A Travellerspoint blog

Rain, rain, rain and more rain... then SUN!!

sunny 30 °C

Jambo everyone! Habari ya mchana? (How are you htis afternoon? You all reply mzuri sana!) Have been in a rubbish mood all week cos it has been raining and raining and raining some more! Today is goregous though, perfect blue sky and roasting.
So Emily and arrived in Watamu on Friday afternoon to beautiful sunshine and I thought "Whoop, sunbathing here I come!" She left on Sunday morning to move onto Lamu, so I have been alone since then, which was cool cos I planned on sitting on a beach the whole time! Problem is that this is a tourist resort that caters mostly for Italians and Germans, so the high season isn't till July. Therefore all the big hotels are closed (gone was my idea of sitting by their pools for the week), as are most of the shops and even the places to eat! It is also empty, I was the only mzungu here till maybe yesterday, which was a wierd feeling, but to those who have been worried about me being on my own, DO NOT FEAR! I am ok, in fact I'm greeted like an old friend by many people now, especially in the little cafe where I have breakfast everyday and generally just hang out. So it hasn't quite been the week I planned, in fact on Sunday I was bored out of my mind... But kinda got used to it now, and I am meeting Emily and Boz tomorrow to get a bus back to Diani for our last weekend before everyone goes home and I start the next part of the adventure with Rocky. This time in a week I will be in Nairobi with the godfather, can't wait, it's been years since I last saw him!!!!!
Only problem about being alone is that it hit me that my darling Rachel is home in 9 days, and I MISS HER!!! It has ben 5 months since I last saw her and I don't wanna wait another 2... Got very sad but then got over it! (That's how much you mean to me! Haha...)
Not much else to add, cos not really been doing much at all, so will sign off here, happy birthday to the many people who had/ will have birthdays recently, sorry I can't be home to send you love but it is from Kenya, therefore way better!
Miss you all and lots of love...
xxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 04:52 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

Mombasa with only 2 weeks left!!

sunny 29 °C

Jambo everyone! Right, a lot has happened since I last wote, but I don't have my diary so worry if I forget bits! Right now I am in Mombasa, we are all doing a bit of travelling for our last full week before everyone goes home, but obv I have 2 months of travelling, so will be hitting a beach for a week, cos apparently Rocky is really brown and he is still in England!!! Emily and I are spending a night in a hotel here, then getting a bus to Watamu tomorrow mornign, and I will spend the week there while she goes to Lamu for a bit. It's wierd being in a big city after 10 weeks of little villages, but we got used to it pretty quickly.
So what has happened?? Well it was my birthday on Monday! That was a bit surreal, we were in a banda with no electricity or running water, halfway up a mountain. Spent the day whitewashing toilets as well, so not quite how I imained spending my 19th but I really enjoyed myself! Everyone spoiled my as much as they coudl. I was given a kitkat as a present (a rare and joyous event!!) and we had a tea party with pancakes in the afternoon. It was really nice, then spoke to Mum, Tom and Rocky in the evening which just ended a lovely day. Felt a bit wierd not spending it with the girlies, first time in years, but I'm sure we will make up for it in 2 months time!
I climbed a mountain as well. Last Saturday we got up at 5 in the morning, and then spent 8 hours going up and then down a 1640m mountain (that's taller than Ben Nevis!!) which was really hard work and we suffered the rest of the week. I have never climber a mountin before so I am proud. It was surprisingly fun though, cos the last 20 mins was really steep but rainforest, so seriously muddy, and you had grip climbing up, we had to pull ourselves up using roots and things. Then on the way down it was just a proper mudslide, we were all filthy! Got home shattered, yet Boz and Rich still managed to go again yesterday morning, they did it in less that 3 hours up and down which is amazing!!
The banda we stayed in was run by the community which is a great idea, there are 2 rooms- tiny!- and a main living/kitchen area. We got to cook ourselves when we wanted, but a lady came to make lunch and supper. Spent the week living off spagetti with potato soup and eggs, so avoiding them for a while! Never wanna look at spagetti again!!! We had the most AMAZING view, miles of flat land then random mountains appearing from nothing. When it was a good evening we had a beautiful sunset and could see Mount Killimanjaro. Got a photo which I will put up when I can. Work wise we are in the local school, about a 30 min walk down the mountain (I have bad a bad foot all week, so for this to be the week when we walk EVERYWHERE it has got worse! Was hobbling the whole time!) It was built by BT 2 years ago, and is the nicest school we have seen since we arrived. There are only 200 pupils and it was just really nice and clean, with a library and everything. We were whitewashing some new toliet blocks, and then cementing others. We were hoping to do some teaching, but it never really got arranged. It's probably my one complaint about this trip, I thought there would be a lot of teaching and we haven't really done any, and when we have it was cos we made them organise it, it kinda feels like teaching isn't actually part of the package which is a shame. Oh well....
Well gotta dash cos I have been on the internet for almost 2 hours and Emily and I need some lunch! Things that need to be said... Well done Tom on getting a 2:1 at Uni (he thinks!) and good luck finding a job, good luck dad at the new job, hope everyone at home is better! Hope all the exams are going well, you will all have done great I know it! Also, can't believe everyone here goes home in 2 weeks and then Rocky will be here, how crazy is that?!?! Argh it has gone so quickly, I am now halfway through so it is all downhill from here! Haha.
Lots of love and miss you all
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 04:06 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

