I went to Thompson Falls in Nyahururu the other day with a friend from Tala. It’s about three hours drive from Nairobi, which itself is an hour and a half from Tala. We left a bit early in the morning and were there around lunch time. Other than some dudes dressed up for the tourists and some sweet monkeys, we had the whole place to ourselves, so we sat and chatted about nature, religion, and Kenyan politics for a few hours. By the time we got back to Tala it was late and we were tiiiiired! Enjoy the pictures…
3964I went to Fourteen Falls with Pat this past weekend. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Tala via the Thika road route. The road isn’t too bad as long as you sit in the front of the truck (they only use modified pick-up trucks on this route for some reason). The fare was 100 shillings, which isn’t too bad. The other option is to go to Nairobi (150 shillings) and then to Thika (150 shillings), which takes you on a nicer road but eats an extra 400 or so shillings and a few hours of your time. There hasn’t been too much rain lately, so the water was a little low (and green…), but we still had a nice time relaxing with some snacks in the shade.
I just realized the other day that I only have eight months left here in Kenya. Not that I’m counting down, but because I arrived in October, 2007 I should be leaving in October, 2009 I guess. I haven’t decided if I will leave early or extend a bit. Since I came back from the evacuation after last year’s post-election violence I have steadily become a full-time lecturer at the college. That’s important to note because we will have a semester beginning in August/September or so, and if I leave in October I will leaving more-or-less in the middle of the semester. Not cool! So we’ll just have to play it by ear… whatever that means, haha.
I’m very used to life in Tala these days. I walk around like a local and it shows. When I walk into any of the cafes I can just make some small talk and then say, “Kama kawaida” (“like usual” in Swahili) to get my tea and chapati. Even my afternoon students know that after class I’ll either be going to eat chai/chapati or Kisumu ndogo. Kisumu ndogo, which means “small Kisumu” in Swahili, is a place in Tala where you can eat delicious fried fish. It comes in small pieces, served with ugali (corn meal staple food) and some kachumbari (kinda like salsa fresca). Tala’s a funny place, a few months ago I noticed a new place called Kisumu kubwa (big Kisumu), which serves whole fish. Kisumu, by the way, is a town in Western Kenya on Lake Victoria, and the people there are known to eat a lot of fish.
I took some friends to eat samaki (“fish”) yesterday and it felt like I was a tour guide or a local resident, walking around greeting people in Kiswahili and Kikamba, taking my friends through the back streets to my favorite spots. They’re four young German volunteers who stay somewhere around Tala. I had been seeing them for some time, always waving from a distance but never really running into them. Last week I crossed paths with one and we exchanged numbers, so this week we made plans to get together in the market and hang out. They’re all in their early twenties and pretty funny, so we have a lot in common and had a lot to talk about. We ate a few rounds of fish and then had chai/chapati before they had to get going. I don’t know if I’ll see them much, but it was at least nice to laugh and talk with some other young people doing something similar to what I’m doing.
On another related note, I am going on a small trip to Fourteen Falls with Pat, the Peace Corps volunteer from the next town over, tomorrow. I saw that Mark, the previous VSO volunteer here, had gone there with one of his buddies in 2005, so I’ve been meaning to go but plans kept falling through.
So stay tuned for some more pictures. I’m off to drink some tea and finish my notes for Monday’s Unix class. Maybe I’ll also watch some “TV” on my laptop.