Archive for the ‘Haley in Kenya’ Category


Haley: the Ogiek

September 4, 2010

September 3rd
Today was special. We went to go see the Ogiek people about 20 minutes out of Nakuru. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life. The mountains and farms, the free roaming goats and cows. Our bus got stuck in the mud road so we walked the rest of the hill/mountain. On the way a couple girls and I fell behind where we found ourselves a couple shadows: the kids of the hill. So we thought we’d say “Jambo!”—hello… Me being the overly excited person I am, I thought the boy said “How are YOU!?” No he definitely said “Caribu” (thank you). So I answered with a “I’m GREAT! How are you.” Even the 8 year olds laugh at me in Kenya. I later asked this boy his name and he put out his dirt covered hand (because the other one was holding a machete) and said “Money.” It was after I told him I didn’t have any that he told me his name was Steven.

They followed us the whole way up the mountain and by the end of our journey we fell in love with the school of kids we accumulated, teaching them how to count to 10 in English. They laughed the whole way and LOVED having their picture taken. Little do these kids know that they made our day. When we reached the top of the mountain we were greeted by the Ogiek, a family that had 4 generations staring us in the face. The old man’s face held so much story in it. As we looked around, we see the most BEAUTIFUL view looking down… and two huts made of Mud and Sticks. This family lived here (and by family I mean over 15 people). Kids everywhere, wisdom just oozing through every wrinkle in the elderly. They showed us how they make fire with an instraument over a hundred years old, wow.
And through the end all they could say was how blessed they were to have us there, and that God had sent us to listen to their story… How do I tell them that their strength is something people look for their whole lives. That their family loyalties puts those of a lions to shame… That there smiles and kind words have forever carved their ways into my heart leaving me with a new reason to smile and cry.

They walked us back to the bus, a mile or so down the mountain. During this walk I was asked several times if I was married, and then asked if I had any kids… A girl about my age had two kids, one that was hanging in a sling wrapped around her back. They asked if we carried babies like that… So I explained to them how Americans have strollers and push their kids around. They laughed as I explained, and asked me if I knew why they carried their children like that. If they don’t an eagle or big bird will come and snatch the babies… (there goes that hollow feeling in my stomach). All you can do is laugh with their infectious laughter.
The kids of MSID most definitely enjoyed their time during orientation week and completely bonded over these experiences, tea time, and stories invloving space, geology, ghosts… and me falling, No; WALKING off a cliff 2 summers ago.


Haley: 1 fish, 2 fish, red fish… MONKEY

September 3, 2010

August 31st
I successfully only got 3 hours of sleep. Caaaaan you say Jet Lagged? On top of it in the middle of the night I heard what sounded like someone being locked outside there door… After listening for 30 minutes with the poor person struggling, I decide to check it out (we had to lock our doors so the Monkeys won’t get in). I go out into the courtyard and don’t see anyone… ? I hear the door shake again and faint voices on the other side. So I go over to discover that two of my class mates locked themselved in their room and couldn’t get out… HAHAHA!!!

When everyone woke before heading to Lake Nakuru, we went to go wash up and brush our teeth out by a water basin. As I’m washing my face I hear the trees rustle and the pitter patter of feet. The monkeys came out to see what we have… and of course dig through the garbage. Pretty much the squirrels of Africa.
We had to stop at the immigration office in Nairobi before leaving, which ended up with Haley sitting on the sidewalk playing cards, explaining “bull-shit” to the MSID staff. We go to lunch at an “American” food restraunt…

Our drive out to Nakuru was so exciting… an unfamiliar country! We stopped at the point that overlooked this valley, and it’s crazy how beauty and poverty can be captured in the same scene. It is at this point that I realize that the food isn’t settling with me well, I feel sick. Or perhaps I’m just tired. We walked through a market where we could haggle prices (LOVE). We finally get to the campground and in the distance on the lake it looks as if the shore is made of pink rocks or sand… No, it’s the flamingo’s along the shore. We didn’t have hot water at the camp ground, sometimes had toilet paper, no toilet seats, no internet, and no phones… HELL YA! No really… we had SO much fun.

September 1st

Well I woke up in the middle of the night and then at 6 in the morning, but I’m doing better. It’s fricken freezing because their winter is ending. My Malaria pills cause me to dream a lot. We get 3 meals a day and tea time in between every meal. We LOVE tea time. I have never eaten this good in my entire life. Everything so healthy and structured. Fresh fruit…. mmmm.

