2.26.2009

from obama to jesus

sunset over lake victoria, From kenya nairobi to mbita



loading the bus, From kenya nairobi to mbita



morning clouds over the farm, From kenya nairobi to mbita



lake birds, From kenya nairobi to mbita



buying fish in the morning, From kenya nairobi to mbita



peter offering papaya, From kenya nairobi to mbita



mdazi vendor at market, From kenya nairobi to mbita



gerald showing off at the motorcycle field, From kenya nairobi to mbita


ok, i cheated. i read erika's blog and realized there's tons of stuff that i've missed. like the kenyan beer. kenyans "like" to drink their beer warm, but when i asked why they can't stick a couple in the fridge for mzungus (i know i'd pay more for a cold beer than a warm one), they said it's cuz the fridges are too small so the cold beers run out too fast, so they just don't bother. very um kindergarten...if you didn't bring enough cold beer for the whole class, then you'd better not drink any yourself. in kenya, the favorite beers for guys are tusker and obama. obama used to be called senator, but they've since changed the name to president. girls like to drink guiness mixed with coke. someone offered me a sip of her guiness (thankfully, she drank it straight) and asked if i'd ever had it before. since i've never drank warm guiness before, i answered no and took a sip. not as bad as i expected, but i'll stick to my fanta thanks.

the day before we went rafting, we tagged along with ben and maria (two australians who are moving to edinborough--jon, we have an invite to visit them if we like), on their mtn biking adventure. we rented bikes from nash, a very westernized kenyan who does an amazing job buying and maintaining around 30 bikes at nile river explorers. he's so mzungu that when i met him the first night, i couldn't guess where he was from. i tried new zealand, australia, uk...and the next morning i tried again with bangladesh. in actuality, he's never been out of africa. he's also one of the best pool players i've ever met. erika and i have gotten into the habit of shooting a couple of hours of pool with the boys every night. it only costs 25cents per game, and we've gotten to the point where we're not SUCH a serious handicap (altho i still have streaks of utter suckiness, where i couldn't sink a ball to save my life, but i think that's b/c i get lazy and forget to aim). i've seen nash sink 2 balls with a single shot at least 4 times, and he plays with a foresight more common to chess. also, nash has really big poofy hair. he hasn't cut it in over 4 years. it makes him look like beaker from the muppets or sideshow bob (except he's shorter and black and absolutely ripped--he's got a very strict diet--no chocolate, no soda, no alcohol, no fried foods, only black tea, etc. i don't know why he does it, b/c all the other boys here eat whatever they like and are still ripped. he eats with the austerity of a monk or a model (sans drugs, cigarettes, alcohol) or an olympic athlete (sans volume). almost a religious aesthetism, with only slightly less devotion than he gives his bikes). he wears a bike chain around his wrist, and gave us a hand-drawn map of jinja for the biking.


From ruma and jinja

From ruma and jinja

ben is actually quite an expert mtn biker. he tried to teach me how to jump the bike, but i could only get my front wheel up, and not very far up at that. we went up and down hills to bujagali falls, where we got lost amongst some villages. a guy tried to sell us a trip down the river in his boat, and when we said no, he pointed us in a random direction to get us lost.

From ruma and jinja

it was very relaxing biking. the dirt roads were just bumpy enough to make it interesting, and there were some sections steep enough that we needed to walk. ben biked down one bumpy downhill section (with boulders and roots), and when i tried to follow him, i had to jump off my pedals to keep from going head over heels. actually, i had to do this a couple of times, generally bruising the crotchal region on the crossbar in the process. luckily, my bike was more of a female bike, and the seat wasn't as high as i usually have it, so it didn't go terribly for me, but if i were to do this for real, i'd seriously consider wearing a cup.


From ruma and jinja

From ruma and jinja

From ruma and jinja

we picked up children as we went through the villages who would run behind us rolling tires with y shaped sticks. they were really fast with those tires...they managed to keep up with us most of the way, and just when we thought we'd lost them, they'd come jogging up behind us again. we enjoyed their company since they weren't bugging us for anything, just answering "yes" to everything we asked them (failing ben's "are you the son of a leprechaun" test spectacularly). at bujagali falls, we watched a man jump into the rapids on a 5 gallon water bottle. he asked us for money afterwards, but since we weren't the ones who asked him to jump in, we didn't feel obliged to pay.

From ruma and jinja

on the ride back from the falls, we stopped to taste some roadside jackfruit. we didn't see any jackfruit at all in kenya, but they're all over the place here. we got a huge slab for less than 10cents. in the heat, the sticky sweetness of the thing was a bit much. cloying. it gummed my fingers together and stuck a bit in my teeth. if i touched my finger to my face, i could bring my entire cheek off my jaw, and if i pulled farther away, my cheek would snap back to my teeth with a wobble. between the 5 of us, we only managed half the slab and gave the rest to the children who had gathered to watch us eat it (to be fair, maria refused to try any b/c we said it tasted like a banana-pear combination and she doesn't like bananas, and ben only ate a little bit before riding off to wait in the shade of a truck full of cheeping chicks).


