An Adventurous Weekend in Nairobi (2)

Next morning, Tom and I headed out to the Mtumba- the huge market near my house, then off to lunch with Tom’s English student (who he poached from me).After lunch, we were headed to the Nairobi Expats Christmas party.  Food, drink, and secret santa.  Tom and I had come armed with alcoholic magnets, and had actually stuck to the price limit we were set.  More fool us.

We stepped into the party, which turned out to be an elite group of people invited to a posh sit-down meal.  Tom and I lowered the average age by at least 10 years.  It was a strictly invite only affair – with only 15-ish people there.  How on earth had we gotten invited?!

And of course, the secret santa- oh the secret santa- there was a pile of large presents under the tree, to which we had to slope up and deposit our clearly ridiculously deficient joke presents.

The food was amazing, we ate and drank our way through a million different types of food: none of it traditional Christmas dinner, but rather an eclectic mix of largely Asian and African food.  Nicely rounded off with mince pies 🙂  By this time we had all also consumed copious amounts of wine, and were feeling very jolly.

It was at this point, that “disaster” struck.  Tom’s infamous shoulder hopped back out again.  Luckily, a nice lady at the table turned out to be an occupational therapist, and was right on hand to check the shoulder, and tie it up into a proper sling.  However, bless Tom, once again in agony, he passed out on the sofa.  Immediately I wanted to call a cab to take him home, however – let him sleep, everyone advised me.  If you wake him now, he’ll just be in agony.  He will come round when his body can face it.

So we stayed a while, Tom drifting in and out (mostly out) of consciousness.  Secret Santa took place – where I was given a set of Zebra table place mats, and Tom was given a lovely photo album.

Then things got weird – we were THROWN OUT, of the Christmas party.  The host lady came up to me and announced that I’m the worst girlfriend in the world for not taking better care of my partner, and that I clearly do not care about his well being.  Furthermore, she cannot accept having such an ill person in her house, so we must leave right away.  We had to practically carry Tom out onto the street, where he and I sat on the curb waiting for a taxi.  At this point I was having the worst asthma attack of my life.  All watched by the kind Uche- providing assistance and moral support.  We don’t do things by halves, Tom and I 🙂

On Sunday we got up, and headed out to Paradise Lost with our friend Michael.  We had a lovely picnic, and walked around/under the beautiful waterfalls there.  There is also a stone-age cave system, that we walked around…creepy.

In the evening we went to the Windsor Hotel, a massive colonial luxury hotel and golf course.  Non-members are allowed to go and sit on the terrace over the golf course and have drinks and meals.  So we headed out for a beer, feeling particularly white.  After drinks we headed to an Indian restaurant (due to my moaning about missing Indian food).  I had to hand it to Michael, he did take us to an exquisite place.  All in all, an eventful and lovely weekend in Nairobi 🙂

 

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An Adventurous Weekend in Nairobi (1)

This weekend we decided to take a week off exploring the country- given Tom’s shoulder, and my terrible cold.  So we spent one of our rare weekends in Nairobi.On Friday I moved house, and moved in with Paul.  Paul is a very interesting and fun person- an AIDS activist who enjoys drinking and partying as much as I do.  I will take this opportunity to share with you one of Paul’s gems:  the end of AIDS is in sight, as a new clinical trial has established that specific early treatment of couples where only one partner has HIV can reduce the chance of sexual transmission by 96% – effectively halting sexual transmission of HIV.  Please read the following link, my explanation doesn’t do this justice: http://www.hptn.org/index.htm

So on Friday night we headed out to a local bar to celebrate my new home, and room mate.  It was so much fun, we definitely danced the night away.  Relatively early (around midnight), Tom and I decided to go home – a 5 minute walk.

Having walked a couple of hundred metres, we were stopped by a group of men wearing hoodies and shabby clothes.  “Stop, we’re the police, and we need you to accompany us to the police station.”  Like heck were they police.  I asked for their ID’s – one handed over a card stating his blood group.  I asked for their names, so I would be able to take it up with their superiors.  They natuarally, refused to provide names.  Where are your uniforms and rifles? I asked, one guy lifted his jumper to reveal a gun tucked into his trousers.  We were in a situation.  “Sir, Madam, we need you to accompany us to the station right now, down this street.” (Imagine the tiniest, darkest, most overgrown alley way you can).  There was no way I could let them get me down that alley.

