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!