Haley: Going to the beach

October 30, 2010

Finally after sweating half my body weight off, me and some of the other Mombasa students are going to the beach… I don’t even care if it is thundering, snowing, or sever hurricane weather. We arrive at Pirates beach after a 30 or 40 minute matatu ride and of course the sky is gray. We’re walking down the entry way and it is just stand after stand selling fried chicken, chips, fries, potatoes, food I’ve never seen before, and essentially everything fried. Then there were also people standing there with scales asking you take weigh yourselves. Well we thought it was like a game at 6 Flags or something where you have to guess a weight and win a prize. So we were looking around and didn’t see any prizes, just the scale. Silly us. NO, you had to PAY so you can weigh yourself (if you wanted to). Uhhhh No thanks!

We get closer because I can smell the salt water over the fried dishes and all of a sudden I see it! The most beautiful beach and ocean…! Oh what’s this? It’s raining…. But it cleared up within 10 minutes and turned into a beautiful day! So we picked a spot in the sand and it was here that I realized that in my fit of joy that morning I forgot to bring my towel. Oops.

The girls decided to tan a little bit and so of course the inner child in me comes out, so I play in the sand. Well this man came up to me speaking nothing but Swahili so naturally I speak back (with the limited Swahili I know) and we have a very eventful conversation. At first he wants me to buy a popsicle. I tell him I have no money and I don’t want one, goodbye! Well no he INSISTS on giving me the popsicle and literally was shoving it at me. After countlessly playing the “No!-Yes!” war I finally asky him WHY he’s giving me this popsicle for free? All he could respond with was YES! Now the popsicle is in my hand half melted. He wants to watch me eat it (red flag) So I tell him that since he was “So kind” I would love if he ate it first (smile). He wouldn’t take it back nor would he eat it. So I told him I’d eat it on the way to the bathroom and ended up chucking it on the garbage on the way back. For all I knew this guy could have been trying to drug me, not happening.

We had so much fun hanging out on the beach, playing with the camels (you could ride a camel… we just took pictures and pet them. I also kissed one) But it was around this point I noticed this one guy just standing and STARING at us, and I realize he’s been there for a good 30 minutes. So I don’t take my eyes off this man… something is up. After another 20 minutes, I’m irritated,because the girls are back to laying on their towels and he’s just standing there. I finally just whip around and ask him what the HECK he was looking at! He said he was just standing there (uh-huh for an hour straight buddy) and after another 5 minutes I told him to “go stand somewhere else please.” It wasn’t until I looked back into my camera that I noticed he was standing there a little before the popsicle man, and well after the popsicle man left. I don’t know if that popsicle thing was a set up. If he was just hoping we’de leave our stuff alone, or if he just was THAT amazed to see white girls… Yeah, and definitely don’t ever take food or open drinks from people you don’t know—that’s just bad news.

On the walk out Lacey and I stopped and asked a woman with a scale how many people does she get in a day to pay her to have their weight taken. Surprisingly she said she will sometimes get up to 200 people. We asked how mcuh it was… and 5 shilings later we were weighing ourselves in kg’s. When in Rome I suppose… or in this case Kenya.

On the Matatu ride home Lacey and I were just joking around and in just such a good mood from having an AWESOME day and just laughing about all the stupid stuff (like the fact that we caved in and paid 5 shilings to find out how much we weighed) when this Indian guy turns around smiling and asking
[ “Excuse me!… Are you guys from America?”
] “haha… uh, well Yeah! how’d you know?”
[ “You’re very outspoken!”
Well that is just the nicest way I’ve ever been called loud. Kudos to that man and also for his recommendations on good Indian restaurants.

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