So I walked onto the middle of the road, and stopped in front of the oncoming traffic.  A nice gentleman immediately stopped, and I asked him to call the police for me urgently, as I was being attacked.  The man was concerned, and go on his phone straight away.  However, as it was ringing, the oafs trying to mug us started shouting at the man in Kiswahili.  (Damn it that I don’t speak well enough yet to have understood).  All of a sudden, the man’s attitude changed, and he hung up the phone.  “You don’t need the police, they are the police- go with them down that street!”  Clearly, he had been bribed.

So with nothing else for it, hoping that surprise would throw them, I turned and sprinted as fast as I could back towards the bar.  Tom caught up, and while I was stopping due to asthma, he dragged me back into the bar, where we asked the security guards to get us a taxi.  I hate to think what those men were planning.

All’s well that ends well, though.  3 months in Nairobi, and that’s the first time I have been the target of any criminal behaviour.

School Sports Day

Having finished exams, the last couple of days of term are spent in games – both intellectual and physical.  So on Wednesday when I turned up to teach, I was actually confronted with the whole school sat outside with a huge pub quiz type game going on.

The school was divided into four teams, with each round calling upon a different representative from each group.  For example:  pick a year 4 from your team, and send them up to the stage.  I did my best to avoid the teachers’ rounds, as they were clearly completely biased in a way that no white  person would be able to answer the questions.  One round involved a big sheet covered in photos of black people, the question being:  name the people.  They were all provincial county councillors and the like…

The only points I actually managed to win for my team were based on the questions:  “Who is the founder of facebook?”  and, “Who is the founder of Windows?”

To my amazement, the whole school immediately recognised the flag of South Sudan, and knew what the acronym UNHCR stands for…

After quiz time, was sports day… so we all trudged out onto the nearby playing field (used as a grazing spot for cows).  Little did I expect what was in store for me.

The kids ran their races against children of the same class in the other teams.  Boy can Kenyan kids run.  And more to the point, the sheer excitement and commitment to the activity was awesome.  I don’t think in the UK you could ever hear such loud cheering and absolute intense excitement over running races.  On an amusing  side note:  there was also a race for the fattest kids in each group- “because they need to be encouraged to do exercise”.  Mincing their words is something that Kenyans do not do.

Much to my horror, they then announced the race for female teachers.  I felt the blood drain from my face.  Me, the only mzungu, running against all the Kenyans???  This was going to be humiliating.  I protested as much as I could, but at the end of the day, you can’t be a spoil sport can you?  So I walked up to the starting line, to much giggling and clapping from the school united.

All the other ladies kicked off their shoes – apparently its much easier to run bare foot.  I could see this was going to be a serious race.  And, GO, we were off.  Immediately I watched many of the teachers shoot off ahead – this humiliation was going to be worse than I thought.  But going round the first bend I noticed that I was by no means actually last!

We were running along, having to dodge grazing cows – and I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.  All of a sudden it came to my attention that the whole school was chanting one name:  TEA-CHER-GA-BI TEA-CHER-GA-BI!!  Bless them.  Clearly a mzungu running was causing more amusement than I imagined.  And what was more, rounding the next corner, I noticed that along the fence- loads of passers by on the street had stopped, and as I passed, everyone was shouting “Run Mzungu, Run!!”

I can’t explain the atmosphere of this sports day.  I just think it’s nothing you will ever experience in Europe.  It also probably explains why Kenyans are such good runners:  from a young age, it forms one of the most exciting aspects of school life.  The sheer support and participation of the “crowd” was amazing.

Reaching the finish line, it turned out I was third.  Numbers 1 and 2 walked off, while the whole school ran up and mobbed me – hugging me, high-fiving me, and cheering. (Felt a bit bad for the ignored winners).  The teachers all ran up to me and said  “Wow, Gabi- you tried.  That’s all we wanted.  You really tried” .  And I have to say, it was all one of the most touching experiences of my life.

 

Mzungu Down! – Part 3 of 3 – I promise.


After our great night in the camp, it was up bright and early for our early morning game drive.  We left camp at half 6, absolutely bent on seeing the leopard.  We cruised around the Mara, and saw plenty more lions and cheetahs.  But then came the call on King James’ radio that we had all been waiting for:  leopard sighting.  
 
So James went completely rambo, and decided he’d rather kill us with his driving before letting us miss the leopard.  So after a rally drive through the bush like no other, James aimed at the tree with the leopard on it and came crashing through the shrubbery almost colliding with the tree.  Alarmed, the leopard of course ran away.  So we got a fleeting view of a leopard climbing down a tree and running away into the thick shrubbery.
 
