Reflections on Africa

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

After a nice big pancake and fried egg sandwich breakfast (Nice one Ollie!) I walked into town and spent a bit of time exploring the small little area of Karen. Not that much to see to be honest and I found myself back at camp. Team Australia and I eventually shared a taxi into Nairobi and finally I was back where it all began in early June for me. Everyone welcomed me back and it was good to see my friends. I was super excited to spend the last few days with them and have a nice hot shower since keeping clean while over-landing in Africa is approaching mission impossible. No water. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!! I was really looking forward to that shower. Nairobi is having all sorts of problems with water right now and I found this out when I got back to the house. It has been off for nearly a week when I arrive. I go to bed dirty and hope for better luck in the morning!

Sunday arrives and I do feel quite refreshed after a proper nights sleep in a comfy bed. Now I just have to tackle this shower issue. I have Jau and Rahab both explain to me how to shower with just a basin of water. This is called karai and all African children learn how to shower this way at a very young age. Anyways I attempted it and used far too much water out of the basin but at least I was <kinda> clean. After this I walked downtown with Jau and met up with Lucy who I was taking out for lunch. She organized a lot of my activities in Nairobi so I figured a nice lunch was in order. She invited a friend and we had a nice meal at a 5-star hotel downtown. I parted ways with her and took a matatu back to the house where I chilled out for the night.

Monday was my last day in Africa! I took my last walk to Westlands. That stretch of dirt sidewalk and pothole-filled road became very familiar to me during my time here. The day went by quickly and soon I was packing up and saying my goodbyes before heading to the airport. Jau dropped me off at the airport and I said my goodbyes to him and then that was it, my African adventure over. I was questioned a bit at customs because of my dog walking profession but they liked my stories and waved me on through.

It took me a while to get the hang of Africa when I arrived 2 and a half months ago but by the end of it I was very comfortable with everything and having lots of fun, conversing with locals and generally enjoying the African life quite a bit. It was a fantastic place to visit and I'm sure I will be back someday.

Africa is a strange land; a land of cold showers and warm beers. Vast plains and savannah, lots of scrub beneath that wonderful big blue African sky. I'll always remember the sunrises, the sunsets, that huge glowing sphere that has never looked bigger. It was always fantastic watching the sun dip below the African horizon behind the acacia trees to end another day here. The golds and greens of the plains and the animals, so many animals, everywhere. So much vibrant life. The dirt and the dust, the roads, the crazy driving. The baboons on the side of the road. The people were what really made Africa though. The kids, always smiling and waving. They have nothing but are always so happy just to see you, talk to you, share a little of their life with you. The hunger they have for school. Kids giving you the thumbs-up as you drove by. Smartly dressed men walking along dusty, dirty sidewalks, picking their way around piles of rubbish. Women wearing bright vibrant colors wrapped around their body. And everyone, everyone you meet, so friendly, so eager to talk to you, teach you, learn from you.

What a wonderful place and I will miss it very much.

Now the adventure continues in Turkey and the Middle East.

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