Mid-TSavo

sunny 27 °C

Hi everyone!! Sorry for my last blog, just read it back and it is awful! Might have been cos I was on the phone while I was writing it, there we go I will Just blame Rocky... Haha maybe not. So I'm basically halfway through Tsavo now, and can you believe that this placement ends 3 weeks today?! Then I will be with my godfather in Nairobi for a few days before Rocky gets here, then off we go. Scary.
We had such a long journey to get here, the sanctuary is off the main road between Nairobi and Mombassa, took about 5 hours I think, but it was all a bit of a blur if I'm honest! We stopped off at a HUGE supermarket in Mombasa and went wild buying food. It was one of those places where you can buy anything, we loved it! The camp is owned solely by Camps International, and isn't in the TSavo East reserve, but it near it, and there are still all the animals you would expect, but we are the only people who can see them, and they walk right past the camp at night. Where we are staying can hold up to 160 people, so it's pretty big, and until yesterday there were other groups there as well,but now we have the place to ourselves! There are two bandas we are staying in, in bunkbeds which feels like I'm back at school , and we have an eating area where we also hang out, then showers and stuff you would normally expect. Our banda (the girls) we have a resident bat, who I have called 'bat' -original I know- and he just hangs with us, sleeping all day!
Work wise it's pretty chilled. The first morning we were up at 5.45 for an early morning game drive, then did nothing till 4, when we went on another one! Glad of that though cos I was NOT well on the weekend! When we got up for the first game drive, I woke up and was sick almost immediately! Then spent the whole drive in pain and collapsed into bed as soon as we got back. Rolled out for the second drive and then died again!! SO happy I made myself get up though, cos we saw zebra, wilderbeast, buffalo, giraffe, loads of birds and a pregnant cheetah which was amazing! Got such a good photo of her lying down staring at the camera that I promise I will put up when I can. Then in the evening we saw a lion walking away from us, but apart from that the lions have avoided us which is a shame.
We have also done sanctuary maintainance, clearing the airstrip, did drainage work i the school, which was hard to visit cos it is in such an awful state, I almost cried. The original classrooms are basically mudhuts, and they have up to 100 children trying to learn in these tiny rooms. There was also the fact that Camps promised the school a classroom 3 years ago, then ran out of funds and still haven't finished it which is SO BAD!!! Argh we all got really annoyed about it, the least you can do is make sure you have enough money BEFORE you start building! Other work has been waterhole maintainance, and workign on the tree nursery in camp, which is fun!
We move into the local villages on Friday, and are climbing a mountain o Sunday, then on Monday it's my birthday!! Whoop!! We have no signal out here, so I can forgive you all for not calling me and things, but I do expect hundreds of facebook messages in return! haha joking...Anyways gotta run cos I am late meeting everyone for lunch, next time I can write will be either next friday or thursday when I am in Mombasa.
Oh, good luck to everyone doing exams! you will all do great I promise... HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tom for Saturday, and what else, oh yeah chin up guys for Man U losing last week, I watched it and it was such a bad game!!
Love you all lots and miss everyone LOADS!
Emma xxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 02:25 Archived in Kenya Comments (1)

