Friday, December 21, 2007

First Impressions


I read someplace that Kenya has the most ideal climate in the world. I believe that . . . at least where I'm living in this remote corner of Kenya. The temperature is comfortable, humidity is low, evenings cool and unbelievably clear. The milky way seems to extend from one horizon to the other. I imagine it following the path of the equator. I wait for the moon to rise so that I can take my evening walk, but I can't locate the big dipper! At noon with the sun directly overhead, shadows shrink and it is hot, but not unbearably hot. The nights and days start rapidly and are consistently twelve hours long. Without electricity the night seems much longer. Taking a cold shower from a basin will only be enjoyable when it is over. I quickly took up an offer to pay someone to do my laundry. I enjoy clean sheets. Using the pit toilet requires a pre-warm up, at least for an old guy who hasn't done squat thrusts since high school football. The meals are nutritious but lack flavor and variety. I lost 16 pounds, but that's O.K.Tea is half milk, the only "dairy product." I drink instant coffee. All children and adults are friendly. The volunteer staff, out of necessity, bond quickly. We are all very different, but share common goals. I don't feel like a tourist, but a legitimate native of Nyumbani village . . . a rare privilege and making an old white guy with white hair somewhat of a celebrity.

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