and here we are, our last day in malindi. it will be a bit sad to leave this beautiful place, but i am excited to travel again. we head to arusha in tanzania very early tomorrow morning. our day will consist of driving, and we will arrive in arusha after an estimated 12 hours of travel time. some of the road on the way to tanzania with be a little rough (none of the roads around here are as well kept, or as big for that matter, as a freeway or any other similar road system) so the traveling might be a bit slower, but we will get there eventually. we will stay in arusha for a night just to rest, and then we continue our travels to moshi.
we wrapped up our time here in malindi by interviewing the man that we were supposed to interview yesterday. he works for the local health center just down the road from us, and he had much to tell us about the programs that they offer orphans in the community. it was extremely educational, and pretty neat to see how the kenyan government is involved in fighting the issue of HIV/AIDS. but after our time with him, we didn’t do too much. we killed time by walking out on the reef during the afternoon, not sure what to expect, and it turned out to be a great experience. a couple of locals followed after us (surely in attempts to make a quick buck, but they were really nice) and they educated us on the habitats that the reef animals live in in that area. if you picture a large field with seaweed covering the surface and about two inches of water over top, decorated by countless divots in the ground, you can kind of get a picture of what the reef looked like that we were walking on. at first, it seemed like we were walking on seaweed and random sandy and rocky surfaces, but after a closer look, we saw that the reef played host to an incredible amount of animals! our local friends (with the aliases of ‘captain banana’ and ‘mon ami’) showed us jellyfish, starfish, sea cucumbers, squid eggs, and live coral while we trekked back toward the town, and they were not afraid to lay any animal that they picked up right into my hand. haha. it was pretty fun. i had about five starfish crawling on my hands at one point because captain banana kept saying ‘no problem’ and placing them on my fingers. it was definitely something that i wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t taken initiative like that, so even though it was simple, i was happy that it happened. mon ami was so happy to let us know that he owns three shirts that say ‘USA’ on them. he was beaming with pride as he spoke of them. it was neat to see him have such joy in such a simple thing. i wish i could grasp joy like that.
later on, we took a short walk, met up with mwalimu, and then eventually headed to dinner where we talked to mwalimu’s niece about being a student at OWU. she’s in the process of applying, and seeing as we don’t have any kenyan students there right now (as far as i know) it would be neat to see her come there. all our activities today were buffered with vast amounts of time where we just sat and talked or sat and waited. it will be nice to get moving again, and strangely enough, going to sleep tonight will be exciting just because it’s something to do! 😉 but i have a feeling that things will start to pick up from here on out. we’re visiting a lot of places in a very small amount of time.
tanzania, here we come!