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October 19, 2011

This weekend was COMPLETELY FREE and designated as our independent study prep from Saturday-Tuesday but because I am staying in Nairobi for ISP, 6 friends and I decided to spend the weekend in Kisumu! It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and I definitely need to go back before I leave Kenya in December! I don’t have much to say but I’ll try and summarize our weekend as best as possible 🙂


We left Sam’s house at around 6am (it was supposed to be 5:30am but Africa time is never dependable) and took off in our own private matatu van with the 6 of us and Sam’s host mom, Mama Rose. After 7 hours in the van and a ton of Kindle reading, we got to Kisumu and headed for Obama’s father’s village! His dad died BUT his grandfather’s co-wife (not Obama’s actual grandmother but in African culture she basically is) is still living in the village and definitely loving all of the publicity and attention that comes with almost being Obama’s fake grandmother. We got there around 5pm (an hour after visiting hours ended), had our passports glanced at by “security,” bonded with Obama’s half cousin?, and waited 2 hours for Grandma Obama to get back from a fundraiser but WE MET HER for about 5 minutes and it was wonderful.


That night we stayed with some of Mama Rose’s friends (or relatives, I’m not certain) and made friends with the most hyperactive two year old I’ve ever met. Always an adventure.


Sunday we set out with the mission of seeing the sunset over Lake Victoria and basically structured our day around that. By the time we ate breakfast and got washed (both essential components of the morning routine…especially the eating part) there wasn’t much time to do things other than drive the 2 hours into the center of Kisumu, eat lunch, and head out to the lake. While we didn’t get to spend much time in the city of Kisumu itself, I am perfectly alright with that because we got to see the beautiful area around the lake and take out a boat to see HIPPOS! They are totally awesome. The sunset was also amazing and the scenery was incredible.

Sunset on Lake Victoria


We ventured back into Kisumu and went to a small version of the Museum of Natural History and saw some cool snakes and turtles before we began our drive back to Nairobi. Other than Lake Victoria, I honestly think the scenery on the drive back was my favorite part of this weekend and it convinced me to pitch a tent on the mountainsides of the tea producing area and live there forever. I don’t have a picture that does the mountains justice but the intense green color of the tea fields was really amazing. We also go to pass over the equator! So I momentarily returned to the Northern Hemisphere 🙂 It felt like home.

Tea Harvesting Area of Kenya

The Equator!

It was an awesome weekend with great new friends and I can’t wait until next week! I am headed to Tanzania for the last big organized program excursion. As a preview, I get to live with Maasai, go on a game drive and climb some of Mt. Kilimanjaro! I will be sure to take a lot of photos and put up a big post when I return.

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