We feel as though the last couple of days seem negative as we read back through our diary, this isn’t the whole case – sure school is frustrating, and that’s because it isn’t run as good as it could be – and as much as we are here to help – we have to accept this, and look past it and do the best we can. The whole experience still is amazing – and today sealed that….
We were up early to catch a Matatu (taxi) to Ngong, then onto Nairobi for the day. Our plan was to catch the first Matatu to Ngong – but our morning ‘chai’ tea took longer than expected and we found ourselves walking the dust roads for half an hour before a jam packed Matatu hurled down the road towards us. To explain, a Matatu is a flat bed truck with a dodgy roll cage that is used to and filled by Masai men and women wanting to travel to town. The road was long and bumpy, and made harder by the fact that Jordan missed out on a seat and had to cling to the outside of the truck!!
We did make it to Ngong – where we met with some friends, grabbed some breakfast and all checked our emails on our weekly Internet visit!!! Before long the ‘muzungo’ clan were on a large dodgy looking bus to Nairobi – complete with on board preacher for entertainment. But with the state of the bus and the preacher starting the journey with a prayer containing the words ‘safe journey’ we became worried.
We soon made it to Nairobi in the end – and were directed off the bus, past the preacher now asking for money, onto the chaotic streets of Nairobi. Despite the spat of rain, the plan of attack was Pizza and Markets, and that’s what we did!! First we stopped at the Pizza Inn for a bite to eat, and not leaving without indulging in ice cream, while we waited for the rain to die down. There isn’t too much more to the city of Nairobi – it’s your typical large city with lots of people and chaos!!
The Masai Market was a highlight though, as we walked the pavements and getting harassed by African men and women. “Hello Brother!”, “Hello Sister”, they would yell with every turn you took. Jordan even had an interesting conversation with a African Man, who insisted Barak Obama was the president of the world and not just the USA!! They do seem quite happy that the new president is a Kenyan!! We decided not to buy anything – but had some interesting bartering sessions, including one where we got one item from 18,000 Shillings down to only 3,000!!
Our Nini works at the markets, so before long we headed to her stall and the rest of the ‘Masai Mamas’ to see what they had to sell. We decided to stick in Nairobi with our Nini for a bit longer, so said goodbye to our friends and headed back to Ngong later with Nini. We desperately needed some drinking water as our supplies were running low at home. So that was on top of the shopping list in Ngong, as well as the staple diet and some Milo! We haven’t had that for years!!
The trip back home from Ngong was a highlight….or lowlight of the day, and one we still feel the bruises from!! It was time to catch the Matatu home and luckily…or unluckily we jumped into the last Matau to head into the heart of Masai land, and our home. We were joined by at least 28 Masai Men and Women AND their shopping on the back of the small Toyota Flatbed Truck!! Jordan sat with one cheek on, and one off his small seat! A large Masai women sat upon one of his legs while an elderly lady rested on the other, her elbow digging further in, with every bump the Matatu took. The stench or armpits was so thick, not even the wind created by the travelling Matatu could break it! We were so crammed in, with a man opting to sit on Jax, instead of offering for her to sit on him! I felt as though the lady next to me was going to break – as she became wedged in so tightly between me and Nini. It was awful and wonderful at the same time! The feeling of intense blood rushing back to a dead leg with every bump we hit on the dirt road, was such a relief!! Nothing came close to the feeling of making it home after an hour and a half of this agony.
We ate dinner, while gingerly sitting on the small wooden bench in the kitchen, and breathed a sigh of relief as Nini suggested we all go up bed and clean up tomorrow!
We will never forget this day….