Kenya, Travel

I’m home safely from Mombasa (read on). I spent the week wandering around Mtwapa, Nyali, and Mombasa itself while my friend Anique was at work. I’ve been to the coast before but I have never had as much fun as I did this visit! I don’t have any pictures because my camera is dead… pole sana (so sorry)!


  • Salsa dancing lessons
  • Swimming in the ocean for the first time since April
  • Bus home to Nairobi being attacked by people with crude weapons
  • Kid on beach bouncing a dead, but fully puffed, puffer fish
  • Being in a matatu (public service bus / minivan / taxi thing) which got in two crashes, the second one after the conductor and the door operator were yelling at each other about the first one
  • Browsing a spice market and being asked if I wanted to buy something that would let me “touch the sky”

The Bus Attack

The bus attack was pretty hardcore actually. I was on the 10pm Mash Poa bus from Mombasa to Nairobi. Mash is one of the coach carriers in Kenya (think Greyhound). I think it was around 2 am and I was asleep, but I awoke to some commotion and banging sounds around the bus. People around me were wincing and ducking, and the women were yelling “Twende!!” (Swahili for “let’s go!”). At first I thought the bus was broken but then the guy next to me said something like, “Alan, they have crude weapons!” Sure enough the front windshield had two large cracks in it from rocks. It was over as quick as it had started.

I guess what happened is that there was another Mash bus with a flat tire and we had pulled over to see if everything was ok. That’s when the commotion started. There were a bunch of cars and police after about 10 minutes and we all got out. The other bus wasn’t as lucky, several windows were completely shattered and some passengers had been robbed/beaten, including the driver.

Karibu Kenya (welcome to Kenya)!

Kenya, Pictures, Travel


Well I’m home from my East African tour now.  It feels good to be back in Tala after fifteen days of absence, especially since I estimate I’ve sat on five or six buses for a total of around fifty hours in the last two weeks.  I was happy to see that everything was still in order at the college when I returned.  My students are supposed to come to school next Monday, but they always take their time so I don’t know when I will actually have to start teaching.  It’s OK, this is Africa, everything is pole pole (slowly slowly)!


Our adventure started in Tanzania, where we visited the town of Arusha and then immediately hopped on a thirteen hour bus ride to the Lake Victoria port town of Mwanza.  Tanzanians don’t speak very much English so I had to rely on my elementary Swahili.  We had a good time exploring the town and especially seeing the ocean-like lake there.  The lake is 26,000 square miles in total, so it’s really like looking at the Pacific Ocean from the beach in San Diego.  I’ve never seen Lake Tahoe or that big one in Michigan, but I assume it must be a similar feeling as you’d get if you peered across those.  Buses going from Mwanza to Rwanda were few and far between so we spent a few extra days killing time in Mwanza. The bus ride to Rwanda was terrible of course, as western Tanzania is a remote wasteland with ridiculous dirt roads. It’s also just really far away from everything!
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Woo, long journey! I arrived in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali last night.  Holy crap, this place is clean, organized, and there are bananas everywhere.  Sureel and I entered through the Tanzanian border at Benaco and then walked across into Rwanda.  After some shady deals exchanging our Tanzanian money we bought some lunch and paid for a bus to Kigali (three or four hours).  We had been traveling for something like thirteen hours since the morning, and when I finally took a shower the water was brown from my dirty hair.

Last night we had dinner at our hotel and sat next to a Rwandan and a Ugandan.  We talked African politics for about an hour, had some laughs, and got some tips about Kigali.  The people here are very kind, honest, and like I said, this place is clean, organized, and beautiful.  Oh, it’s really freakin’ expensive too.  We had to visit several hotels before we found one with available rooms, and the prices range from like $30/per night to $70… Ahh!! I will hopefully get some pictures to capture the green hills surrounding the city.  Most of you know I hate to appear like a tourist :) Continue Reading