On the weekends we have those days to ourselves and to do whatever activity we would like. On Saturday along with the students from the University of Rongo decided to visit Rusinga Island, to see Lake Victoria. The drive was roughly 3 hours and during that ride it was the first time for all of us students to be in the same vehicle and we got to know each other more. The ride was exciting for all of us as we filled the bus with chatter and singing, many of us read books and listened to music and several took naps.
When we arrived to Rusinga Island we had to drive down a very bumpy road which was full of uneven level of roads and surrounded by stones. This road brought a lot of humour to us as the bus would throw us into the air and the bus would be filled with screams and we’d claim we were on a rollercoaster. The people in this area were very welcoming and as we drove past many of the children would stop and wave at us with so much excitement from seeing new visitors.
When we reached Rusinga Island Lodge was very shocked by how much the area stuck out like sore thumb compared to all the areas we had just driven by which was poor with many mud houses and fields and surrounded by animals such as cows, goats, chickens and donkeys. The Island looked like something out of a movie with beautiful architecture looking like I was taken away from Kenya and to Thailand. All the buildings were made of wood and they all had these big amazing thatched roofs, with amazing decor. Walking through the reception to the other side your eyes were met with the most beautiful view of Lake Victoria, and a wooden pier stretching across the lake and at the end of that pier were my fellow peers. On the edge of the seafront were several palm trees which I believe were coconut trees.
Walking along the shaky planks of the pier to reach my peers was nerve racking, as I’m terrified of piers especially the ones with shaky planks. Everyone on the other end I realised half way was watching me, as I was walking alone and funny trying to avoid as many unsafe planks, but when I reached the end of the pier I explained I was scared and I do this on Brighton pier also. It was an amusement to them all but me. Whilst there we were all excited to take group pictures, and pictures of each other, even our security guard was more than happy to have photos taken of him and with him. Once this excitement was over we walked off the pier and some of us lounged in the shade and others in the sun. I was seated on a big rock which had several big pillows in top and whilst sat there me and some of the other students played with Wendy’s baby; Jordy and talked the difference between London and Africa, the medical health we went through to be able to travel safely to Kenya. This conversation was hilarious to the Kenyan’s regarding the injections we had to go get and they were slightly offended Westerners believed Africa is a bad infested place.
It was nice sitting in the sun and taking in the breeze and getting to know each other more and what we do in our free times away from university. Moments later we were arranging for ourselves, including Andres and Isabelle’s first born daughter, Zerah, who i claimed that day as my sister and I spent the rest of the day calling her sister. She became the best sister for me that day as she was able to order me chips, I really needed a sister who understands my love for food.
Preparing to go on the boat ride was scary for me because I have a big fear of boats, and the driver of the boat and Sam held my hand as I screamed and staggered onto the boat, which even though it was beside the pier and tied up, it moved an awful lot and it had my knees shaking. Once on the boat we were properly introduced to our driver and life jackets were put on. We were all quick to get Zerah in one as we feared for her as she was so brave to sit right at the front of the boat. Of course, a life jacket was given to me which I hasty put on as I saw how far away we had already drifted from the pier and land. I spent the boat ride seated and praying to make it back to land, but besides that the boat ride was fun. At one point the driver asked me and Katie if he could speed up the boat more and were like of course but braced ourselves. Lol. All was good until the driver began to chill during the ride and let go of the steering wheel and turned to smile at me and Katie and ask if we were doing okay, we were to reply yes but shouted “KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL!”. He laughed his head off at us.
During the boat we drove by many people on the other side of the island, many Kenyans swimming with their families and some bathing which was funny as they were fully naked and was a shock for us. We saw some boats floating in the see which I got amazing pictures of. The whole boat ride was amazing and many of the brave ones like Sam, Hafsah and Luca were stood at the front of the boat like a bunch of macho men braving the waves and the splash back of the water.
We spent a few more hours out at Rusinga Island drinking fanta and eating chips, before heading back on the coach back onto the bumpy roads and many of us, like myself falling asleep on the journey back to the university for dinner.