i am now in nairobi. here for meetings at the stanley hotel the last 2 days. some big suprises have been thrown in our direction and has caused some turmoil. not sure how i am feeling about being here again. this place and my past is not totally out of my system. mixed feelings about the last couple of days. happy and sad. i think i brought the mombasa rains with me here too! went for dinner last night. was nice. today i plan to fix my ugly feet by getting a pedicure.
Enough Rain Already! October 11, 2011
who told it to rain as soon as i got to mombasa?! and we are talking monsoons! arrived on thursday 1am, so really friday, after many delays and baggage issues. went into work to discuss the plan for the next while on friday during the day. and then headed to my apt which i have rented out for 2 weeks, instead of staying in a hotel. met up with friends on friday and saturday after work. and sunday, the only tanning day, it poured all day!
this trip has been a bit tough so far. the field visits have been difficult in the rains. the traffic to and from kinango has been bad. the inside dirt roads that take us to the villages have been washed out or badly done in. the drive into the villages has been really bumpy. and we are walking through a lot of mud, etc to get to where we have to. i feel that my safety in some sense is almost being compromised. was i really expected to hop on the back of a motor bike on the rural roads for 5 km or more in the rain, without a helmet?? some of you recall me having some difficulty with knowing how far to go and not to go when in the field. this time i put my foot down though. at some point i felt like i was on one of those scary movies when we decided to walk part of the way in the deep ‘south’. the baboons we came across left us alone!
today it was decided that we would take a different route to the airport from the field so some papers could be dropped off. we were in a traffic jam for 3 hours. cars and massive trucks were going into the on coming traffic lane. we started to do the same. got blocked a couple of times. then one of the matatu drivers got angry and i think he was threatening the programme person i was with. then they noticed my luggage in the car and i thought great…we cannot even go anywhere to escape if they decide they want in. got to the airport a bit late so had to take the next flight and i am waiting for it now. the one i was supposed to take to nbo was delayed and i could have got onto that one. i have not had a hot shower since friday. yes friday. it is now tuesday. the water takes a really long time to heat up at the apartment and i came to know that i have to run it for 10 to 15 mins after that…what a waste of water! i sit at the airport with mud on my feet. i did pull out a change of clothes from my suitcase to change into so feel better.
the plan is to be in nbo until monday morning. no field visits, but meetings. a good change perhaps for a few days before heading back to mombasa and then the field in uganda. it is going to be a long one!
Geneva Stopover October 4, 2011
So I got back into Geneva last night. The flight seemed damn long. Had a stopover in Amsterdam, but only about 30 minutes, which was not great because I wanted to buy a pair of sunnies. I ended up buying Prada Candy though, which I love! I think I am getting sick because the man next to me coughed every 10 seconds, no joke. My throat is already sore.
The trip to Russia was good overall. It was not really a ‘field’ experience. A lot of good work is going on and the programmes are moving in the right direction. The people in the office were great. I got see a little bit of Moscow. Had way too many chai lattes. Survived the cold. Tried some Uzbeki food. Had some Russian goodies as well. Got lost. Wandered. Tried on fun furry things! Bought a really savvy Russian outfit. Did a shot of vodka. Picked up a few gifts, including a Russian hat for my grandfather. Watched Russian TV. Took a ‘gipsy’ taxi. Didn’t get hit by the tram. Went to a cool mall. Tried on thousands of 4 inch heels. Visited a couple of public libraries. Took some photos of this and that.
Now, 2 days before the East Africa trip. Unfortunately, I locked my closet as I always do when I travel, but cannot find the damn key now! So I will spend this evening searching for it. If I do not find it, then I will have to get someone to break the damn lock. How did I manage to do that? Just more work added to what I already have to do!