the last couple of posts have been pretty negative, and i don't want you to get the wrong idea. a lot of stuff is frustrating and disgusting or whatever, but the wonderful things come in unexpected glimmers. like a curtain is down, but you can see a shy something peaking out through the crack. here are some of those things:

  • my downhill shoes: i bought a pair of shoes made from tire rubber for KSH100 (USD1.5). the cobbler cut them especially for my feet, but the toe loop on the right foot was still too big. the shoe tended to slip off unless i was going downhill. after two free refittings, the shoes are now perfect.
  • making babies cry: the really small babies, the ones who are too young to know the word mzungu, cry when they see us. terrorizing babies isn't wonderful per se, but it's charming in a weird way.
  • strong bananas: in mbita, i bought 1 banana every afternoon to wash down my doxycycline. the first day the market woman was annoyed, but she grew to expect me. the bananas are thick and flavorful, even if the peel is green and bruised.
  • in homa bay, we were given a calendar that advertised a clothing factory. under the name of the factory, it said, "manufacturers of sanitary napkins, zippers, and candles".
  • the pyramid of oranges: on one of the many matatus that took us from mbita to jinja, we were approached by an orange vendor. for USH1000, he gave us his entire pyramid of bitter oranges. the rinds were tough to break, and our hands were dirty enough to streak the white skins red. it was like biting into a lemon, but we each ate 3 immediately anyways.
  • at another matatu stop, i bought what looked like grapes. they turned out to be a sweet, dusty, pitted fruit, hot from the sun. i didn't have a window seat, so i had to chubby bunny the seeds until i could lean across erika and machine gun them out the window.
  • one morning in jinja, we passed an 18 wheeler truck with a green teletubby doll strapped across its grill. our driver said it was just for fun.
  • on our mtn biking day, we got lost and saw a baby goat, balancing on its hindlegs to jump at the green laundry hanging from a line.
  • on a smooth patch of nile water, we paddle our rafts past a cormorant swallowing a large tilapia. he chokes it down completely oblivious of us.
more on jinja and rafting tomorrow.

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