Blogs from Mt. Kenya, Central Province , Kenya, Africa

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Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 3rd 2014

Monday morning Speck is up early and looking for monkeys. He heard they could be seen in Nyeri but has yet to find any. This day David has been recruited to drive the Mercedes to Nanyuki. At 11am Mother, Caroline, Karuoya, Daniel and Speck are all in the car and on the way. On route they stopped at Narumoro, where Baba Kimathi is a member of a cooperative that has constructed retail space for rent. There many souvenirs were obtained before continuing on to Nanyuki. Shortly before they reached Nanyuki, the car reached the equator, everyone debarked and photos were taken with a sign marking the equator. Lunch at Muthui's was delicious, chicken, goat, 2 kinds of chapati, stew, potatos, and fantastic guacamole. Joanne Muthui had enjoyed seeing Speck and Caroline so much on Sat that ... read more
02032014 Henrietta
02032014 on the equator

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 2nd 2014

This day was spent still at the Kimathi homestead. It is T M Kimathi's 83rd birthday. During the morning Speck played with his small friends, Lincoln, Gloria, David, and Rose. They dragged him from chickens, to quail, to rabbits, to cows to tomato trees (not a typo, the tree grows a fruit that tastes like tomatoes), and all over the place. Around 1 pm is the cake cutting which is preceded by speeches. First T. M. spoke, then his wife spoke. Then a man who was in his 70's spoke of how he had known T.M. for a very long time and come to all of his birthday parties for a very long time, and then told a fairy tale, and then kept talking and it looked like he was describing bowling because of the arm ... read more
02022014 cows ear
02022014 even smaller friends
02022014 more small friends

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 1st 2014

Today Speck will be introduced to the rest of the family and extended family. The rooster wakes him up several times and he finally surrendered at 9 am. Breakfast is a couple pieces of arrow root, a sort of purpleish potato, and tea. Everyone is in preparation mode, the plan is to eat at 1pm before the church elders arrive, then at 3 have a kind of ceremony, and then afterwards Speck will go through a dowry ceremony. In expectation of needing some money, Speck and Caroline went to Nyeri town and hit the ATM, then a quick stop at the grocer and back to the house. Speck and Caroline grab showers and get ready and shortly after 1pm are ready to eat. They are given some confusing instructions and then are left waiting. 2pm comes, ... read more
02012014 dowry day
02012014 kids
02012014 mama junior

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya January 31st 2014

Friday morning Speck slept in until 9 am again. Caroline spent the morning packing and getting her hair done again. (it is so cheap to have your hair done that most women do not even own a blow dryer.) While Caroline was getting her hair done, Speck had become bored and took Janet and Shiro for a drink at Eden. Speck tried his first Guinness Foreign Extra and loved it. They returned to the house and had lunch at about 1:30 and were just waiting on Junior, who was to drive, to get home. At 4pm he still had not shown and Baba Junior suggested that Speck drive. Speck jokingly agreed, not believing that anyone would trust their car to someone who had never driven a right handed car, on the wrong side of the road, ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya March 3rd 2012

We only allocated one week of our itinerary toKenya, and the Kenyans seemed a bit insulted by this. We were told that most visitors toKenyawould divide their time betweenNairobi,Mount KenyaNational Park, the Maasai Mara National Reserve, andMombasaon the coast. Our itinerary merely had us spending one night inNairobi(at the beautifulFairviewhotel, called an “oasis in the middle ofNairobi” for a reason) before being picked up for a 5-day trek upMount Kenya. Our reasoning was that we had already seen landscape and wildlife very similar to what could be found in Maasai Mara in the Serengeti, and that coastalKenyawas supposed to be very similar toZanzibar, where we had spent a week. This being said, I would love to go back and spend some more time inNairobi. We had been warned that this was one of the most dangerous ... read more
Laundry day at Fairview Hotel in Nairobi
Nairobi traffic
Chogoria transit hotel

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya January 21st 2012

In the old stories, mountains were the navels of the world, the axis mundi, the abode of the gods. Where there was no Kailash, Fuji, Olympus, or Sinai, people built their own: the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia, the pyramids of Egypt, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and the Empire State Building in the Americas. The mountains connected heaven and earth. They were a conduit for the flowering of myth, the place where the sacred and the profane overlapped. My story was less sacrosanct. I was walking around Mt Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, so I wouldn’t have to do anything so stupid again. I’d been comforting myself for about a month with the thought that this was the last time. That it was time to put away childish things and spend more time vacationing where alcohol ... read more
a long way to go
liki north valley; bation in sight
camp at the base of the peaks

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya July 30th 2011

Today was a very relaxing. It was a beautiful sunny day and I had a chance to walk into town with andrew ad get some supplies and produce for lunch and dinner. the open Market in Karatina is massive!! The produce they offer is countless and so fresh and looks so delicious!! The walk back and fort from town is amazing, very fresh and so relaxing. Lunch today consisted of sukuma wiki ( braised spinach) and rice with beans. The rest of the afternoon was peaceful and I got a chance to read through my lonely planet book and decide where I would like to visit while I am here. Because I have Saturdays and Sundays off from volunteering I think that next weekend I will arrange with Jacky to go to a national park for ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya July 29th 2011

Good news!! We didn't have to take public transport today because a member of the kvcdp staff was able to drive Jacky and I to Karatina. Thank goodness as well because, based on the vehicles that I saw on the roads today, I definitely would have been put in a jam packed matatu!!! As i mentioned earlier these matatus are insane. The traffic is really bad in nairobi and i dont think that the matatu drivers make it much better. The seem to be no real rules of the road in nairobi. Tired of wait? No problem, simply take your car across the barrier or just off road it for a bit to pass the traffic. Is the car in front of you too slow? Tha's fine, just drive up on the sidewalk for a bit. ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya May 31st 2011

Slept in this morning, then off to Nanyuki Spinners and Weavers, where a short tour showed the whole process from raw wool to woven product. The women work very hard so it was a pleasure to buy from them. There is an elementary school as well as girls secondary school adjacent. On the way back to the hotel we visited a Benedictine monastery where they hold weekend retreats for young people. Brother Andrew showed us around. It was meager but felt very spiritual. He explained the work they do there, hosting groups of children and travelers from afar for African Bible study and personal reflection. After lunch some of the group went to visit a former actress, Donna Peabody, formerly married to William Hurt. Carol said she seemed lonely living here in Africa by herself. After ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya May 30th 2011

Mt. Kenya Safari Club has a grand past. Today we went to Ol Pejeta, which means fresh green grass. Inside the park was the Sweetwaters chipanzee sanctuary, funded by the Jane Goodall Institute. I am starting her autobiography tonight, it helps to know more about her work, then to see it in action. We walked the wooded grounds, it was very jungle-like. We learned from our guide that there are 41 chimps on two sides of the Nanyuki River. Chimpanzees don't swim so the factions from different parts of Africa will not intermix. There would be much violence if they ever did get together. We watched many of them and their actions are very human-like. I could have stayed longer, but there was more to see. Giraffe, impala, and finally rhinos, white rhino, which first was ... read more




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