Thursday, November 18, 2010

T.I.A. (This is Africa)

Hey everyone! I have been so busy and yet I feel like I don't have much to say. I will start with the title of this entry. T.I.A. It is what we say after almost everything. Example: "A swarm of two-inch long, winged termites invaded my kitchen", "Oh well, TIA, pull off their wings so they can't fly into the chai." Or "I spent 3 hours on a matatu meant for 20, with at least 40 people on it, leaning against Sarah with a Kenyan sitting on my shoulder" "TIA, at least you didn't have giardia at the time."

This weekend we went to Kibwezi for HIV/AIDS education. We sat through some pretty boring lectures and it was very hot and rainy. But I didn't care, I got to see my deaf-education friends from Machakos! It was a great time. Karl even brought us cheese!! We did get to meet some teachers who are living with HIV. And we were entertained by some old women at and HIV support center who did some local dances. We even attempted to join them. They were not impressed when we broke out the Electric Slide.

Now I am back in Loitokitok. I did not miss the mud at all. Or the children screaming "how are you! How are you!!" over and over again. I am really looking forward to getting to my site. Speaking of which, I promised I would tell you about it.

Marsabit. The best description I have found is in the Lonely Planet Guide to Africa. I won't write it here, but go look it up. Marsabit is in the far north of Kenya. My Baba, when I told him where I was going said, "That's not Kenya, is it?" and another Kenyan said that I would get to be a Ugandan. Lucky me! The town is located in a shield volcano, and surrounded by desert. They do not speak Kiswahili there, so I will have to learn another language. It will be either Kisamburu or Kisomali. There are many camels up there (I am hoping to get one as a pet). Marsabit town is a microclimate. It is surrounded by desert but has an almost rainforest ecosystem. I don't know how close my house will be to the rainforest or the desert. But the rainforest is known for its elephants with giant, mammoth-like tusks. There is one famous elephant who had ten foot long tusks and was followed around by armed guards for his whole life to prevent poaching. He is gone now, but his relatives are still around. I was told by someone to never pay for a safari, because everything you would want to see will be in your backyard. The North of Kenya has the worlds largest population of Grevy's zebras. People also get eaten by lions a lot. I will try not to do that.

As far as the school goes, I will be teaching in a girls boarding secondary school. I will teach Form One (Freshman) Physics and Form Four (Senior) Biology. My principle is very environmentally excited and recently planted hundreds of trees on my campus. He is really receptive to having me implement environmental clubs and programs, which is awesome. I will not live on the school compound, but 3 km away in a Catholic church compound. I hear the monks are real party animals and drink a lot, and are also very friendly, which will be nice. All in all, I am really looking forward to it. No complaints!!

That is all for now, I will try to write again soon! Kwaheri!!

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