Being visible all the time

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November 11th 2008
Published: November 13th 2008
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There is something interesting and sometimes hard about living in place where you are the "different" one. I cannot be anonymous or "invisible" once outside my room. Whether I'm out running on the road at 7:00 am or walking to the little stands down the road to buy vegetables, or in town shopping, I am not just me, going along with my life, but someone noticebly different....someone that makes others "take note".

This morning I ran down to the river, about two miles along a beautiful curving road that follows the edge of the valley. I was a little later than usual, and lots of people were walking to their fields or jobs. Lots of being noticed...although many runners come from this part of world, so running isn't unusual in itself. A matatu passed me on the way back and there was someone with European hair sitting in the back.

I noticed.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Kids in the roadKids in the road
Kids in the road

I am always spotted from a long way off by groups of kids when I use the dirt road near the school. They love to talk to me, but I can't understand them, so we make faces and play little games, and I take their pictures as they request!
At the Trout Tree RestaurantAt the Trout Tree Restaurant
At the Trout Tree Restaurant

Vicki, Hartley, and I went for lunch here. It is trout farm with a restaurant built in a giant tree. The food is great (I had trout) and there are colobus monkeys (looking like tree-living skunks, as they jump from tree to tree) who try to clear the tables before the waiters get there.
Vicki, Hartley, and the Star the cat she may adoptVicki, Hartley, and the Star the cat she may adopt
Vicki, Hartley, and the Star the cat she may adopt

This is a wonderful cat..its owner has moved on, and while it is cared for by the restaurant, no on is giving her the attention she craves. She sounds just like Betty! She followed us around, and climbed into Vicki's lap when she sat down.
More of Star...More of Star...
More of Star...

Hartley may get her on Saturday....
The huge outdoor market in KaratinaThe huge outdoor market in Karatina
The huge outdoor market in Karatina

I visited Karatina, about 40 minutes away, today. It took two matatus from the school, and the trip cost a little over a $1.00 each way. The outdoor market is the largest in East Africa, and has mostly food. I bought bananas and onions, and a few gifts...
The "Value Village" of KaratinaThe "Value Village" of Karatina
The "Value Village" of Karatina

This clothing market spreads on either side of the railroad tracks at the edge of town. I had gone by it a couple times when traveling from Nairobi and wanted to explore! I bought no clothing since the piles were too daunting even for me, but did get a piece of cloth from a stand on a side road.
Girls jump roping in the clothing marketGirls jump roping in the clothing market
Girls jump roping in the clothing market

I assume they are with their mothers who have stands. They showed off for me for awhile, and when I came back through, I offered to turn the rope and count for was great fun and amused the people in the market quite a bit....!
White Face performance!White Face performance!
White Face performance!

This guy was dancing on slilts with a white mask on...when I came up (being the only white person in town that I'd seen), the announcer was thrilled and said all kinds of things that made the audience turn and look at me and seemed to be a good laugh and not mean-spirited, so I joined in...
Going back to the schoolGoing back to the school
Going back to the school

I had to sit in very warm matatu for over an hour in Karatina, before we left. The way matatus work is that they must be full (which means all kids are on laps and people have sacks of produce jammed in around them) before the matatu will leave the depot. There were cute kids on this one, as always, and older man who gave me a banana...

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