Monday, July 30, 2007

Nakuru, Kenya Day 3: Finally Got There!

After a decent night of sleep helped much by ear plugs to muffle the sound of the karaoke bar/restaurant from across the street, I woke up sometimes in the morning. I got ready because I knew Abdul was to pick me up sometimes before lunch.

The phone rang half an hour after I got out of bed and it was Abdul telling me he was waiting for me downstairs. Timing could not have been better and I was ready for...well what was coming I guess even though I didn't know what was around the corner.

Abdul drove me about 2 minutes from to Hotel to the Mololine Company where I was to buy my ticket for my Matatu trip to Nakuru. after following Abdul's advice I put my camera away in it's bag and headed for the ticket counter where I paid my 300 Kenyan Shillings for the ride (5$ CAD).

I cramped my big backpack in the back of the Matatu and barely made it in with my photo bag on my lap. A Matatu, for those of you who are wondering, is a small really smaller than that! It has three rows of three seats and two in the front. If ever this thing was to be involved in an accident I would be stuck inside it because it's so small. The Matatu made it's way through the streets of Nairobi only to come to a stop after 5 minutes of driving. I didn't know what was going on and we had to get out of the vehicle. There, a tall man was looking at me with his hand I shook it. The man was a police officer and although he probably found me very courteous, he still looked into my bag and into the whole van to make sure we were not carrying weapons. This practice is standard for all Matatus before they go on their scheduled trips only I was not aware of that!!! Now we left for good!

The ride was a bit bumpy but not too bad. The scenery was a mix of hills and valleys with some amazing views of what looked to me like the Rio slums I had seen in a movie. The road side was full of vendors and little villages in which money had no place. The further we got from Nairobi, the less crowded the roadsides were which yield it's panorama to zebras, baboons, donkeys, cows and sheep.

Kenya was colonized by the British hence the driver on the right side of the car on the left side of the road. This combined with the fact that no apparent laws govern the streets and that driving is pretty reckless, makes you reconsider your 5$ ride. Maybe there was a cheaper and safer way to get to destination I thought?!

About two-thirds into the three-hour ride to Nakuru I was starting to get uncomfortable and quite annoyed with that van, what I didn't know was that the worse was yet to come. We took a turn into a village and after passing through it the road got bumpier...and bumpier...and bumpier until I could really say that this van was now off-raoding it's way to Nakuru. I was convinced the suspension would give way or the direction shaft would split in half not to mention my stomach which was upside down by now, good thing I didn't have anything to eat that morning. That last hour seemed like forever and when we finally reached our destination I was just relieved...!

This is the person that was there to greet me after this horrible ride. Although I had only met Alannah, one of Roth's co-founder, once at the fund raiser in Montreal, I was really happy to see her. She immediately made me feel at ease with her easy-going attitude like she was just walking through her own backyard.

She had arranged for a taxi to pick us up which was on time again. I started to feel my luck was good on this trip and everything was going smoothly.

After 10 minutes of driving, I finally reached my destination; The Mission In Action's Nakuru Baby Orphanage. Surrounded by a wooden fence like a fortress, the orphanage is quite a building, with beautiful glass work and floors with the MIA logo in it.

The huts where we stayed were besides maybe 150 meters away from the building and were round with hay roofs. Inside were bunk beds, bathrooms with shower and kitchen. A really decent place. That's when I met the other volunteers Emmanuelle, Emilie, Francis, Koby, Paul, Frederique, Tracy...

I was finally there and a warm feeling rushed through my body as if I had accomplished something already or maybe it was just the first time I felt that I was safe and sound. I was now surrounded with people who seemed so nice and so relaxed that I couldn't help feeling the same way. I was there, half way across the world...I was there and all the tight space in the planes, the logn hours of flight and the more-than-bumpy ride were all forgotten and seemed so cheap a price to pay to be in such a paradise. I was there and I was going to make the mos out of it!!!

Related Links
Nakuru, Kenya
Getting Ready for Kenya Part 1
Getting Ready for Kenya Part Deux
Africa Trip Day 1: Friday the 13th...!
Kenya, East Africa Day 2: By way of Air

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