27.8.07

In a pile of tears and desparation

The dreaded non-ending has occurred. Marc and I watched the series finale of my (I could say our but I would really by lying, Marc really likes Veronica Mars but he can definitely go days without talking or thinking about it whereas myself on the other hand likes it just a teensy bit more) beloved show last night and I must say that I am a bit (okay more than a bit) depressed about the lack of ending. After doing some internet scouring today I found out that Veronica Mars was cancelled AFTER they had filmed the SEASON FINALE (not the series finale there is quite a difference folks!) and so therefore absolutely nothing was ended and there was in fact (NO! You are exclaiming at home, not that!) new story lines that were introduced. I have spent my day amazed that I can be this obsessed with a television show. I have been placating myself with drinking chocolate, crepes, Egyptian ├ęclairs (stale toffee suckers with choclate in the middle mmmm) and internet rumours of a movie to tie all the loose ends.

Don’t judge the show by this cheesy picture, it is really good!

Okay two posts about Veronica Mars is making me look a little fanatical, SO in other news Marc’s parents and sister have arrived in Nairobi and we are going to pick them up tomorrow! Thanks for the pictures Julie! We are really excited to see them and show them Kapsowar. Hopefully our newly arriving visitors will only render me in a pile of tears and desperation for one day.

24.8.07

Uajosh, the politics of football and a teensy weensy obsession

So Josh came to visit us last weekend and we had a great time. I think we have the record for the number of visitors who have come to see us while staying in Kapsowar, especially when you take into account the amount of time we have been here. Marc’s parents and sister Carlynne will arrive on Tuesday and they will be our last (of many!) visitors that we have had when we have been here. Josh arrived on Saturday and we spent the day visiting, sleeping on the lawn and attending the last few minutes of the mama’s football game. (More to come on this later.) On Sunday we went for a jungle hike and attended yet another football game. On Monday both Marc and I did a little bit of work (Marc more so than me) and went to another football game. Do you sense a theme here? We ate great food, had a lot of good discussion and just generally enjoyed our time with Josh.

On our jungle hike with Josh and yes I am wearing pants. I have been feeling a bit rebellious as of late.

As mentioned, we have been watching A LOT of football (soccer for you Canadian and Americans) lately. There is a tournament going on right now throughout Kenya that involves a cash prize of one million shillings for the winning team. (About $17 000 Canadian, split between the team.) The prize money is being supplied by a Kenyan politician (there are elections here in December, this is the Kenyan equivalent of “buying” votes) and the teams participating are all “mamas.” (Adult women, a lot of whom are mothers.) We have been to about four games like I mentioned and have only witnessed one that actually ended. The others have all ended in conflict. One ended when the opposing team received a red card for an illegal substitution and decided that they didn’t like this and protested by refusing to play. They all sat on the field and the game ended when Kapsowar kicked the final goal with no opposing players. We thought this was the end of the game because the other team refused to play but we later heard that they would be “re-playing” the game. On Wednesday the Kapsowar mamas went to Cheles to play another game in the tournament but the other team refused to play because of some conflict. Yesterday the Cheles team came to Kapsowar but I watched them all sit on the field for over 5 hours refusing to play because of some “conflict.” This is what everyone here calls it. We are very confused as to why none of the games are played but it is interesting nonetheless and definitely makes for some good gossip in town.
At the "end" of one of the games, wondering what is going on.

Lastly, I am a little obsessed with a television show we have been watching as of late. Our friend Darren told us about the show “Veronica Mars” before we left for Kenya and we downloaded the first season. After watching the first season, I begged and pleaded with Darren to send the second and third season with my mother, which he so graciously did. We now only have two episodes left in the third and final season and I am really not sure how I am going to cope after we watch the last two. I have become (maybe) a little obsessed about whether Veronica and a certain someone (I will not ruin it for all you potential viewers, I know the power of MY written word) ;) will end up together. I realize that this is totally a ploy by the producers to get me to watch and has been used countless times by a plethora of television and movie producers. I in fact used to love chick flicks but do not like them anymore because I find them so predictable. (Couple falls in love, breaks up because of some tragedy/misunderstanding and gets back together in the end.) However, I have fallen hook, line and sinker for Veornica Mars. I love the witty dialogue, funny jokes, interesting plot and romantic tension. Yes I realize that Veronica is in her first year of college and if she and a certain someone end up together it will probably not last the test of time but I have become a little overly obsessed (please realize friends and family that I have absolutely no TV access here so this is my only media outlet) and even remarked to Marc the other day that I may need therapy if Veronica and her beau that I love so much do not end up together. Why am I admitting this for all to see? I am a 28 year old woman who has been out of high school for 10 (actually 11 this year ACK) years but yet I am obsessed with a high school romance. I guess since there is no therapy in Kapsowar this will be my form of it. Hopefully I will not be posting on Monday in a pile of tears and desperation. (We plan on watching the season finale on Sunday night.)
So have a great weekend all and please think of me on Sunday night, I may need it! ☺

18.8.07

hell's gate and beyond

well our good friend josh is coming to visit us for the weekend today so i thought i should tell you about the last half of our trip with greg before he arrived. josh is currently living in the nuba mountains of sudan... and we thought the kenyan facilities were primitive.


