On a bus, then a lorry then home-for the next 3 weeks
July 6, 2010
We woke up to the sound of Rudi telling us to get up. It was only 6:30am, but we had to get going, since a 10hr trip was ahead of us. Breakfast was toast and eggs and I celebrated my noms with relish. The ketchup got on my jeans, though.
The thing is, with Kenyan toilets, (the flush-able ones at least) there are two very important rules. If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. There’s a water shortage there, and although they had a reasonable amount of rain in the spring months, there was not a drop of rain the past two years before this spring. It’s so hard to imagine, since Vancouver is soaked pretty much 3/4 of the year. I just can’t imagine that dryness at all.
Everyone in the group is awesome. There are people from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and 2 people from. There are 22 girls and 3 guys- remind you of some similar female domination here at home? Also, people range from going to gr. 9 to going to second year of university. But everyone is pretty immature and crazy, so we all seem like one big age group.
I KISSED A GIRAFFE THIS MORNING!!!!! We went to the Giraffe Sanctuary and we fed them their food pellets and learned all about the giraffes that live in Kenya. They eat from your hands or if you put on between your lips, it will eat it right out of your mouth! It was a extremely slobbery and scratchy, but the spit doesn’t stink. Also, hand feeding leaves you with ropes of saliva drifting off your hands in a spider-web-like manner. Luckily, giraffes have very good breath and it’s saliva is an antiseptic, so it’s kiss is called the healing kiss.
On our way to the camp, we stopped at a view point high above the Rift Valley. Rudi explained that the oldest remains of a human was found here, and perhaps it was the cradle of life. That hit me quite oddly as I looked out at the yellowish brown landscape surrounded by lush green rolling mountains. The cradle of life… I felt an odd sense of calling, like the valley below me was calling and awaited my arrival. Like it was alive.
After the 8hr ride, we finally arrived in Salabwek. The highway we had traveled on for most of the trip was bumpy, but a real road. When we turned off onto a sandy path, I knew we were in for a real ride. The lorry tanked it through the dusty yellow road. Literally half of the road or more was completely washed away and sometimes there were differences of a meter or so between the level part of the road and the bottom of the kilometer long pot holes. At times, it seemed like the lorry would completely tip over! Acacia trees with thorns as long as my fingers whipped by the open windows as we crawled past and since I had the window seat, I had to literally climb into my sister’s lap every time we passed on of those dangerous trees.
Finally, we were at the campsite. Surrounded by an electric fence, it was safe as could be. The tents were arranged in a square and the four toilets (shallow holes with toilet seats on top and in a small canvas tent) and three showers were arranged behind them. We had a mess tent and also a camp fire near the kitchen and the staff tents. Large vine like trees rose between the tents and weaver bird nests hung off of the branches like odd twiggy fruit. All of the staff were men from local areas and they were all super nice. We had escari- or as we would call it, guards, magi moto- our hot water guy, Francis- our server, and a cook, police man, and drivers.
That night, while we prepared to go to sleep, I brushed my teeth under the unfamiliar starry sky. It seemed so far away as I watched a shooting star streak across the sky. The sky was breathtaking. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. Imagine a velvet cloth of the deepest black and that someone had thrown millions of little grains of sand all over it. Imagine that every single little grain seemed to become stardust. That’s it. Stardust. Every possible place in the sky was filled with it. I wasn’t looking at the occasional star in the Coquitlam sky anymore. This was stardust, shining from the Milky Way and it was seen in the middle of Kenya.