I really don’t have much to write about for today so I will start off by talking about last night. I did another pub quiz for everyone when we got back to the Pastoral Centre just a little one with 20 general knowledge questions and 15 music round ones. As usual for a weekend we had a few drinks too. Were all bonding as a group so well, getting along with everyone so well has made this trip so much easier and enjoyable. We’ve had some right laughs not all that I can write about on here but whilst on a frog hunt last night I made Sam jump and fart at the same time which was pretty hilarious. They didn’t have any Tusker Cider last night so I had the Larger instead. I might recommend it to the pub I work at back home, see if they might trial it for a few weeks.
Today we went to Lake Simbi. It took about an hour and a half to get there and really there wasn’t much to do. We listened to the old folk tales that a local Luo man told us about how the lake came to be, listened patiently as he told us of all its healing powers (I put that down to the high salt content in the water). It was interesting to hear to the tale and its somewhere I can say I’ve been now but I would have preferred to go back to Rusinga Island or something similar as that was really good fun. On the way back, we stopped off at a hotel to use the toilets, it was so quiet and everything was closed up, you can really see how they rely on in season tourist trade as it’s a ghost town out of season.
We also drove past a political rally on the way there and back. The crowd had grown in numbers on the way back past. The Kenyans described it to us as a little bit like Labour vs Conservative. However, a lot more violent. It is between the two main parties NASA and Jubilee Party. People fight on the streets and are sometimes killed, there is a lot of political unrest at the moment. Halima explained the country’s situation to me so I could better understand what was going on. She explained that what we saw was a NASA rally.
Nasa, comprises of different tribes (Luo, Kamba, Luhya and Costal region). The coalition leader Raila Amollo Odinga is challenging the current president.
Jubilee party, comprises of different tribes (Kikuyu, Kalenjin and partly NorthEastern region). The current president Uhuru Kenyatta is leader of the Jubilee Party. This is his second term in power. His legitimacy is under question however, after his initial victory was quashed by the Supreme Court and the opposition boycotted the re-run. He won again much to the disappointment of NASA supporters (which Halima and a number if the students are). The president has been criticised for trying to control the media and enforce censorship and take the county into a dictatorship.
Raila Amollo Odinga challenging the president is seen as treason to the government. However, he has a lot of support from the tribes I mentioned earlier and as we saw for the huge crowds that gathered. He calls himself the peoples president. The plan is for him to be sworn in on the 30th January so a few days’ time. As I mentioned earlier though this will be considered treason and there’s high anticipation and tension in the country, the government has refused to send police to help.
Dinner was the standard; a choice of rice or pasta, a selection of meat dishes and then cabbage and vegetables. The food is tasty I’m just starting to grow really tired of eating the same food every day. Especially as I’m vegetarian so I mainly rotate between rice or pasta everyday with veg and cabbage. We have been very spoilt though and I’m extremely grateful for all the hard work that goes into the preparing food for us every day. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day because there’s more meat free options and variety, I will miss my Kenyan breakfasts dearly when I get home.
We didn’t leave until 9am today so I got a whole 15mins extra in bed! WooHoo! Breakfast at uni was delicious as always, today I had toast with butter and marmite, so so yummy.
Isobel took us to get our hair braided it was 400 shillings for the hair extensions which me and Hafsa shared so just 200 shillings each which is about £1.40. You’d never get hair extensions that cheap in England. The labour cost was only 500 shillings each too so about £3.50. all in all, my hair that took over half an hour to do cost just over £5 (excluding the tip we gave her for doing such a good job).
I only had 2000 shillings left for the rest of the trip so I decided to go to the bank to get more money out as I still want to get people back home gifts. I took out another 3000 shillings totalling my spend for this three week trip at 13000 shillings, I checked my online banking and it translated into £90!!! I’d spend £90 a week easily in Brighton. I can’t get over how cheap everything is here, I’m coming back to Africa for sure.
We then went to treat house, I felt no guilt in splashing out on a few drinks and lunch. Lunch was amazing chips! Proper salty French fries! I practically inhaled them. We were joined by Fiona Lydia and Halima today. They’re all such lovely girls we’ve started chatting about having a WhatsApp group with them to keep in contact when we are back in England. We were also joined by Zarah and Amaya who are Isobel’s daughters. Zarah is 12 and Amaya is 6. They are beautiful little girls im trying to persuade Zarah to come to England to be a model she’s so beautiful they would adore her back in the UK. Amaya is so cheeky she’s so strong willed and independent I’m really going to miss them and Isobel too, she’s been like a second mother to us here.
I read a load of The White Masai (Corrine Hoffman) over 100 pages in 2 hours and totally missed all the drama that unfolded when a man bought his girlfriend to treat house where he was confronted by his wife. Drama! She was still throwing stuff at him when we left t go back to the Uni for dinner. I couldn’t eat anything as I was still full from lunch but the girls wrapped my hair for me in traditional African style to protect my braids. This was very funny and we took some great pictures of me resembling EastEnders Dot Cotton. We said goodnight to each other early and I hopped into bed to continue watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002) the extended edition of course. I hoping to finish all three by the time I get back to the UK if I watch about 45mins a night.