When it gets dark at 730, you’re on a quiet campus and its best to not travel at night, what do you do for fun? Plenty of things!
04.07.2010 - 16.07.2010 56 °F
My experience in Kenya isn’t all about research and reading. We do tend to have fun although it’s not in the same realm of Barcelona’s definition of fun. It is usually about 55-70 degrees here on a given day and we are inland so there is no access to a beach. Moi University is a quiet campus in which everything dies down around 5:30 when class is dismissed and students go home. Living at the guest house has introduced me to the Indiana University students who are my closest friends here on campus (aside from Sister Clara). We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together at the main guest house and joke around about the ridiculous things some of their professors say and do. At night before dinner we are usually all doing reading or blogging in the dining room waiting for dinner at 7-7:30. At dinner we usually share antidotes and our day’s travels and adventures and after dinner resume reading or we retreat to either Malliron and Candane’s room or Jordan and Abby’s room for games and talking.
(Just a refresher- Malliron, Candane, Justin and Nicole are all grad students and Nikki, Jordan, Abby, Sarah and I are all undergrads. They all go to Indiana University and live in the two houses next to mine. We all get along really well and hang out together. More about them on the first Eldoret blog post.)
Kenya is a new place for all of us so its nice to have one another’s company. You’d be surprised how nice it is to speak in English, make jokes and use sarcasm without thinking twice. Sometimes we just talk and hang out. We’ve watched “How to Train your dragon” once. It is really hard to download movies because there are downloading restrictions outside of the US and Canada for some programs such as Netflix and tv-video.net. Also, they internet credit is sold according to how many megabytes you buy, not minutes bought. So a 500ksh credit top-up can last you either 4 or 5 hours or half an hour if you are trying to upload pictures or download something. So watching a movie is a treat. Sadly I didn’t think to bring any DVDs with me and I haven’t found a place yet that sells legal copies of movies yet.
Another one of our favorite nighttime activities is Indian poker and telephone Pictionary. Don’t be fooled- we usually peal over laughing at least 3 or 4 times during each round. Telephone Pictionary is probably our most played game. Depending on how many people are playing, that’s how many pieces of blank paper each person receives (ie 8 people playing, each gets 8 pieces). On the first sheet everyone writes a phrase or lyric or person. We’ve had some such as “baby got back”, “harry potter”, “lady gaga”. After you write your phrase or name, you pass the stack of your papers (with the phrase on top) to the person next to you whose task it is to try and draw the phrase. Whoever is done drawing first gives a 5 second warning then you have to pass the stack, with the picture on top and the phrase on the bottom, to the next person, whose task it is to try and write a phrase from the picture. You continue the trend until you receive your pile back and then show everyone the progression or regression of your pictures. It seems juvenile but there is little to do at night and its advised for us to stay in unless we’re out in Eldoret with some type of chaufer or professor/local companion. Even when I was staying with Dr. Wanjiku, Khadi and I didn’t go anywhere except to Dr. Wanjiku’s sister next door.
Sometimes we have friends join us like the three New Zealanders who met Abby, Jordan and Nikki through their program one night in Eldoret. They came over on Wednesday night and joined in our games (they were forewarned) and we all ended up having a great time. We are trying to plan a night to go out and meet up with them and some other students in the program at Click, a popular restaurant with tv and a hang out for most university students. (Mit, Matt and Cole are all working with a land surveying agency and they fly over East Africa taking aerial shots and depending on the task looking for natural resources and mines. Sounds pretty cool!)
Although I loved my nights out in Barca, Kenya has a different atmosphere and as a white American female, it is best to take precautions. Kenyans are even cautious at night, taking taxis home and avoiding the matatus after dark. Is it because Eldoret isn’t safe? Not necessarily, but that going out anywhere in a foreign place is not safe. But I am enjoying myself and have had a good many laughs in the many rounds of telephone Pictionary weve played.
I’m thinking about taking a day trip to Lake Victoria for the day tomorrow as its only a 2 hour drive from Eldoret. It looks amazing and really relaxing so hopefully I get the opportunity to go! Additionally, Sister Clara and Khadi have taught me a lot about cooking and it’s a great chance to learn more about their cultures and their families as well (plus learn to make some really good food).
Hopefully I’ll be able to post another blog tomorrow about my visits into Cheptiret and Chepkoiyo, two villages in the Kesses Division of Eldoret South with my new IGERD co-worker Felix.
Hugs and love!