I had a very typical foreigner-in-Kenya entrance to
My taxi driver, Francis, was a very interesting young man. In addition to driving his (licensed) taxi, he works for a Kenyan pharmaceutical company which was apparently doing trials on an HIV immune modulator. He spoke about wanting to go back to school in order to go to medical school and eventually become a doctor.
I then embarked on another very Kenyan experience (though middle-class Kenyan, as it was quite safe): a hot, dirty, bumpy nine-hour Easy Coach ride from Nairobi to Kisumu on very broken roads. It felt a little crazy doing this after an eight-hour overnight flight from
I arrived in Kenyan time at the Kisumu Easy Coach terminal: two hours late. I had scared Vero, our wonderful Kisumu-based UCSF/UBC liaison, earlier when I didn’t call her till I reached Nakuru. She was afraid that something would happen to the lone foreign female traveling by bus from
Happily Vero and Liz helped me with my luggage into the clinic van, and drove me straight to the cottage that I am staying at for the next five weeks. It’s gorgeous. It’s tropical. It’s perfect. The woman who runs the cottage compound, Mrs. Pabari is a Turkish landscape designer. You can tell. She has an immaculately maintained tropical garden with plentiful flower and vegetable patches, koi ponds, frog ponds and a naturally heated lap pool. Not only am I in this lush natural setting, I also have a home with hot water, plumbing that works, electricity, and –get this- speedy internet access with an ethernet connection.
The only thing tough about this place is 1) the bugs, including mosquitoes and 2) the immense racket that the nighttime animals make. The random outbreaks of hornbills, bullfrogs, dog barks and howling contests keep this jet-lagged insomniac wide awake at night.
What’s gross? Ants one-inch long invading your home.
What’s grosser than gross? Killing a large ant and finding a swarm of smaller ants eating and liquefying its body within 5 minutes.