This caused us to be hated by the other safari goers, who had a perfect sighting before we came crashing through the trees.  But what happened next really turned our weekend into a comic sketch.  James tried to reverse out of the trees, but of course, we had gotten stuck in the boggy mud.  Wheels spinning in the mud, we had to put out another call on the radio to ask for rescue.  And who should turn up, but the van of doctors?
 
At this point Tom and I were cringing, for the second time in two days, we were being saved by these poor doctors, whose safari weekend we were absolutely wrecking.  Also for the second time in two days, all the drivers had to pile out of the van- this time into dense shrubbery/trees.  Where there was a leopard hiding.  This time, even the drivers looked jumpy.  But within a short time, the doctors had saved us again, by towing us to safe ground.  We drove off, shouting promises that we would not need rescuing by them again.
 
After a quick lunch back at camp, we walked out to a Masai village.  The Masai are an incredible people, whose lifestyle has changed very little over centuries I would guess.  They are herdsmen, and shepards, and place the highest financial and social value on the herd of cows each man owns.  Masai do not count their cows, for traditionally they believe counting cows will cause them to get lost.  They also do not like to kill their cows, but take very good care of them.  Apparently each herdsman can recognise the face of each of his cows, and thus has no need to count them anyway.  To clarify:  many Masai have hundreds or even thousands of cows in their herd.
 
We were met at the entrance of the village by the Chief’s son, and the rest of the village men.  The village is surrounded by a thick fence of sticks, and visitors must make an offering in order to enter.  The men performed a welcome dance – with a display of some absolutely excellent jumping 🙂  Some of them really can jump to ridiculous heights.  The boys from our group were asked to join in, so there was also a ridiculous display of mzungus trying to jump and grunt in a Masai manner.
 
Inside the village we were shown the mud huts:  tiny places, perhaps 2-3 meters by 2-3 metres.  A fire is lit in the middle of the hut, so on entering the hut everyone’s eyes start crying due to the thick smoke.  It was barely possible to see the other people inside the house.  In Masai culture, it is the women who build the houses – a frame of sticks, with mud/dung caked onto it to form walls.  Sticks and grass form the roof.  Masai men are polygamous, and must be able to provide such a hut  for each wife they take.
 
Within a Masai village, everyone is related.  When men reach around12-14, they undergo a circumcision ceremony.  Following which, at the age of 15-16, they are sent out into the wild to kill a lion.  Only after having killed a lion are they deemed “warriors”.  Warriors are then found a wife by their parents – the wife will be taken from another village, to avoid incest.  In return for a dowry of cows, the wife will come to live in the husband’s village.
 
Next, the women also performed a dance/song for us.  The girls were also expected to join in.  Although this was not too possible – as the ladies were singing a complex lyrical Masai song, and the dance moves were negligible (arm swinging).  To add some more facts:  female circumcision is still common practice among the Masai.  Indeed, the day before we visited, a 12 year old girl was circumcised.  This is a happy occasion for the Masai, and comes with big celebrations.  Married women wear bronze rings around their ankles.
 
We were taken to the village market, where we bargained hard for assorted Masai ornaments.  However I won’t elaborate on these, because probably most of you will be receiving them for Christmas 🙂
 
We set off back to Nairobi, to encounter yet another adventure.  The main route had had its bridge washed away by rain during the  night, so we had to take a detour off-road.  However, the river had been flooded, and knee-deep mood surrounded the river.  So all the safari vans trying to get out of the Mara were stranded.
 
We all had to pile back out of the vans, and the drivers had to make attempts to bomb down the mud slide slope, and through the river, and get out the other side.  All of this to much applause and whistling by the safari-goers united who had all collected on the banks.  (Our group included, and we also bumped into the doctors, again).  Everybody then had to whip off shoes, roll up trousers, and wade through the ankle-deep mud, and wade through the river.  TIA, everyone, TIA.

Mzungu Down! – Part 2

So, has my laziness really hyped up the tension of this cliff hanger moment? 🙂  Sorry for the delay everyone…Having pulled up at the lodge, we were told to wait…because, of course, TIA, and the doctor was nowhere to be found.  After about 5 minutes, to our absolute amazement, the van of doctors, and the van of all our wonderful friends pulled up at the lodge.  No one was willing to continue the safari without us.  So the boys helped Tom off to the clinic room, and the doctors started raiding the medical supplies cupboard.

