The Nairobi Marathon is only ten days away. ILRI is sponsoring us, and I think we’ll represent them well — I saw a list go around work today and there are fifty five names on it! It’s pretty evenly divided between men and women, but there are only two men running the ten kilometer race, me and some other guy. I caught a lot of flak from my running buddies at work for not doing twenty one, but I don’t care! I think they’re in it to win it, but I just want the cool t-shirt.

I’ve been running at work for the past month or so, hopefully that’s enough training to make sure I don’t faint during the real deal on October 25th. We usually run through the countryside around ILRI, something like seven kilometers three days per week. Keep in mind this is high altitude and we’re running on hilly dirt roads, sometimes through terraced corn fields. I’ve really got to take my phone one day so I can get some pictures. Yesterday I was running with a Kenyan colleague and we were keeping a pretty good pace. looked around and realized we were in a beautiful, green part of Kenya, with people yelling at cows, planting corn, speaking all kinds of languages, etc… it was pretty surreal. I’m sure I’ll look back fondly at this time in ten years.

Stay tuned…

Kenya, Music

ILRI apparently has an international “theme night” once a month (music, food, dancing, socializing, etc). This month is Kenya, and some women in the Human Resources department said they want me to be the DJ. Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into? I guess when you walk around speaking Swahili and sheng and reciting lyrics from local pop music you’re bound to get noticed!

In fact, just that morning I was wondering when they were going to ask me to be the MC for the Friday morning coffee ceremony. Every week staff meet in the courtyard around 10:30 to listen to announcements, drink tea/coffee, and meet new staff and visiting consultants, students, researchers, etc. We have a guy from Finland here to help us out with some pressing issues on our Linux cluster and research computing network, so our team is supposed to introduce him. Just before it was time to introduce the guests my boss told me he wanted me to do the honors. I don’t know if I’m funny, I certainly wasn’t trying to be, but people always laugh. I even made a comment like, “This isn’t supposed to be stand up comedy” because people started laughing right after I said, “Hey, guys” in the mic.

So I wasn’t surprised when a woman I know in the Human Resources department pulled me aside at lunch and told me she had a proposition for me, and to stop by her office later. She told me there is a Kenyan theme night next week and “we” have been thinking you should be the DJ. Hahahaha. It’s flattering, but what?! I’m from California! I don’t even speak Swahili (leave alone SHENG!). I guess I’m being modest, because obviously I know enough to get myself into trouble. She said she had suggested it to her friends and they said, “Who? Ohhhh, THAT guy!” Wow. We’ll see what happens.


Today was day three of the running club and I am still alive (but not completely well). All this running has made the bottoms of my feet hurt; I think that is the “pad” of your foot. Or is that the “ball” everyone’s always talking about? If I walk barefoot in my house it’s really noticeable. I’m not sure if it’s the rocky terrain or just the amount of running… my running shoes are really nice, though. In fact, it’s only when put my shiny leather shoes back on when I notice the tenderness. I’ve had those shoes for almost two years now so maybe I need to upgrade.

I’ve been running with a group of guys who run too fast, but today I ran with a guy who was a bit too slow. I noticed that the pace is everything! I was able to run longer without getting tired when I was with this guy. The hills are still big, and at this rate I’m wondering if running/walking eight kilometers up and down a mountain is helping me to run in the Nairobi marathon in October. Speaking of that, I told my buddies I would do ten kilometers and they laughed at me. HAHAHAHA. I will do ten kilometers and if they don’t like that then TOUGH LUCK!