So we gathered our luggage and managed to get everyone in the group together. Then they took outr luggage and placed them in these big trucks. Now, honestly. I was a bit freaked out. Really, if everyone else hadn't been doing it, I wouldn't have done it. Because from Day One, Peace Corps told us not to let anyone handle our baggage and that Nairobi was a very bad place where we will all get mugged and shot and killed and abducted. And yes I was that naive. But, I parted with my beloved luggage and borded the bus that PC arranged to pick us up.
I was a bit disapointed that we arrived at night. There wasn't much to see outside the windows besides lights, and I so badly wanted to see everything. But I didn't see much, and honestly, I was exusted. As we rolled through the city and made a few turns, we eventually made it to the hostel where we would be staying. It was a bit freaky, because there were these armed guards and a gate. Something that I defenetly wasn't used to at that time. Then came the tedious task of dragging out butts out of the bus. But there was food and it was great. I was not expecting the food to be that great, but it was soooooo yummy. After we ate, we chose roomates and got our stuff, checked into our rooms and made the exausting trip to our rooms (many of us were carrying two very LARGE bags). My roomat was Jen Lee, who I think fate brought us to room together those days.
That night I wrote in my journal about the trip. I was excited to be were I was, but I was so scared. I had never been away from home like that before and I missed so it much. After Jen got out of the shower (one of our last ones for a LONG WHILE), we talked till we fell asleep. But I really couldn't sleep that night, and started crying. Like I said, I was sooooo scared. I felt like I didn't belong there and all that stuff. But Jenly talked to me (I tryed to cry quietly, but it didn't work, and I was forced to talk). Eventually I calmed down and was ready to face another day. I am forever grateful for that.
So the next day we awoke to a misty rain. The trees were so green and it was so humid. We ate a great breakfast (the bread was so divine) and we met for a class. We were given a small tutorial about Kenya and we talked to the Medical Staff. We were given these breifcase sized first aide kits and got to enjoy a great tea break and lunch. We met again and were place into our language groups. We started studying lanugage that day with our first Kenyan words being "Hujambo....Habari Yako??? Nzuri Sana." My instructor was Henry, who is by far my favorite language teacher. He was so full of energy and said things like "getting jiggy with it".
Sadly though the good food didn't last. But on a good note the three days had passed and it was time to leave the "scary" city of Nairobi. We loaded our luggage (this time I wasn't so scared) and jumped in our bus. I sat next to Steve (one of the funniest PCV's I know) and soon we were bouncing our ways through the "mean" streets of Nairobi. There were people everywhere in the streets. Each one trying to sell their goods. There were also people looking in out bus, as though they had never seen so many "white" people all together. We bounced and bounced. And soon we were outside the Nairobi city limits. I felt very lucky to have the bus I did, because the driver was playing local Kenyan music and it really set the mood for the ride as we bounced through the Kenyan countryside.
It is one of the most memorable drives I have ever been on. I was so in awe of everything around me. I mostly sat back and tried to take everything in. We took a small pee break in Machakos and I believe we scared the town because there were so many of us and we moved in herds. Soon we were off again and bouncing off to Kitui. Every time we passed a town, I couldn't help but think that this is what my site could look like. Most of the people around me talk, but I have always been an observer. I took in so much. From the red color of the dirt, to the green in the foliage. I saw the way the dirt dusted each leaf of the trees that had the misfortune of being near the road. I saw all the people wave at us and the signs painted on the sides of buildings. I felt so at peace just driving like that.
After a few hours we arrived in Kitui. Kitui is a small large town. There are so many people, but the town itself is so small. There were gas stations and people selling papaya and mangos on the side of the road. There were people walking to and fro and goats walking as free as the people. We made a few turns and headed to the pastoral center where we would spend a week (or so, I can't remember the number of days). After a very scary ride down a very steep hill, we arrived in a smurf villiage of sorts. Every single one of the language/culture trainers were there. They greeted us, and I am sure I mumbled something in return, but, it feels like a dream now. I am sure we had another lesson and had some tea and at some point we got our roomates (my new one was Misty, who will always be my travel roomate) and moved into our smurf hut (though, unlike the smurfs, there were MANY more girls than guys). I am sure we ate and the food was good (though not as good as it was in Nairobi). I am sure that me and Misty talked long hours into the night, but like I said, it all seems so dream like.
The next few days we were divided up into new language groups according to where our homestay families lived (I had an all girl group, all of up just a hop, skip, and jump away from each other). We learned more, ate more, and got to know each other more. We were taught how to squat over a choo hole and how to bucket bathe. And soon, it was time to get out homestay families.......
Next time...Mama Becky (yes, I need a seperate entry just for this)......