All I can say, is thank heavens for Sam and Robert – the best and kindest doctors on the planet.  The “doctor” turned up, a young Kenyan lady, who clearly had never seen a dislocated joint before and had absolutely no idea what to do.  It was debatable as to whether she had actually ever seen a patient.  Never mind a white one.  It also turned out eventually, that she was a nurse, not a doctor… so once again, Sam and Robert really were God-sends.

So there we were, in the “clinic”.  A room large enough to fit a 5 foot bed, and a desk.  No standing room at all.  Tom was once again passed out on the bed, with his head hanging way off the top, given the lush size of the bed 😉  I was stood there, having been entrusted by a barely conscious Tom to make sure no one did anything wacky.  Rachel the nurse whipped out a vial, and started preparing to inject him.  At what point is it okay to question a medical professional? 🙂

Anyway, the doctors dived at her just in time – “You can’t inject that pure intravenously!!!”  “Oh, okay”.  I don’t think I need to comment.

Then, when the correct cocktail of drugs had been mixed and were being injected, one of the doctors murmured to the other: “Is that air in the tube?”  I have to admit, at this point my own nerves were starting to leave me in the lurch.  I should also mention, that the supplies cupboard at the field clinic had absolutely no drugs whatsoever, and basically kept its coverage to plasters and motilium.  Tom was being given a muscle relaxant, and had been fed all the panadol and ibuprofen that the women united could dig out of our bags.

Robert then hopped up on the table, foot in Tom’s armpit, and pulled…

Many times, to no avail.  And I have to give credit to Tom here, for at no point did anyone hear a peep out of him, despite this torture.  And he also kind of maintained his sense of humour.  He entertained us, that’s for sure.  “We don’t have enough painkillers to do this, we need to relax him.  Gabi, come and kiss your boyfriend.”  Suddenly Tom is conscious:  “Don’t do that- THAT won’t relax me!!!”  A bit later, I joked to the docs: “I guess this means I have to be nice to him for a while.  How many days free pass does he get?”  Docs: “Give him 3 days”.  Tom, slurring: “But I won’t be able to get anything sexual, coz  right now, I can’t even feel my body.”  Oh the tongue-loosening power of pain and muscle relaxants 🙂

The re-locating of the arm was really not happening.  Apparently when something is too painful, the muscles cramp, and make it impossible to pull the joint back into position.  “We need more painkillers”, said the doctors.  “Let’s give him whisky”.  So, the manager makes a call to the bar, for whisky to be delivered, fast.  “Tom, what kind of whisky do you want?” (Yes, manager, that’s really important right now).  Tom: “The most expensive one!”

After a while, Tom was turned onto his belly, with a bottle of water tied to his hand to try and stretch out his arm.  The doctors finally left, as did all our friends (we were getting quite furious at everyone’s VERY KIND insistence to miss their whole safari weekend).  There he lay, in this ridiculous field clinic, being fed whisky, and having the nurse lighting the cigarette in his mouth (my hands were failing in the being controlled enough to light a match test- so the nurse whipped them out of my hands, and lit the patient’s cigarette for him – TIA, again.)

I wandered off to get myself some Tusker, leaving Tom in the capable hands of the nurse.  I came back to find him sitting up in a chair, smoking.  Typical man.  Take your eyes off him for a second and he does the one thing he’s been told not to do.  The manager had booked him and me onto a flight to Nairobi – he needed a hospital (“The plane leaves at 4.45, so leave here at 4.30.  Pay cash to the pilot.”)  Seeing as Tom was being so active, we decided to go and take the manager up on his offer of a free lunch in his luxury lodge.  Tom was famous by this point, with random tourists wishing him well.  Lunch was lovely, along with beers on the terrace.  If this was Tom’s plan of how to take me on a cheap but decent date…. I guess it sort of worked…?!  Slightly complex plan though Tom 🙂

Anyway, at some point during our “date”, Tom says: “I think my shoulder’s ok now.”  I go to look at it, the shoulder on his chest had certainly gone… and he could feel his arm again.  Just at that moment Sam called us, and gave him exercises to do over our phone consultation.  Tom could do them all.   Bizarrely, Tom’s arm appeared to have migrated back into the joint over lunch.  So, we cancelled our flights, called the safari van… and back our group came to collect us.

