Sunday, June 21, 2009


June 18-19th

Ahh Oyugis is such a great town! I cannot believe I have been here for only a couple of days, it seems like it has been forever since I left home. Oyugis is already home. Although it is a small town there is always so much to do. Had the best chapattis ever at a restaurant down the street from our hotel. We were told that the restaurant makes 600- 900 chapattis a day. Crazy, I know. I also went to the marketplace yesterday and had such a time. The market place is enormous! There was everything being sold from tools to food to clothes to shoes made on the spot! When shopping around for clothes, every stall was pretty much selling the same stuff: same skits, kangas, shirts etc. This theme continued in most of the stalls we saw like the health product stalls, daily essentials, food and many more. We had planned on spending about half an hour at the stall but it ended up being a good hour and half cause the marketplace was so huge and tricky to manoeuvre through. We kept running into dead ends when trying to leave.

Later on in the day I met tons of more kids when we went to go play soccer with the kids in the neighbourhood. It was loads of fun. Also earlier in the day we went to the local school, Oyugis Primary School (grades 1-8) where we took group pictures of all the students and teachers present. That was amusing to watch as there were children EVERYWHERE with the teachers running after them to create some sort of an order. There were so many children that not all of them could fit into one picture. We had actually gone there hoping we could tutor the children in English or answer questions about Canada but the Headmaster and Head teacher just kept talking to us. I kept thinking that perhaps this is what schools are like in rural areas of Pakistan/ India. At one point it was interesting, and also kind of appalling, when the Headmaster pretty much snapped his fingers at the children to come get us chairs. I guess it is a common practice here, just like how younger children always have to listen to elders, even children older than them regardless of anything. Age seems to trump everything else. I also noticed that children who speak English, not all but most of them acted in almost an arrogant manner. It was really interesting to watch the dynamics of those relationships unfold. Don’t get me wrong though, many of the children I have met are so nice and know how to good time, at least at my expense. I found out last night that a lot of the Luo the children have been teaching has been wrong =/. I am going to get back at them!

While at the Internet cafe yesterday I found out that my African name is, Atieno! Atieno is a name given to those born at night. Met a lot more people at the cafe, all with interesting backgrounds that they shared with us. I am impressed that so many people here speak English. Also the guys at the Internet love western music. The song by Ciara ft Kanye, Knock You Down, is a favourite at the cafe. I am pretty sure it was set on repeat the last time we were there. I am pretty sure the Cafe owners are going to be crushed when we leave. Not because they love us, but because of the steady stream of income we give. Each of us use the computers for at least a good hour every time we go there.

Overall its great here, the air is always heavily scented with the smells of coals and what is being cooked. The streets are always busy with the different animals, people and vehicles frequenting the roads. Have not ridden a Boda Boda again, but maybe I will do that tomorrow with the girls. Serious work for the project starts tomorrow (Sunday). Have to get work done from no onwards! My project coordinator returns from Nairobi tomorrow, don’t worry though I will keep the stories coming. I will also post pictures when I have better internet connection. Trying to do at that the internet cafe will take days!

Interesting Things Learned and Seen!....This is going to be long =D

• Restaurants are called Hotels here, and hotels are also called hotels.
• There are signs of Coke everywhere! From store banners to flyers to everything!
• We know of only two places that have flushable toilets in their washrooms. 1) Our hotel and a restaurant called La Mulo (apparently they have awesome Spanish Omelettes but they were closed today =( )
• Children who are young kids themselves parent their younger siblings. I have seen so many kids as young as 5 who have already started tending to their younger siblings while their parents are out.
• When at the soccer game only a few girls who we play soccer have shoes and socks, all the other girls play barefoot; whereas, when we were watching the boys play, all of them had proper shoes and socks...
• All the food is cooked on coals, which is great cause I love the flavor it adds to our meals
• The irons here are heated by hot coals which are placed in an iron’s cavity
• The ball used for football is made out plastic bags stuffed inside each other then tied together with rope. I must say, it is fun to play with!
• The guys here are very affectionate, I saw tons of guys holding hands and/ or hugging each other while walking down a street in groups as large as 5!
• The school down the street has 1500 children who are taught by 28 teachers!
• English and math are taught to the students everyday while other subjects such as social geography are rotated throughout the week.
• Tuesdays and Fridays are the main market days! On these two days, Oyugis must at least double in population, or that is what it seems like as there is barely any room to move!
• Average income for people here is around 10 000 KSH. I CAD is equivalent to about 70 KSH...


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