For orientation we spent a couple hours doing group excercises, like having two people tie a shoe with each using only one hand. This is to symbolize how the every day tasks we’re used to  are now going to be done differently, and that as simple as they were before, we may now find them a challenge in Kenya. Also the help of another person goes a long way. The other team building stuff was guiding someone around blindfolded without speaking english or touching… so using codes. This signifying the unfimiliarity and struggles that come with a foriegn country. (It was fun till I nearly Judo chopped the professor for sneaking up on me while I was blind-folded.)

SAFARI TIME!… I wish words could do justice to the beauty I saw. I’ve never seen such greens in my life. What was the meaning of “love and care” before I saw a family of Baboons take care of each other. Babies holding on to their moms as the roam the land. There’s nothing more majestic than a pack of Giraffes walking towards you. Rhino’s are incredible…. SO strong and beautiful. We got off the bus by the flamingos and walked around a bit. Leave it to me to walk in Rhino poo… Trust me, burning dog poop on the front porch does this no justice. On the ride back we saw 4 lions just sitting there, 3 in the tree and one not even 10 yards away…. As I go to get pictures, OOPS my camera dies @#$@&%!!!!!!!!!! Then when we went to leave they decided to lay in the road leaving us stuck. So to pass time, why not sing a little Lion King?

September 2nd
Today I think it was the insructor’s life ambition to scare the crap out of us. They told us about stories of the Matatu (type of transportation) where kids got robbed, and pick-pocketed. How walking at night is dangerous and that we’de never know if someone slashed our bags… Alright Great Pep talk! This was also when we got told individually about our internships. I-AM-SO-FRICKEN-EXCITED!!!!! In 6 or 7 weeks I go to Mombasa (South East Coast) for my internship for another 6 or 7 weeks. I am working in this hospital there. Each week I get to go to a different department of the hospital and work there. Then I get to work at the free clinic that I have to take a ferry to on this little island…. where in the USA do I get to do THIS?!

During the safari today, we stopped at an amazing waterfall. We saw all the animals again this time PLUS a leopard! I can really get used to this. When we got back we discovered that there was a Riot in Nakuru (maybe 10 minutes away from where we were) where 2 people died and several were injured. I can see the lights of that town from my cabin window. And THEN on top of it, a wild cat (not like a lion… just a wild cat) SOMEHOW got into a hospital and ate a baby. Arrrrreeeee you Serious?!?! I don’t know about you but this sounds a little sketchy to me… especially since the baby was reported to have been in an icubator… Ohhh Africa. Going to bed I felt the results of being so close to the equator… Hellooooooo Sun Burn!


Haley: I leave for Kenya

August 30, 2010

O’Hare is full of people I assume can’t speak English; scratch that, they DON’T. So I averted to speaking the universal sign language of Pointing. After 2 hours of waiting, we board the biggest plane I’ve ever been on. (Of course the whole time my Ma wants to be on the phone with me… If she had it her way she’d tell me to wait til the flight attendant is forced to get physical; so naturally I hang up asap.) SO I’m sitting on this plane with nothing but time. I start thinking. And I found that I wasn’t nervous about going to a different country. NO, I was worried about travelers Diarrhea. (yes yes “ewwww”) but I realized how badly I DID NOT want that… Of ALL the things to think about, THIS is what goes through my mind. Theo mou.

While the captain is speaking it takes me a good 30 seconds to realize it wasn’t in English… (DUMB HALEY). 3 movies and 8 hours later we arrive in Amsterdam. Within 5 minutes of arrival I run into 2 kids on my program… So naturally we go and grab a beer and *Free Chocolate.* (Don’t question…) I got a kick out of this breakfast sign outside of McDonalds. It was four pictures of McD breakfasts from 4 different places… London, Paris, Tokyo, America. London had a sandwhich with yogurt, Paris had fruit with theirs (all healthy things) and then the pictue of America was just TWO egg McMuffins; hahaha… We got caught up in so many different things that we lost track of time and had to run alllllllll the way to our gate to make it just in time. (One of the kids we were with got stuck behind a clan of grannies on the moving walk way, so he had to jump the rail and sprint the rest of the way; really funny actually)
I board the plane with 8 more hours to go…

Stepping off the plane I was greeted with a smell that was made up of musk, dirt, heat, and country… I’m nowhere from home… I’m tired… What time is it… where the heck do I go… WHY IS MY LUGGAGE TAKING SO DAMN LONG… oh, nevermind my luggage is upside down… there are a lot of girls on the program… Follow a woman holding a sign for MSID students (msid is my program)… I’m on a bus…. We arrive at a hostel for the night and will leave for our orientation in the morning. WHATEVER just give me a bed!!!!!!!

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