Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
We have only been awake for a few hours and from the very beginning we realized that it was going to take all of us to get things done. Brett and I woke up late, which is atypical for him, and we rushed around trying to complete our tons of chores in 30 minutes flat. We had to do dishes on the bucket system which normally wouldn’t have mattered but we had every dish in our house dirty from Thanksgiving dinner. We needed to feed the chickens, feed the cat, get dressed, make breakfast – clean dishes after breakfast… On and on!
Approximately 530 AM we start our walk to town for a matatu. Grab one at 620 AM and stuff ourselves into the back. The long journey begins!! We are always thankful for our kindles on days like today :) High Five to my family! On the way to Nakuru we, by awesome miracle, pass Shailah and snag her up. Then the teamwork begins!
The transportation system here is tricky. The overall goal for the passengers is to try and steal one of only 3 seats that are comfortable in a 16 passenger van. Then you hold on tight. The goal for the drivers (called touts) is to stuff as many people as possible into the van. Gotta make a living! Then there are the police. They stand on the side of the road to pull over matatus and collect bribes. It’s a big problem and its how matatus get away with Jerry-rigging their vehicles with bubblegum and spare ropes. On this particular morning we had 23 people in our 16 passenger matatu when we approached the police. We learned that bribes won’t help with all the extra people because suddenly we were instructed to hit the deck! 7 people ducked and covered at our feet while everyone else did their best to hide them !! Teamwork at its finest!!
By the time we pulled into Nakuru to meet up with Andrea we knew it was going to be a strange day. However, we did not know we were going to have to bribe the Kenyan Military to get through it! Nakuru is a dirty city. Really dirty. Which apparently they have laws about because 2 of the volunteers – no names – we put in hand cuffs because they dropped their chapati trash beside an overflowing trash bin. Might I add that they searched log and hard to find a trash bin to begin with. Before we knew what was happening they were being held tight and it took a solid 30 minutes to convince the officers that they were well meaning and we had to drop the Peace Corps card. Eventually we all got away with the genius idea of Brett who gave them fake American addresses which we told them they could use to secure a visa!! Worked like a charm! Teamwork!!!
Now we are “On the road again” with a 10 hour ride and 4 matatu transfers ahead of us. Who knows what Kenya will throw at us next.