We are still at orientation in Machakos and the internet connection here is painfully slow, or as we coined last night while waiting 1 hour 48 minutes to check and respond to 4 emails, “mind numbingly slow.” At least the 6 of us in the computer lab appreciated the humor of the situation as we all waited for one green bar on a web page every 20 minutes and announced our status to the group as they finally loaded. Who knew checking your email would be an exercise in perseverance? After I had been in there about an hour a Kenyan student came and sat next to me and asked if it was working. I responded “kind of but it is slow” to which he responded “you must tell Bush to send more power.” Since I am pretty sure G.W. has a few 100 things on his To-Do list above help rural Kenyan town get high speed internet I just wanted to update and say we are alive and well and have been learning a lot.
The speakers have been very interesting and given us challenges to think about as we move forward although I am sure even if I had 3 lifetimes to live I would not be able to understand or apply it all. We have also enjoyed getting to know the others in our group and many of the students on campus. The food has been a bit rough…..shall we say it is a difficult cultural adjustment for us foodies who are used to eating whatever we feel like…..can we please have something besides warm mush please?…..anything green &/or fresh would be amazing. To sum up: We are on a forced All-Carb-Diet at the moment and look forward to getting to the island and having a bit more variety.

Annikah is doing fabulous, she already is using 3 Kswihili words. Her latest is “fiki” (rafiki) which means friend. She loves running amok with the kiddos and points to each child saying “fiki…anni fiki…..anni fiki.” Almost every morning she wants to go buy “nannas” for 5 shillings from a local woman who sells fruit near the roadside and quickly devours them. She has also become an expert in charming us into buying her suckers from the Dooka (small store) on campus.
Tomorrow we have the day off and we hope to hike up a beautiful hill here and then take a matatu (local bus) into town for some lunch. As soon as either A.) GW & his internet experts hop in Air Force One and head our way OR B.)we get to Nairobi in a couple weeks ….then I will be able to post pics and more updates.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rox, thank you for the update! Glad to hear things are going well–sorry about the internet connection–that I am sure is frustrating. So happy to hear Anni is doing great–I am sure she will make lots of fiki’s 🙂 As well as you & Jason!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isnt the global perspective of the US role in the world fascinating? I heard an NPR report from Kenya were the villagers hoped Obama would win because surely he would get their roads fixed. Do you suppose that local govt. officials just blame the US for all problems? Sorry about the mush – I remember getting tired of that too. Oh, btw, if Jason is forced into a cultural situation where he has to drink a homemade brew of beer let him have the host drink first and then take the smallest sip possible. My friend got a tape worm and bacterial microbes from chugging beer (morel like fermented oatmeal) left in the sun. Be safe in the matutu! Love ya!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet Anni has already zipped through those Trader Joe’s fruit bars, eh? I know I’d rather eat those than mush…Thanks so much for keeping us all updated. It’s good to know you are well, albeit hungry for something other than carbs! 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Give Steve and Sandy a hug from us!

  5. Anonymous says:

    just think its like the internet we had in high school…and something us 21st centuriers should be jealous of…a slower pace of life. you joked that i would be the one to visit…i so want to be there…so i hope i can!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can just imagine you sitting around waiting frustratingly for your emails to post!! How funny! Knowing how challenging it is for you, I apppreciate the posts even more! I love that Anni is bilingual!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rox – Should we just write you thru your blog so you don’t have to wait for emails to load? If there is a quicker way around things, let us know! I will comply for sure! xo