(I apologize in advance if there are not symbols where there should be, not sure how to use a Kenyan keyboard and for the shortness of the post, the internet is pretty spotty here)
The land rover that picked us up seemed romantically rustic and surreal at first. Until it was jolting and moving at a discouraging pace of 20 mph along the highway as cars screeched past us, swerving to get out of the way. Smoke poured out of the muffler. Welcome to Kenya, Julie said as she twisted around to face us, grinning from ear to ear. We stopped at a gas station to await an impromptu pick up for the next couple of hours.
Welcome to Kenya. In the past 36 hours, I have entered into a world that is as foreign to me as I could imagine. Nairobi, the capital, is where urban has somehow confined this rural area. Cows graze in the grass dividing the highway while scramble alongside sky high buildings. Monkeys hop out of trees and onto little tin build stands selling drinks and fruit.
Welcome to Nairobi. Where common questions are which malaria pill are you taking and how are your bowels? A place where smoke and dust combine with the lingering scent of gasoline along traffic jammed streets. Where people hold everything from cutlery to soccer balls to furniture outside your window for sale.
An odd place indeed, as everything seems to go wrong and yet nothing seems to bother anyone. Where half the population is unemployed, there is a high crime rate, and yet most people do nothing but giggle when you try to say a word in Swahili to them.
Tomorrow, I hop on the back of a vehicle that holds all the students in benches lining the sides, with no back, to traverse dirt roads into the mountains where I will begin my adventure at a rhino sanctuary. Kenya, I am at once mesmerized and enchanted, and can not imagine where the next four weeks will take me.