We managed to spend a nice evening at camp, getting suitably drunk.

Our guides joined us, and there was much guffawing over Tom’s attempts to sell me to the locals.  Jackson, one of our Masai friends offered him 10 cows.  I took offence at this low offer, and said I needed 150 cows.  James, our guide, jumped in at this point to offer 60.  However, only half needs to be paid, as “Tom, you and I will be sharing use of Gabi, so I only need to pay half the dowry.”  Cheers guys.

Mzungu Down! – Part 1

Last weekend a group of 11 of us decided to venture forth to the Masai Mara for the ultimate safari experience. We set off early on Friday morning, in our two trusty safari vans – and by early afternoon had made it to “Manyatta Camp” in the Mara.  We were showed to our very flashy tents by two Masai gentlemen, who were fully equipped with Masai robes, stretched out ears, lion tooth necklaces, tyre shoes, machetes, and clubs for bonking lions on the head with.  Our tents were not exactly the sleeping bad and campfire scenario we had imagined: with double beds and (dodgy) bathrooms inside the tent.  I must say right now, that this is the first place in Kenya where I decided against using the tap water to brush my teeth- as it flowed dark brown from the tap.After a quick lunch, we set off on our first real safari.  We immediately saw 4 of the big five – the leopard eluding us.  It was a highly successful and fun filled afternoon, leaving us eager to wake up for the full day of game drive on Saturday.  Not before living it up in the camp on Saturday night though.  The booze did flow, and a party was had.  On a more civilised note- Maxim and I went out star-gazing, as I have to say, I have never seen a clearer and more beautiful sky than that of the Masai Mara.  The stars were so bright and beautiful.  We lay in the grass of the camp for an hour or so, just watching the sky.

Saturday morning we were all up, and eager to set off for our full day of safari.  Little did we know what the day had in store for us…

We were straight into the animal viewing – beginning the day with cheetahs stalking a group of gazelles (then getting lazy and giving up), a group of lions sunbathing, and then within a split second jumping up and pouncing at another gazelle.  It must be stated here, that gazelles are incredibly stupid animals.  When faced with a group of lions or cheetahs stalking them – they stand by watching the predators surround them.  They then run 50 metres down the bush, and stop.  Because, of course, no big cat could possibly deal with the wit of moving along such a huge distance.  Apparently, warthogs are even more stupid though, because they have a 10 second memory.

I will take a slight detour here, to fill you with some of the million facts that I gathered over this weekend.  We learnt that elephants eat 200 kgs of food every day, and are awake for 22 hours a day.  Also, elephants and hippos belong to the same family as the tiny rodentesque hyrax – sharing 90-something % genetic material.  The difference between cheetahs and leopards are in their spots:  cheetahs having spots, and leopards having little rings.  Cheetahs also have tear marks on their faces.  Lions live to be about 12 years old, and live with their family until they are roughly 7, when they mature and “get married”.  I’ll stop, I’m drawing a blank on other facts right now.

We were most keen to see a leopard, it being the only animal that had so far eluded us.  We were having a great time, standing up in our safari van, when tragedy stuck.  We went over a bump, and suddenly, something was clearly wrong.  Tom’s shoulder had dislocated and decided to move to the front of his chest.  Our driver, James, didn’t quite get the seriousness of the situation, and continued bombing along the bumps and ditches of the Mara.  In the back, the rest of us were somewhat stunned to see Tom’s shoulder kind of pop back in, and then Tom proceed to black out.  So there we were, hurtling across the bush, with three of us holding up an unconscious person, and trying to wake him.

It was at this point, that we stopped the van, managed to wake Tom up, and piled out of the car, in a panicked state of mind.  We started calling around every doctor or medical person we knew- being miles away from any form of medical care (70 kms of dirt track, at best).  We also started jumping at passing safari vans, demanding whether there were any doctors on board.  To our utter amazement and luck, one van stopped, full of final year doctor trainees on their safari holiday.  Out jumped two of them who were most confident with dislocations, and they did their best to find a solution.  However, out in the middle of the Mara not much could be done.  By this time Tom’s arm was paralysed, with no feeling, and he was passing in and out of consciousness at an alarming rate.  Go to the field clinic we would have to, said the doctors.  And the boys started carrying Tom into the van.

It was at this point, with roughly 15 of us scattered outside the vans that we heard the shout: “Shit, Lions, EVERYBODY GET IN A VAN”.  Unbeknown to us, 8 lions had encircled us, and were closing in on the group of easy prey wandering around the bush.  One of them was at best 20 metres away from us, and trotting towards us.

