Sunday, February 13, 2011

more wild rides...

Today we piki piki’d into the Rift Valley. John carried Erika and Warren carried me. And John showed us the way. (Yesterday we hiked up Kijabe “Hill”…top about 9000 ft and RT hike more than 5 hours. Our pedometers told us we had walked 13 miles when we got back…and our bodies felt like it!)

Our piki ride took us down from our home, through the hell hole that is Mai-Maihu...a truck stop town that fits all the images you have ever seen related to the spread of HIV in Africa...and then we headed out into the valley. John wanted to take us to a Maasai town he likes.Getting there involved riding on road track that was up to a foot thick with dust...a bit like riding a motor bike in deep and light snow on a rutted path...LOTS of it! We took a few tumbles. You can imagine how dirty we became! We passed a family of zebra, including a new one, and lots of Maasai children waving and calling out “hello, how are you?”. We drove through a beautiful acacia forest, had to ask some Maasai goat herders to direct us, and saw a small church service happening under an acacia tree…something that seems much more meaningful to me after my conversations with my Maasai friend Samuel, who speaks clearly about the sense of liberation he feels on account of his relatively new Christian faith.

When we finally arrived in Awaso (spelling?) it was a quiet Sunday afternoon. As an aside, I have heard people describe the nastiness of plastic bags in the ocean…how they congregate and swirl around and make an ugly scene on the sea. Here in Awaso we found something similar. Every bush, fence wire, branch...plastic bags stuck after being blown there by the wind...a garbage dump of plastic over acres of land. Horrible. The market John loves was like a ghost town, but we stopped in at the little “hotel”, the word for restaurant in most of rural Kenya, and had a coke and a mandazi, a sort of fried bread or donut. The TV was blaring away with an English speaking person telling about British rugby and then a rundown on the picks for best new shows/movies?! So weird. Most of the people watching don’t really speak English...and what do rugby, movies and advertising mean to them as they see it come across the screen?? Apparently the TV gadget itself is interesting enough?

By the time we got home we had one broken side mirror, a broken tail light, a few bumps and bruises, a lost tire worked its way out of John’s backpack due to all the juggling and jarring. I had a chat with the neighbor before coming in the house. When I looked in the mirror I realized that my face was covered in dirt as if I had used it for makeup! She had given no indication that I looked so ridiculous??

Yes Mark Kranwinkle...we lived to see another adventure!;)
Erika wrote about the rafting at

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