From ruma and jinja

for lunch, we stopped at ling ling, the premier chinese restaurant in town. they even had a chinese bartender named chen. the food was so so and all-taste-same, but we've met other foreigners who've raved about it. while we were there, an 18 wheeler truck overturned on the roundabout outside. no one was hurt, but they took the windshield out to let the driver escape. apparently these things happen all the time.


From ruma and jinja

in the afternoon, we rode down to the lakeside and hired a boat to take us and our bikes to the source of the nile. the boatman pointed out a fish eagle in a tree. it had a white head and a black body and sat the branch like a king. the source itself wasn't that impressive. you couldn't really tell where the lake ended and the river began. the boatride was peaceful.


From ruma and jinja

From ruma and jinja

From ruma and jinja
From ruma and jinja

that night, we ate dinner with nash at flavours. ppl laughed at me for ordering the apple/passionfruit crumble as an appetizer (and then the peanut butter/snickers muffin for dessert), but man, i was hungry. it confused the waitress a bit, but she got us back. on nash's recommendation, 4 of us tried to order veggie burgers. the waitress came back and told us that they were out of burger buns (a bit of confusion already about what exactly they were out of: the buns or the burgers). i tried to ask her to serve them on sandwich bread (i had ordered a tuna melt), but this wasn't an option b/c they were also almost out of sandwich bread (just enough for my sandwich). so then 3 ppl changed their orders, and erika decided to get the burger anyways, without the bun (i spent a couple minutes haggling for her to serve it on a baked potato, but this was way too farout of a concept for her). when the veggie burger came, it was sitting happily, normally on a bun. everyone who had changed their orders were like "HEY! no fair!" apparently, they had 1 bun left, and like the no-cold-beers-in-kenya thing, instead of making us choose 1 person to give the bun to, they just told us that they didn't have ANY buns. go erika, way to be persistent.

over dinner, nash explained the whole cows for wives thing. in kenya (at least amongst the kikuyu tribe), the men pay a cattle dowry when they marry (i've never understood why women pay dowries in other cultures). if you're ugly, stupid, and worthless, you get 2 cows. if you're amazing, then you can get up to 70 cows. now when kenyans ask to marry us, we can ask them for cows first. the best offense is a good defense?

women's rights in uganda seem much better than in kenya. we actually see men doing laundry. when i asked roberto about this, he said, yes, unmarried men have to do their own laundry. in kenya, they'd just give it to their sisters to do. paul said, well, if you beg really nicely, maybe your sister will do your laundry, but it's actually her choice. how refreshing! AND, women can hold jobs! roberto's mom actually DIVORCED her dad for cheating on her! (now she supports herself financially and gets money from her children occasionally). divorce is unheard of in kenya b/c women have no rights, no possessions, no way of holding property/earning money/etc. a cow can't divorce it's owner for bad treatment, and a woman worth 70 cows can't either. this is why it's so ridiculous when kenyans propose to us...it's like, oh, you're offering us a chance to wait on your ass AND give you mzungu money? wow, thanks, but no thanks.

but even in uganda, hooking a mzungu is a big dream. we've seen newspaper articles describing hotspots where mzungus like to hangout and how locals should chat them up. one article interviewed locals who advertised in dating ads exclusively for mzungus. one said that she needed someone to pay her way through college (her parents had died). another said something along the lines of "i'm giving my life! they need to bring some money to the table in exchange for that"--as if the other person in the relationship wouldn't be giving their life as well (and by the way, money in exchange for life...i think that's called buying a slave, not marriage). a third person said "africans are fine if they've got the cash. if there are africans with the cash, i haven't met them yet. if an african wants to date me, i say, show me the money first!" yeah prostitution! i guess other cultures are also into dating foreigners (eg hk, china, japan--in china if you manage to marry a white guy with a lot of money, that's called having skillz), but usually it's a bit more artful. ppl actually go thru the courtship ritual and pretend to fall in love instead of proposing marriage as the follow on to "hi, my name is...".

after the rafting trip, we stayed at adrift for 3 nights. the bar at adrift looks out right over the river. absolutely beautiful. in the mornings, the monkeys come down from the trees to steal the banana peels. there are two types: the red tailed ones with faces like raccoons, and the normal looking ones with pastel blue balls. the younger monkeys play in the tree branches, crawling to the end of the branch to weight it to the ground, then jumping off to catapult the other monkeys into the air. erika tried to tempt one near with a banana peel, but they run off as soon as you make eye contact. shy, intelligent creatures.

From ruma and jinja
From ruma and jinja
From ruma and jinja


in town, you can buy metal-tipped arrows and spears. these arrows were used to kill ppl in kenya last year during the upheaval. we saw a man guarding a speedboat with them. also, we saw what looked like slingshot frames (a y-shaped piece of carved wood). upon closer inspection, i realized that it's a carving of jesus, with his arms raised in a y above his head (now they just need to make an m, c, and a). i smite you with my holy slingshot! then i realized that to actually make a slingshot out of it, you'd probably need to drill holes thru the wrists to tie the rubberband ends. just call me pontius pilate. sacriligious much?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

in a recent survey 90% said most dating sites could offer better protection against scammers



---------------
white men

Anonymous said...

i'm thinking of running dating site purely for the disabled



---------------
filipino girls