Sorry about the lack of updates, forgot I had a blog. We’re going into our 10th week of school. It has been a rough first 6 weeks, but beginning the 7th week to present, things are picking up! Students are getting more comfortable with me, beginning to understand my crazy accent, and the stares/giggles seem to be getting less (or I’m just not noticing it anymore). Some students have even asked me to help them start a First Aid/Health club! We had mid terms (CATS) 2 weeks ago, and I just want to apologize to all teachers during exam week. Even though it was a shortened week, grading these exams was torture! A class of 54 students taking a 1.5 hour Biology exam took me 7 hours to completely finish grading (short answers only, no essays). Final exams are in a month, awesome.
After our midterms we got a much (mentally) needed mid term break. I ended up going to Nairobi for a night, met up with a friend and then we headed towards Naivasha for the extended weekend. In Nairobi, we went to a brewery and the beer and food was absolutely delicious! First hamburger in Kenya, oo how I missed you old friend! In my opinion, the food and beer was better than Gordon Biersch, but my memory and taste buds could be playing tricks on me since I haven’t eaten anything except cabbage and githeri in over 2 months. The next day, we headed towards Naivasha and had some delicious crayfish outside of the park! Got our bikes, strapped our gear, and entered Hell’s Gate National Park! The first day we set up camp and did a 14km bike ride called the Buffalo circuit. The first half was downhill/not too steep but then suddenly we hit a hill. Then after that, we hit another hill, but steeper, then after that the hills were just never ending. I think that was the hardest bike ride I’ve ever been on (even though I wussed out and walked the majority of the hills). Finally we got to the top of the last hill and started descending downhill, heading back towards camp with a beautiful view of Mount Longonot. Along the circuit we saw giraffes, hartebeests, warthogs, gazelles, impalas, pigeon fowl, and zebras. The next morning, I heard baboons around campsite (normal), but they left pretty quickly. Then, we noticed some large cat prints around our campsite and realized we were sleeping while a leopard was roaming around us and that’s why the baboons didn’t stay longer. Anyways we headed down towards the gorge. Great/fun hike and beautiful scenery! On our way back to camp, we saw buffalos! Lots of them! Got back to camp, packed our stuff and then slept at another campsite outside of the park next to Lake Naivasha, which means next to hippos and monkeys! This campsite had BOMB pizza! Oh man… the food that weekend was just DROOOOOOOLLLLL……
Came back to site and continued grading papers. Fun! Back into my normal routine, waking up at 5:30 to the farm animals, if I can’t get back to sleep, I’ll go for a run. Go to school around 7:30, get back home between 5:30 and 6:30PM (yes looong work days). Then, cook dinner (cabbage mostly), watch some How I Met Your Mother/read a book/ catch up on email/attempt a puzzle, etc… and then to bed at latest 10:30pm. On weekends, if I’m not accompanying students to their extracurricular activities (cross country, math competitions, science congress, etc.), then I’m just doing laundry, cleaning the house, walking around town, and basically just bumming around. Exciting, I know!
Cannot wait for IST in April! 2 weeks in Nairobi with free/fast internet (skype drinking party anybody?), 2 weeks of other volunteers, 2 weeks of hot showers and flushing toilets, 2 weeks of dancing with other people and not just alone in my house, and 2 weeks of delicious food! Ohhhh can’t wait!