Last night we arrived back into Nairobi from a great trip to Mombasa, a beautiful city on the coast of Kenya. It was a mixture of work and play... and we were all very happy to get some play time in. Work wise, we checked out the construction site of a new bathroom facility in a slum there called Bangladesh. They have a fantastic community based organization (CBO) there who are taking on the management of this facility as part of their activities. It was pretty cool to see a facility under construction, as we have only thus far seen the finished product. It was also really interesting for all of us to experience how different this slum is from Kibera. In addition to having a much smaller population, the slum itself is much less dense - spread out over a large territory, open space everywhere which you are hard pressed to find in Kibera - the construction of buildings seemed much better and there was quite a bit of agriculture. Overall I think you could say we were experiencing a bit of slum culture shock.
OK on to the fun part. I'm going to tell this part mainly through photos because 1) we are leaving for another week long trip tomorrow morning and I am running out of time and 2) I was able to take photos before I dropped my camera and it died. Sad, I know. Anyways...
After spending a night in Mombasa town, we headed out to Diani Beach where were settled in to this lovely little cottage for the rest of the weekend. Fun story - there are lots of monkeys who inhabit these trees. I mean LOTS. And Monday morning, what did we wake up to? A monkey who had gotten into our house, had eaten ALL of our bananas... and proceeded to hang out for while. He was not small. But it was hysterical.
The view from our porch of the Indian Ocean.
The beach, with Rina's name visible in the sand.
Nate, Rina, Anthony and Renee chillin on the beach. I had fun teaching Anthony how to look for shells (treasures) on the beach. Turns out he's pretty fantastic at it and it's now his favorite thing to do. He also now thinks I am a pirate.
Camels on the beach. They charge a ridiculous amount of money for people to take a very short ride down the beach on them, but they are funny to look at.
Rina in front of her parent's newly built retirement home, in the lush highlands of Mombasa. So beautiful! We were lucky to meet her mom, Angelina, and spend an evening there.
The incredible, delicious meal Angelina prepared for us. Like I said we were lucky... and very full by the time we got home. Pictured here: chapatis, chicken, sukuma, corn, cow peas, lentils, potatoes, kachumbari. Yum Yum Yum. I wanted to move in.
And finally, sunrise on the last morning of our trip. Unfortunately the clouds were not cooperating, but it was still beautiful (my camera had died at this point and my phone doesn't really capture it). Luckily the clouds all went away shortly after sunrise, so we got in a few more glorious hours on the beach.
OK friends, that's all for now. Time to get ready for the next trip. Off to Othoo (spelling? we're not sure) a small village outside of Kisumu where we will be doing a hygiene training with 100 midwives. We'll also have some time to explore Kisumu and check out Lake Victoria :)