after climbing mt. longonot we ventured the next day to hell's gate national park, one of the only parks in kenya where you can walk or ride a bike, so we did both. the bikeride was through a beautiful red cliffed and towered landscape where we interacted with giraffes and zebras.



the hike was through an incredible canyon with several offshoots, intimidating depth and tight sections, including one bottleneck that we had to wait for over 200 schoolchildren to pour through in order to get back up.



the next day we took it "easy" with a boatride on lake naivasha to see the fisheagles, malachites and hippos and then did a 2 hour hike to a beautiful flamingo frequented craterlake. on the way we hiked through a relatively open area of forest and suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a group of 20 or more giraffes. we would walk past a stand of bushes to find them napping 40 feet away from us.



finally we headed for nairobi where we spent a packed 2 days before seeing greg off to the airport. greg quite enjoyed bargaining once he realized the power inherent in walking away. kylie was a bit more emotional about the whole thing, especially when the hawkers pulled dirty tricks like being really nice and friendly.

13.8.07

At the reception . . .

Such a fun family I must say. The father has a large horn coming out of his head and there's a couple that SEEM to be stuck in the second dimension. hmmmmmmmm ;)

12.8.07

mount longonot

here is part 2 of our journey with kylie's dad: climbing mt. longonot, an inactive volcano about an hour from nairobi.

if you are ever in kenya we highly recommend this hike. it took us about 6 hours to hike up the mountain, around the crater and back down in a leisurely vista enjoying fashion. it only took about an hour to reach the crater rim, so the majority of the hike was a beautiful ridge walk with the forested crater on one side and constantly changing panoramas of the great rift valley on the other.

now we are back in kapsowar again. right now our surgeon is away, one of the docs is home in the states on holidays, one is getting his medical license in order in nairobi and one is sick! this leaves ME running the hospital! aaaah! luckily the hospital has not been too crazy so far so it has been busy but manageable. i am looking forward to the kenyan and american docs coming back soon though (this wednesday and september respectively) and i really hope the other one gets better soon.

also, our cousin stacey and her new husband andrew got married yesterday. congratulations guys! we really wish we could have been there. gleddie weddings guarantee a good time.

oh, and congratulations on the birth of baby oscar michaelia and jason! you guys will be great parents.

9.8.07

Mass Migration in Masai Mara

We have returned from a whirlwind tour of Kenya with my dad. We started out in Nakuru for a night (in a $4 hotel room, classy classy!) and moved onto Masai Mara, then to Lake Naivaisha where we climbed a volcano, biked with the giraffes, boated on the lake and walked to a crater lake. As you can probably deduce from that list, one post will not suffice, as it will be too many pictures and too many Kenyan shillings for us. (Although even if we do multiple posts we are still paying the same amount, just at different times, so therefore I am sparing you the reader from a plethora of information and pictures.) I will post about Masai Mara and then Marc will discuss our trip to Hell, Hell’s Gate that is. (Ramble, ramble) And now to the actual post . . .

We started out the trip to Masai Mara on the worst roads I have ever been on. I mentioned to my dad in the morning that there was no way the roads could be any worse than the road from Eldoret to Nakuru so we would be in for a good day. Boy was I wrong! Let’s just say I am very thankful I had no gastro-intestinal issues on our traveling day because it was bad enough! I would predict we went maybe 300km but it took us about 10 hours to do it. UGH!
At our "classy" hotel for breakfast. Jesus dispensing wise advice as usual.

At one of the crazy tourist spots we stopped at along the way. There were huge warehouses of overpriced souvenirs all the way to Masai Mara. A huge carved lion would only set you back $4000 US! We plan on getting one before we head back. Or maybe we will buy a 10 foot tall giraffe because I hear they are really easy and cheap to ship.

After the long bumpy roads we arrived at our camp for the evening. The game drive that evening and the next day definitely made up for the bumpy roads. The first night we saw numerous herds of elephants and an amazing sunset.

The next day we had the “perfect” safari. We were in Masai Mara during the wildebeast (AKA Gnu’s) migration and did we ever see them migrating!! We estimate we saw over one hundred thousand on our safari day. Everywhere we looked we saw lines upon lines of the black beasts and just when we thought we had seen them all we would see a gnu line. Hee hee. (Marc and my dad really enjoyed my gnu jokes on the safari, they even repeated them later!)


Wildebeasts were not the only animal we came into close proximity with. We saw a pride of lions, two females (one pictured below) and a huge male. Unfortunately our pictures of the male did not turn out but we did get an excellent video that we would post if we were not volunteering in Kenya but were rather working with a lucrative organization that pays its overseas doctors ludicrous amounts of money. (Do those organizations really exist?)
The ever elusive warthog.
A monkey contemplating life. Or maybe jumping?

While we were off photographing animals on the African Savannah we were being photographed ourselves in Canada. How can that be you ask? Well we made an appearance at Julie and Lowell's (Marc's sister) wedding in cardboard form. We danced, we kissed (and not eachother apparently) and we even made the photos! Take a look at the fun we had. Double the fun I must say, in Africa and in Lethbridge at the same time. Don't you all wish you could be in two places at once?!
Taking a break after a long day. It's hard to stand all day you know.