After a 4 hour flight to Bangkok, an 11 hour layover followed by a 9 hour flight to Nairobi, I've made it to Kenya! I've been here about 8 days so far and have been super busy getting aquainted with my new home for the next month. Last weekend we drove about 4 hours to Lewa for the 2010 Safaricom Marathon. We camped out under the stars and the next day I tried my best to run a full marathon through a game reserve. It was intense. Much more difficult than I had originally thought and although the surroundings were inspiring and breathtaking, I couldn't pull off the full marathon and had to settle with finishing the half. I blame the jet leg coupled with my lack of training during my last few weeks in Taiwan. After an amazing weekend camping we were back in Nairobi.
I relaxed for a few days and on Wednesday I met up with some of my fellow volunteers and was taken to stay in a local Kenyan house for the night. My host, George was fantastic, really friendly and funny. It was great to finally be staying in an actual home after living 2 years pretty much entirely on my own.
We had orientation for the program Thursday and Friday and met the other volunteers. They're all really friendly and there is such a wide range of people from so many backgrounds, that everyone had an interesting story or two to tell. After orientation we were brought to our host family. Everything has been great so far....I start teaching on Monday but I'm a little nervous. I've heard from other volunteers that the conditions in the school are really tough to deal with....i.e. 40 kids in a class with only 7 books. We'll see how it goes. I'll be teaching there with another volunteer and the mother and daughter (who have already been here for 2 weeks) will continue to teach at the school for another two weeks. So it'll be good to talk with them and get their advice about what to expect in the classroom and in Kenya in general. There's no internet at my homestay and the accomadations are basic but comfortable. It's a big difference from the modern megapolis of Taipei. I don't know when I'll be able to blog again, but hopefully I can post bits when I get access to a computer, which might be a week from now or a few weeks.
We're planning on going to Mombossa next weekend and I've been thinking about climbing mount Kenya before I leave. But for now it's time to focus on teaching. I'm really nervous but I hope I can remember all the tricks and tactics I used with my class in taiwan to really make sure these kids enjoy learning.
I'm safe and sound in Kenya, I miss Taiwan a lot though. Monday is my first day teaching here in Kenya and I hope it goes well.