Tom, Max and I set off to the field clinic.  Max and I being thrown around the van, trying to hold still an unconscious Tom.  It was all very dramatic, and eventually, we pulled up at a posh safari lodge, where the Masai Mara’s only “doctor” resides…

 

Kakamega (2)

In the back room, was a huge cavern of a room where we were promptly served up some cold Tuskers.  This had to be a secret, we were told, as Kenyan law prohibits drinking before 5 p.m.  Bizarre law-makers.After we had drunk our fill, we headed out to find a boda-boda to take us to the crying stone.  The only thing to see in Kakamega.  It is, surprisingly, a big stone.  In fairness, it does look uncannily like a person. It somehow fills with rain and occasionally overflows giving a “weeping” effect, and thus it is believed by the local Luya tribe that when the crying stone cries, it is a bad omen.

On arriving there, we were swiftly accosted by a group of “guides” and children, who marched us up to the tribe “elder” who demanded money for the wives, in return for a tour of the rock.  This would have been fine, had he not been completely drunk.  After a brief, somewhat unimaginative tour of the stone, more money was demanded, in return for the “security” Mr. Drunken Deadbeat had provided.  We handed over the dosh, and rushed back to our bike, keen to get to our secluded forest treehouse – the main attraction to our weekend in Kakamega.

Kakamega is the only place in Kenya that hosts a large tropical rainforest.  This rainforest used to cross Africa, and stretched from the Congo to Kenya, but now little of it remains.  The forest village communities have set up commendable conservation schemes, with ecological and forest schools for local children.  The conservation centre has a forest guest house, a couple of metres away from the edge of the rainforest, perched on stilts.  No electricity or hot water.  This is where we had ventured to.

We settled into our room, and headed straight out into the forest with Abraham, our guide.  He took us deep into the rain forest, reeling off information about trees and the medicinal qualities of plants.  We climbed up to the top of a look out point, and when right on top, it started to rain.  Reeeeeally rain.  Tom and I had, of course, left our rain coats in the tree house – it having been such lovely weather when we set off.  Rule number one of rain forest tourism:  the weather may turn on you in the matter of minutes.  A lesson I will not forget in a hurry.  We got soaked to the skin, and sank knee deep in mud.  Pretty much the state in which we then had to spend the whole weekend.

In the evening we headed over to the “canteen”.  A mud hut, where a lady cooks meals over a fire by prior order.  Chickens run around inside the hut.  No electricity.  So there we were, together with a lone American backpacker we had befriended – eating ugali, beef stew and kachumbari, and downing as many beers as possible, in the pitch black, smoke bathed hut.  We took our remaining beers back to the treehouse and spent an evening in blind, tipsy conversation.  We were asleep by 10.  The joys of no electricity.

The next morning we headed down to the canteen for breakfast, where Tom and I were served “an egg” – the only egg – to share.  And some sugar with tea in it. (Not a slip of the tongue).

We then had a tour of the butterfly breeding house, and headed out on our 14 km rainforest trek with Eunice, our suspiciously unfit and unprepared guide.  The forest was truly beautiful, and we climbed up onto a peak with the best view ever.  We also went to a bat cake, where I got completely spooked by the bats who kept flying into me.

At one point on our walk back to camp, our path was blocked by a rhino horned viper.  A fat old snake, who is particularly vicious apparently.  “Is it dead?”  Eunice asks, turning to me.  Not a great sign.  “I don’t know Eunice, you’re the guide.”  Tom and I exchanged amused looks.  Now Eunice, ever the practical gal, picks up a stick and throws it at the snake.  The snake does not like this, and rears up, hissing.  Tom and I looked at each other, and ran.  In fairness to Eunice, the snake did slope off.  However, I’m not convinced “throw a stick at it”, is the first piece of advice in the handbook on dealing with poisonous snakes.

After our walk, we hopped back on the boda-boda and sped back into Kakamega town, to the tranquil haven of our backstreet pub, where we consumed plentiful ugali and nyama choma.  And of course Tuskers.  We also purchased a little flask of Kenya Cane, a dangerous sugar cane concoction.

In fairness to the Kenya Cane though, it did get us through the whole bus journey back to Nairobi, where we arrived at 4.30 in the morning.  It was certainly the fastest 8 hour bus trip I’ve ever been on 🙂

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