Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Just one look at Kilimanjaro will make you feel better... even when you're really missing ice cream"

Hi All,
Just wanted to post a quick blog to say hello from Kimana Kenya! As you have already gathered, we arrived safely and slightly fatter (from all the feta cheese, bread, ice creams, and doritos we purchased at the grocery store in TZ) in our new home for the next few weeks. IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL. The camp is everything I imagined plus some. I think any morning that you can wake up and see something as majestic as Mt Kilimanjaro looming in your backyard will be the start of a great day. And though we've only had two days here, they both have been amazing. The professors and the staff seem great. Because we have a large open space in the middle of camp (this camp is exceptionally larger than the TZ camp, much more space to run around in; the running trail boarders along the edge of the camp's fence and is 100 meters short of a mile) soccer games with the staff (hopefully) occur every evening before dinner. The camp, but more specifically the field is really dusty though. It makes for some very dirty legs; I think I'll have to shower much more frequently, maybe once a week now (haha) because it is SOO dusty. There are literally dust clouds blown across camp anytime there is a slight breeze.
We met and have already said goodbye to the other East Africa SFS group; we were able to swap stories and home towns to create some conversation (PS. I just had to correct myself, I wrote 'conservation' right there instead of 'conversation' - can you tell what's on my mind?) during the 1 1/2 days our stays overlapped one another. Kinda funny; the 3 people in the other group that are from (or have lived in) VT and I were all able to identify mutual friends of ours proving that even half way around it, this is a small world.
Today was our first day to have KBC to ourselves though. It was nice to finally feel like this was our home and not feel like we were intruding upon the other group. We had a 3 hour course and DR introduction before lunch and then afterward we had a brief camp orientation to learn any information we hadn't already figured out from our two days living here. We then went to a local Maasai boma and learned a little more about the Maasai culture. Ironically people don't really speak Swahili here - we have better luck trying to communicate with English. Tomorrow and the next few days are comprised of EP classes; we still have classes until we start DR on the 17th of November. Some highlights for the time in between now and then are our visits to some Kenyan National Parks; Amboseli for the day on the 4th and then an expedition in Tsavo starting on the 7th.
So as you can tell we do have internet here, but it's VERY slow. I think uploading any pictures will be impossible so I'm glad I had the resolution to not upload and pictures on here before I was forced to. I also may not get a SIM card. If there are any emergency calls needed I can get one or borrow a friends card but I think I want to try to not be as connected to home as I have been. I'm in Africa and I really need to start living it up. I love and miss you all, but I'll be home in 7 weeks and I don't want to spend that time wishing to be home and then regretting not taking full advantage of this experience while I'm actually here. This means less/no Facebook, email, and phone. I'll still try to blog once a week but that's it? I hope you understand. And hey, this way here you'll be that much happier to see me when December 14th comes along!
Hope all is well and as a school sign on the side of the road in between Tanzania and Kenya says: "Shine so others can see it."
xoxo Zee

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