Day before Tsavo

sunny 32 °C

Ok yes, so I keep saying that this is the last time I can write a blog for ages, and then I reappear again, so I'm sorry but I will try to stay away now! We are all making the most of our last day at the beach for a while, so it was bikins at the ready this afternoon, and thankfully the weather has been BEAUTIFUL! Tonight we are going to a restaurant called Ali Babar's Cave (owned by the same guy who owns FOrty Theives suprise suprise!) which is described as the second best place in the whole of Kenya, so obviously we thought, why not?! It's like expensive England prices, which out here is sooo expensive, but we are hardly gonna spend anyting in Tsavo so thought we would splash out. Also, we are planning a safari in Tsavo, but just trying to haggle down the price with the office out here, we're such pros at haggling now, be aware!!!
Anyway on to this week, the rugby was such a laugh at the weekend, we also met a load of similar age lot as us, which was really refreshing, we all chatted about our travelling plans and listened to their stories which was cool, cos everyone is saying that Tanzania is not worth the money to get in, but maybe if Rocky and I have enough money we could do it right at the end, or maybe we could just save it for more important things? What does everyone think? On Monday I was ill, yes the immune system was finally beaten, 7 weeks in! Was nice though, spent the day on the sofa sleeping, we realized that the latest any of us have slept in is like 9 so we are all shattered, and we are up at 7.30 6 days a week, it's crazy!
On Tuesday we went to a children's orphanage an oh my god they are soooo cute!!!! I just want to take them all home with me, the list of them is growing! We were putting barbed wire around the land, cos it's open land otherwise. The orphanage is a single classroom with about 40 kids ranging in age from 4 to 8, and they are all so cute, we took balloons and bubbles, and they all went a bit crazy! I helped make their lunch, which was porrisge made of maize and sugar and loads of water. They normally have rice and beans but they can't afford it at the moment, so we all gave some money so they could buy it. In the afternoon we made posters for the classrooms both at the school and the orphange. Then yesterday we went back to the orphanage and the did teaching after lunch. Teaching was amazing, but we haven't done much yet, so I will go into it further when I get back from Tsavo and have done more.
Gotta run cos I'm on the phone to Rocky and he's complaining that I'm costing him money to listen to me type!
Love you lots and miss you, speak soon in a couple of weeks...
Emma xxxxxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 07:30 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

Back in Makongeni for a week

rain 23 °C

This week has gone so quickly! I guess it's because we have only done a day and half's worth of work, and that we aid goodbye to the 6-weekers on Wednesday. It's unbelieveable to think that I'm over halfway through this part of the trip, and that in 6 weeks Rocky will be here, and it will all be starting again! I am loving every single minute of this, I don't think I have ever felt so welcomed as I do in the village, I have my own special friend, who is called Mohammed and is 11, he always waits for me when I'm working, then comes over to chat. I do just want to put him in pocket and bring him home with me, what do you think Mum and Dad? Can I pull a Madonna?!
On Tuesday night, Jofri (our chef) cooked us a really nice meal, to say goodbye to the people leaving. It was so sweet but unfortunately a bbq just doesn't work when you only have a gas fueled stove to work with, so the baked potatoes were a little solid, and the chicken a little underdone, but I didn't get any food poisoning, so go Jofri!! (( N. B. He made up for it the next night though, we had the most AMAZING meal of mushroom soup to start, followed by chopati (dunno how you spell it) which is like really thick pancakes made of flour, kinda like tortillas I guess, with beef curry, the best dish we have had (gonna make them when I get home) and then passionfruit to finish... Yum!)) So then we had a few drinks at camp, got dressed up and hit Forty's. It was a great night, even if a few of us got chatted up by some hammered Brits, who kept offering to buy us drinks and feeling us up, just not leaving us alone. But that was soon forgotten when I had to look after most of the group, basically out of the 16 of us that went out, over the night and following morning, 10 of us were sick! Not me might I add! I was looking after people eho were passed out and throwing up, making sure everyone got home ok, and all that jazz. Thing is, none of us really drank that much, so maybe the interesting meal we had did have some effect after all! Everyone was suffering the next morning, I have no idea how the others got home with the hangovers that were goign around. We spent the whole day in Big Hut lying on the floor and eating junk food, great way to spend the day if you ask me! Most active point of the day was watching a rat fighting a snake, then laughing at the snake trying to eat the rat before it was killed by the guard.
We did some work on Thursday and Friday, deweeding the garden, when I get home Mum, I can help you down at the allotment! School had restarted while we were away, and the village has whole different atmosphere when they are there. We met the kids who are gonna look after the garden and explained what we had done and how it was gonna help them. I think the garden is great cos the difference from when we arrived is so obvious, I don't have a before photo, but you need to take my word that it was just a fenced off area, with nothing, and now it is planted, with a nursery and shaded areas for the plants to grow in. It really shows the work we do here off, and I've just gotta hope that I would be able to come back in a few years and see it really well developed... We also started the blackboard in the classroom, and we are gonna start putting the roof on as soon as the weather is a bit better. On Monday we start teaching, and I'm kinda worried that as I do it for a long period of time (a whole week) that I suck at it, and my whole future will go down the drain!!
We leave to go to Tsavo East NP on Friday, where I won't have any internet and very little phone access for a couple of weeks, so the blog will be abandoned for a while, guess you will all have to go wild with your imaginations. We have been told though that we are going through Mombassa to get there, and Rosie our guide promised that we can all get Burger King on the way!! I don't think we have been so excited about food the whole time we have been here! Even a chinese buffet and ice cream last night was as exciting!
Miss you all but there are more photos! Also there are some on facebook that people now at home have put up, I'm trying to tag myself in them so you can see them, the amazing one of me in my sexy poncho is up there!!
Love you lot and miss you!
Emma xxx

Posted by emmabanham 05:00 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

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