our time in mombasa proved to be quite productive, and the interview that we had right after my last blog post was the best one we’ve had so far. we talked to a yale professor who is involved with the yale summer program options available here in kenya, and seeing as she did her doctoral dissertation on HIV/AIDS in tanzania, she was a huge help. her knowledge of the history of AIDS, the common impacts, more of the medical side of the virus, the common beliefs about it; she was very knowledgeable. it is so neat to be getting interviews that are such high quality. it is wild to think that we are meeting people like this! the other day we spoke with the owner of the hotel that we are staying at. it turns out that he has some world records in fishing! i think for swordfish (suli suli!) because the entire hotel is painted with swordfish. malindi is an excellent place for fishing for swordfish when they are in season. i think it would be so awesome to experience deep sea fishing just once. i have come to the realization that the ocean is HUGE, and that means that the earth is HUGE, and yet, our God is so much bigger. how infinitesimal am i!
after our interview, we hopped in the car and took off for malindi. it’s about a two hour drive or so, and once it starts getting dark, it is not a good time at all to be on the road. so, we tried to make as much ground as possible with the time we had, but we only got about half way before the sun set. it just gets scary after that. people walking on the side of the road everywhere (out in the country even!), bicycles trying to ride in the dark, cars without headlights, no lines on the road, cars with extremely bright headlights (so bright that you can’t see the road underneath of you, and huge trucks coming from the opposite direction. needless to say, i was holding my breath pretty much every time we passed a car coming from the opposite direction. but mwalimu was excellent in his driving, and he got us back to malindi quite safely. props go to mwalimu for his concentration and skill. the rest of us were in the edge of our seats the whole time. except for ahlam. she was sleeping. haha.
we got back and ate some dinner (pizza! oh my goodness, it tasted so good!) and then we all meandered back to our respective rooms. i was fortunate enough to speak with my most stunning girlfriend after that, and it was so refreshing to hear her voice again. there’s definitely a part of me that wants my return to come quickly.
i woke up early this morning to the sound of the doorbell here at the hotel. when someone wants to get in, they have to ring the doorbell so the gate keeper man can open the gate, but the bell rings all over the place. haha. i woke up with a jolt and got ready very quickly because i knew that we had another interview this morning, and i went outside and sat for a while. about an hour later, everyone else woke up and i realized that i got up a bit earlier than i needed to. in my defense, i misplaced my watch, so i had no clue what time it was 🙂
after a nice breakfast, we headed over to the local health clinic here in malindi, only to be met with the message that the man we were supposed to meet could not do the interview at that time. we were supposed to meet with him later that day, but it turns out that we will interview him tomorrow morning. we proceeded to drive around the town for a little bit, and then we headed over to the marine park to snorkel! being on a boat was phenomenal (even though my stomach was a little tense from just eating) and seeing as i had never snorkeled before, i was blown away. the number and variety of fish that i saw! that i swam with! it was incredible. we were swimming in the coral reef for a while, and then i went to the drop off area were it got a bit deeper. i swam out for a while hoping to see some bigger fish, and i did, but nothing like a shark. we were still relatively close to land. i’m sure those fish live further out past the coral reef 🙂 but the indian ocean is so beautiful!
on our return to land, we went and had lunch (more pizza! we miss our normal food so much!) and then conked out for the afternoon. it was nice to rest, it really was. when we woke up, mwalimu brought two older gentlemen over to interview them for his own project on african folklore. after they were finished telling some of their stories, we were able to interview one of the guys on his views about AIDS and the epidemic. he was willing to share them, and we were thankful for that, but they were definitely his personal opinion and not substantiated by any truth evidence. it was just interesting to hear the contrast from the medical evidence provided by our yale professor friend to the information provided by our elderly gentleman friend. one must wonder what the situation would look like if more people were simply educated on the problem at hand.
after our time there, we ate dinner (pizza a third time….we just couldn’t get enough!) and then we came back to prepare for our night sleeping. and so here i am. after a very restful day, i am ready to continue working tomorrow, even though we don’t have too much planned. mwalimu is working on his house tomorrow, so he will be away all day. and that will conclude our time here in malindi, for wednesday morning we wake up bright and early to head off to arusha in tanzania! on with the traveling!
continue to pray that God will open up my eyes to what He is doing around here and that i will have a vision for where He is leading me through my time here in africa.