I think all the lack of sleep is catching up to us. When we all eventually rolled over we couldn’t believe it was already 11 am and half the day was gone! I went on a nice run down to the beach with a couple of my roommates, and as soon as we saw the way the white sand looked against the crystal blue water, we almost stayed there and jumped in with our running shorts on. We got back to our complex, threw on our swimsuits and jumped in the houses pool, ahhhh sooo refreshing! Then we rounded up everyone in the house to take a trip to enjoy the sun. On the road to the beach cars zoomed passed, incredibly close to us as we walked on the shoulder, going speeds beyond what any sane person should go on a residential road. Another thing is that they drive on the other side of the road as well as they have the drivers seat on the right side of the car! If I ever had to drive in this country, I would mess that up all the time! Traffic laws are non-existent here; there are no stoplights, signs, speed limits or even cops out patrolling. It’s pretty much about who is the most aggressive driver, and they just honk at each other, it scares me to ride in cars around here! Giant vans called Matatus that are supposedly their taxis drive past honking with men hanging out their windows yelling and clutching handfuls of cash. One actually pulled over, cutting us off, and a man jumped out trying to herd us into the creepy van with loud music. As polite as we tried to be they wouldn’t let up, even a stern no didn’t seem to have an affect, so we just sped up our step and walked on. That’s the thing about the people trying to sell you things here, they are soo persistent, they try to scam you in every way they can, and its very important to learn how to barter. They know that tourists are naïve to the currency, so they try to get away with as much of your money as they can. To begin they give you a ridiculously high price, then it’s your job to stay stern with them and make an offer that is best for you. Or they trick you, which unfortunately was the problem we ran into today. There was a group of young boys on the beach that were racing each other and seeing who could do the most pushups. Allison jumped right in and raced them, Trisha tried and they even beckoned me to try and race their fastest boy… well I got smoked… Anyway then they started seeing who could jump the highest. They didn’t even bend their knees and their arms were straight down at their sides. The group of maybe 25 boys gathered around and one by one started jumping into the middle. Then we started hearing noises that went with the rhythm of their jumps, kind of like mild hums coming from the group, none of their mouths were moving and the sound seemed to come from deep in their throats. All of a sudden a couple of them disappeared and came back in red robes with beaded jewelry and walking sticks. They loved getting in pictures and wanted to perform a dance for us. We later learned that they are part of the Massai tribe and they were showing us what one of their rituals looks like. The people that have been in the program longer then us told us that we will visit the tribe on our safari and learn more about them. They did the same thing for us, jumping and making beats, it was very interesting! But as soon as we packed ourselves up to leave the beach the leader of the boys followed us all the way down the beach and up the road asking for money, and none of us brought money to the beach! We seriously thought they were going to follow us all the way back to our complex, thank goodness they finally gave up!
The beach was so nice and relaxing, full of sand and sticky with salt water, we headed back hoping it was close to dinner time! For dinner Dollas made us chapatti, rice and a bean and potato dish. Kenyan food is full of flavor and very starchy!
We had our orientation for the hospital tonight. First impression: a man was being discharged who looked like he shouldn’t of. He was on a metal gurney with no mat on it, small blood drops trailed behind him and he had blood on the back of his shirt and a huge bandage on his head….. The tour of the hospital shows the quality of healthcare and the lack of money available for it. Every hallway had a different smell; we even saw a couple cats crawling across vacant hospital beds. We have options of choosing specialization such as maternity, orthopedics, surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine and minor theater (sutures and bandaging) not quite sure what I’m going to do yet!
Tomorrow is when it all starts!!