Monday, 24 March 2014

Kenya one month on, the journey continues.

Wow, it has been one month since I left the UK to begin my adventure in Kenya, where has that time gone?

What a month. It has been incredibly hot everyday (pretty sure it’s never dropped below 28 degree Celsius even at night) and I have sweated more than I thought humanly possible. Having a pig rub up against me while looking for the colobus monkeys in a private residence was interesting. Being attacked by a turkey that I think has masculinity issues was definitely a thrill ride I will not forget in a hurry. Same as ridding on Matatu’s, which are pretty much old beaten up mini-buses with parts missing, more people than seats crammed on, loud reggae music and many stickers obstructing the drivers view with Islam messages like ‘God is great’ or Bob Marley saying ‘One Love’. Was really funny when the driver went over a speed bump and the engine cut out; with a resounding cheer from the passengers. Oh and the conductor who takes the money (16p a ride) hangs outside the side door with many notes between his fingers whistling at anyone to get them on board. Matatu’s have been banned driving at night after too many accidents; don’t worry Mum I am being careful.

The pig that kept very close to me

I have enjoyed swimming in the warm sea as much as possible and relaxing on the golden sand beach. I have now bought a snorkeling kit and swam out and saw some coral and clown fish (Nemo), zebra fish and other colourful individuals. Can’t wait to take a boat further out to the reef close by and then go to a marine park area when my family arrive in June. 

Watching monkey autopsy’s being carried out by Martr the volunteer vet was very interesting, taught me a lot about their anatomy and there strange circle shaped hearts; no one knows why this is. With the work of Colobus Conservation the amount of monkey injuries has drastically dropped, due to initiatives like power cable insulation, planting of more native trees and Colobridges going over the main road.

The team going out to insulate some power cables

The cherry on the cake though has been having hundreds of primates all around me all the time; they are part of the landscape and that is fantastic. You have the Angolan black & white colobus, the Sykes and Vervet monkey as well as the Yellow Baboons, and then at night you have the Bush Babies making some interesting noises. The different characters of the species are really fun to watch; they will be covered in future blog posts. However, I think it is clear that the Sykes are definitely the funniest to watch with their glowing eyes and bobbing heads.

A Sykes monkey, no matter what angle you get they are funny

A beautiful Angolan Black & White Colobus monkey
The baboons have a powerful odour to them and roam the floor in large groups like the school bullies seeing who they can pick on (it usually ends being their own group). Being in the middle of a Baboon/Dog/Human firing rocks via catapult battle was pretty hair raising, but I live to tell the tale; well that was pretty much the tale.

Yellow Baboon mother and baby

When I am walking round a lot of the locals recognise the colobus T-shit and shout ‘COLOBUS’ at which I say back ‘Jambo’. It could be my red backpack and blue clipboard that gives it away more; they have kind of become my trademark items now. Speaking of Jambo my Swahili is coming on well and although I can’t string loads of sentences together I know most of the useful words, greetings and how to tell people trying to sell me things, ‘No I do not want it thank you’ or ‘Hapana sitaki asante sana’.

All in all I have now settled in very well and although the heat is on average 32/33 degrees Celsius I am being told the rains are coming in soon and the temperature will drop; admittedly only to around 28/29/30, but it will be a welcome change. Oh I nearly forgot, I watched the sunrise a few days ago and it was simply magical, a picture just can't do the moment justice, but I tried.

The Diani Beach sunrise

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments, there better be comments.

As always the pictures are owned by the author and under their copyright. They are uploaded at a lower quality as my internet in Kenya is slow.

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Kwaheri (bye)

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