finally meeting Olivia.   

Throughout the last couple of months, I have been nervous about the trip back to the States, not because of the fear that I might never go back to Kenya (my service here is in no way over, and I don't like leaving things unfinished), but mostly because I haven't really thought about the US much over the last year as my life is here in Kenya.  The US is so far away and I can understand more and more why the US is so distant but at the same time so connected to the Kenyans, and the closer the trip back is, the more I think about the States, and I've finally made my peace.  The United States is my country and my home, in spite of all the commercialization, in spite of all that twilight and new moon thingy that I hear is going on out there (apparently vampires are huge right now, according to the new trainees, hmm interesting), in spite of all the political problems (c'mon pass that health care bill), it's still home for me, and it's where my family live, and many of my friends live, so now I'm finally excited about returning for a couple of weeks. 

Lastly but not least, Happy Hanukkah!  Tonight is the fourth night, and I miss my childhood days of visiting Grandma and Grandpa and getting cool gifts from the family, so light those candles for me, I'll be thinking of y'all!


This blog consists of my personal thoughts and opinions. It does not in any way reflect the position of the United States Government or the Peace Corps.