Three days have gone by since my last entry but since then I have had two mind-blowing days and one pretty awesome day. Today was the first day of class and it was pretty awesome… We walked 30 min to our classroom at the University of Nairobi Med School. We had Swahili in the morning where we learned how to say hello in a bunch of different ways and a few other things. We then had a lecture from a lawyer and political scientist about the political system of the country. It was pretty basic but definitely interesting. After the lecture ended I asked the lawyer to speak about the level of corruption in the courts and he laughed, saying that it is there and that is something that they have to live with. He was sorry to admit it but he did not seem to have any desire to change it. That was thought-provoking for sure.
The second lecture may have been the best academic presentation that I have ever heard. It was by a political scientist named Cyprian. He was so smart! He prepared a 21 page presentation for us in which he outlined the problems of governance in Kenya and hat is being done about them. He was so passionate about this topic it was hard not to be on the edge of my seat. I emailed him tonight hoping to get an interview with him tomorrow for my research projects. One of which is about the political culture around the 2012 elections and the potential for post-election violence and the other is about the inherent dynamics of Kenya that make the quality of life for Kenyans lower than the quality of life for people living in developed countries, and what is being done internally to improve the quality of life in the country. the first is 20 pages the other is 10… It is going to be a lot of work considering we have absolutely zero free time to read or study but I know I will learn a lot.
Yesterday was one of the mind-blowing days. We went to the ngong hills and climbed them, up one down it and up the next. I swear they were each the size of ski mountains. We climbed for 7 hours! We walked through vast sloping planes with thousands of grazing cattle, goats, and sheep, sometimes with somebody herding them, and other times with no people around at all. The views were breathtaking. On one side you could look back toward the city and see homes and towns and Nairobi, and on the other side you could see and endless valley surrounded by mountains. You could see farm plots and little bunches of white dots that were villages. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
About 6 hours into our climb Shannon, Nicole, Avery and I came across a group of boys playing soccer in a flat grassy area near the bottom of the last hill. We were going to walk by but I was like wait how many times will I be able to play soccer with Kenyans in the middle of the most beautiful place in the world? So I asked if we could play and Shannon, Avery and I did. Nicole got some great video of it. One of the kids faked Shannon out so bad went five-hole on her, ran around her and got the ball on the other side of her it was hilarious.
Two days ago was another touristy day. We visited an orphanage for elephants who were in the wild without a mother, a giraffe park, went to a rugby game, ate dinner about 30 feet away from the Prime Minister and went to Rafiki’s, a night club. Quite a day huh?
The elephants were really cool I never knew they were so hairy! I have some good pictures and video of them rolling around in the mud to take a bath. The giraffes were the coolest thing ever. They were gigantic and they had huge tongues! We got to to feed them as much as we wanted because they eat all day long and we put the food in between our lips so they kissed us in order to get it hahah. I kissed three giraffes, their huge tongues slobbering all over my face. It was definitely a once in a life time experience.
After the giraffe park we went to a rugby game in Nairobi. It was really fun to watch, the Cheetahs killed the Buffaloes and it was fun to be a part of the crowd. The guys were huge and wicked fast, really awesome athletes.
Then we went to dinner at a restaurant called Carnivore. It is a restaurant where they keep coming around the table carving meet onto your plate until you surrender and can’t eat anymore. I ate chicken, goat, beef, ostrich meat balls, camel, bulls balls (literally), crocodile, turkey, and probably a few others that I am forgetting. Dr. Wamai put on the greatest display of manhood I have ever seen, just constantly eating meet from 7 to 10…. constantly….. it was incredible. I guarantee he can eat more meat than Kobyashi. He is a crazy dude. He did our climb (7hrs) without having a sip of water all day… I don’t understand how. Sam, if you’re reading this this guy is the African version of Adam Welde I swear he was produced in a factory somewhere.
Anyways towards the end of dinner Raila Odinga showed up and ate a few tables away from us. I wanted to say hi but obviously didn’t want to interrupt his dinner but when our guide Carla insisted that her and I should try to say hi I went with her. He completely ignored her, it was quite uncomfortable. He just pretended like she wasn’t there when she said hello to him.
After dinner we went first to the bar next door where there was an Indian dancing competition that was a bit outlandish to say the least. We left there quickly and went to Rafiki’s, a night club. We danced for about an hour it was so fun. They played a bunch of American music and everybody had so much fun. Dr. Wamai was breaking it down! He’s hilarious. A gay guy tried to hit on me too the whole group was laughing. It was pretty funny, he just persistently tried to dance right up next to me haha it was a riot.
Alright time for bed, hope everybody enjoys and it wasn’t too long! Night.