Adventures on Rusinga Island

Random Elaboration about the Island

KENYA | Thursday, 9 August 2012 | Views [233]

Saturday 6/2

Last night I experienced my first rainstorm, which scared me to death. The roof is made of tin, so even a drizzle is deafening. I woke in the middle of the night and thought the roof was going to crash on me. I could have sworn it was hailing but no, just a regular rainstorm. My childhood dreams of having a tin roof are absolutely unfounded and silly.

The birds here chirp incessantly, expect most of the night. They begin at dawn, so the birds have been waking me up with the sun each morning. Some may consider this annoying, but I find it magical. The birds here are the only native African animals I have seen. All the animals around here are mostly livestock plus cats and dogs, and I find it amusing how they just roam freely. Most of the cows and goats have ropes around their necks, but they aren’t attached to anything. There are a ton of dogs here, but they are seen more as animals for protection of humans and crops than part of the family.

Nairobi and Kisumu are not much different from US cities, especially Nairobi. Perhaps a little more run down by US standards, but not much else is different. I will say one thing though: traffic is insane. Cars weaving in and out of each other, so many motorbikes almost hitting cars and people, it is just madness. I could never drive under these conditions.

And lastly, I forgot to mention earlier but on the day we arrived a young man died. Thankfully Alphonce warned us about what to expect from funeral rituals before they began. There was so much wailing, yelling, and screaming you would not believe. A large group of people gathered at the home of the young man and mourned in this fashion for hours. The cries lasted for about 5 hours, ending around 9 pm. Apparently the funeral usually takes place on the weekend, about a week after the death occurs. There is a great deal of wailing again, and the funerals take place at night. Then for the next week there is loud music coming from the home of the deceased. So I guess that is something to prepare for!

Tags: animals, funeral, rainstorm, transportation

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