Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: Wild Africa

A secret no more

I was rummaging through my old files the other night and found some of my pictures in Kenya that I thought were already deleted!

Specially that of matatus – they are common modes of transpo in Kenya and are actually second-hand (or older) mini-vans and/or mini-buses similar to what we have in the Philippines – and these pictures evoke a particular memory while I was in Kenya.

I regularly take a matatu ride, especially when coming from the town to the jumping point to the village where I work. Because these are already used cars, more often than not, they break down in the middle-of-nowhere. See this photo:

stranded and waiting

If we are lucky to have a driver who knows how to fix car problems, we get stranded only for a short time. Otherwise, we painstakingly wait for hours till someone arrives to take a look at the  vehicle. Times like this we wish there are RepairPal Mobile we can call right away for roadside assistance just like what they have in the US.

The drivers are notorious for driving very fast and there was one time that I had the misfortune of riding in one that had an accident. I think the driver was racing against the other matatu to pick up passengers several hundreds of meters away and could not control the vehicle anymore. Even though he stepped on the brakes, it was already too late; the car swerved to the left and rammed against a tree. The front side of the car was badly wrecked, especially the driver’s side… I was sitting next to the driver and my feet got jammed between the car’s floor and the dashboard. Thank God the injury wasn’t serious. I was probably dazed and in shock and came to my senses only when the driver and other passengers pulled me out… oh the pain on my left foot. Up to now I can still remember every detail — about how everything went into a slow motion up to the impact, to being carried away to the nearest clinic.

Anyhoo, without sounding dramatic but also not downplaying what happened, I was not seriously injured. Nothing broken, just twisted ankle, or so they said, no open wounds (thank God!) just bruises and scratches (I instinctively used my bag to cover my face). So anyway, after receiving treatment at the clinic, I and the other passengers were asked to go to the police station  to report the incident. In my mind I was thinking what to say to the driver. In the end, I told him that he should have his vehicle regularly checked even if it’s just a simple brake pads replacement but very important for safety. After formalities at the police station I went home to Lukore with my new “shoes”.

my new shoes Nobody knew what happened except my older sister Sreisaat. We were exchanging sms for days and I told her to keep mum about it.  It was our secret as I – we- could not bear telling our parents then for they would have been at their wits’ end. Of course, my parents now know.

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday 004: Gourds of Kenya

 

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My friends noticed that I’m posting mainly about Kenya. They are right. As of now, I’m waiting for a call to start work at a new company. So while waiting,  I am taking this opportunity to write about what I had seen and experienced in Kenya.

Also, I didn’t get to post much while I was there because I live in and with the local community where electricity is yet to arrive. I only get to be online when I am in the town capital or in Nairobi when we have important meetings. So what I’m doing now is like back-dating, or making up for the lost time.

But anyways, you know what they say, it is better than never, ‘aight?

So, on to my post…

Do you know what are these?

These are dried bottle gourds and are originally used (apart from being eaten as vegetable/food) as water carriers/bottles,  but now have other, multiple uses in Kenya and other African countries. The bottle gourds belong to the same family as cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), luffas, and melons. They are oddly shaped and hard-skinned.

The gourds are arranged creatively, as pictured above, to represent all the 42 ethnic tribes in Kenya that use them. That’s a monster gourd above there – the mother of all gourds in Kenya!

Wordless Wednesday 010: Warthog

I am back online again and I missed blogging. It so happened that my co-volunteers and I had a chance to be in Nairobi for a much-needed R and R and there was Internet where we were staying. I just had to update my blog to tell my family I am fine and also to share this photo. The thing is, by the time this gets published, I would probably be on my way to Mombasa to resume my community work; or, maybe not (it depends on the situation as this is an auto-post anyway). We had a wonderful weekend watching wild animals and just being in the city with electricity, running water, and most of all, enjoyed the company of fellow volunteers and great food! And what a great weekend it was. This is a not so Wordless entry, so please excuse me. Ok, on to the picture.
This one may not be Pumbaa the lovable character in the Disney movie, the Lion King, and half of the dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa, but it is a warthog. We found this one on our visit to Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

 

This is, specifically, a Central African warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus) that is found only in Kenya and Tanzania. The warthog commonly reverses into burrows with the head always facing the opening and ready to burst out if necessary.

Wordless Wednesday 009: Rainbow connection

Hello.
You are reading another automated post as by now I am in my village continuing my community work. Monsoon season already started a month ago and it’s been non-stop. Well, when it rains, it really pours! One afternoon I got out of my hut after a two-hour pounding of rain, I noticed the locals were chattering noisily, obviously excited over something. When I approached the group of young mothers just a few steps away from me, they shouted at me to look at the sky. So I followed their pointing fingers and voila!!!

 

What a beautiful sight to behold! I can understand the excitement. It’s one of those simple moments you feel the grandeur of God’s creations… it definitely left an imprint in me.

Wordless Wednesday 008: Mating

Please excuse the absence of current posts here. I am a bit lost in a flurry of field activities. Not long ago, I just came back from Nairobi from a meeting and yet there’s another meeting looming again, on May 19th for a mid-term review. Again, one local representative from the cooperative will be coming with me for this mid-year activity for all Volunteers and partners.

Anyways, this is my entry for this week’s WW.
Spotted in one of the trees inside while on a trip to the Gede ruins. Some of us stopped to take photos of these crawlies and I could only imagine how embarassed these two must have felt while we were taking their photos in, uhmm, horizontal position *lol*