dude, over here.
source of the Nile
solid waste disposal
dude, over here.
source of the Nile
solid waste disposal
Read about it on Salon
or with a development economics perspective at the Center for Global
It's the only mountain bike race I can find in Kenya. It looks like
there was a series called Rift Valley Adventures in 2009, but I don't
think it's still going on. Obviously I've never raced before, and I
realized today that I put my feet down _all the time_ while riding to
get over abrupt ditches and stuff, meaning I have next to no technical
skill, but if this isn't too steep of a downhill race, it looks like
it could be awesome.
How I got this movie, since it apparently hasn't come out yet in the
States, I don't know.
Obviously I'd start and end in Busia, I just mapped it this way
because there's a ferry I couldn't get google to include. It'd be a
little over 1500km. That's doable on a bike in two weeks, right? I'd
definitely do it during the dry season when the roads are better.
Speaking of dry season, that is _not_ right now. I'm going to have to
become a morning person to get my running in--a storm starts at 6PM
every evening, frequently with lightning and occasionally hail.
Feeling better today, and feeling like I need to get out of town this
weekend. Might just ride my bike south and try to make it to the lake
at Sio Port, or maybe I'll just go to Kisumu to get away from
On an unrelated note, my intestines are on fire and heading for the
nearest exit. I think the least they could do is pull these pranks
during the work day so I could have an excuse to stay home.
On a more pleasant note, I've been doing laps on the airstrip a few
times now. A high school student started running with me the other
day, which is way more fun than when the little kids do it--they just
scream "mzungu" and can't keep up for very long. Unfortunately I've
been rained out the last couple days. Gumball-sized hail yesterday.
Swahili lessons are going well, and thunder storms are intense here.
John Reader's Africa: A Biography of the Continent is boring because I
don't care about geology, but Dexter Filkin's The Forever War is
My diet has changed here. Instead of subsisting on my homemade
nut-butter and oats energy bars, granola, avocados, hummus, and
olives, I eat homemade energy bars, peanut-butter sandwiches,
avocados, beans, and a tiny bit of scotch. (I haven't found any
bourbon yet.) I cooked dry beans that required soaking (butter beans)
for the first time in my life just now. They're a little chalky.
I should probably work on getting my job market paper ready for
I'm totally still (dreaming of) riding my bike home from Kenya in
2013. Who's in? BF? Nano? Why did I not look at a map when I mentioned
it last time? Juba to Khartoum is totally unnecessary thanks to this
whole thing called "Ethiopia." You can cross the border from Ethiopia
50km from Khartoum, which I'm just guessing is reasonably safe. Can
you get a visa at that crossing? Why does Lonely Planet never mention
land border crossing visas? You can get them easy at any crossing for
Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, so why is there only info about
airport and embassy visas?
That's the goal, anyway. Waddya have to say for yourself now, AIDS?
For what it's worth, assuming that the Busia airstrip is 1km long,
that's about as fast as I could manage for one lap going nearly all out this
evening, but I've got 3.5 months, so I think I might have a chance.
Funeral wakes here are held from 10PM to 4 or 5 in the morning, with
speakers blasting crappy world-beat amusement park ride music at
ridiculous levels right in your neighborhood for up to two weeks at a
time. Apparently they attract drunks walking around at night who then
play little betting games with the DJ to raise money for the family.
Or so I've heard. After two nights of sleepless torture (earplugs were
insufficient), I finally beat them last night by putting 6 hours of
white noise on my iPod.
P&O were back in town with P's parents, and the office had a goat
roast for them at Mbugwa's house. Mbugwa is a very nice taxi driver in
town that we like to use because he does awesome things like drive
safely and clean the battery terminals in his car while he's waiting.
He also lives a couple houses down. P&O paid him to slaughter a goat
and several chickens for us. I watched with rapt attention for a
couple hours as he killed, skinned, and cleaned the goat carcass,
explaining everything as he went along. He said a little prayer of
thanks before slicing the goat's neck and made sure it was over
quickly. He and his sons were very professional about the whole thing,
and he used literally every part of the animal down to the hooves.
When it was apparent we had drastically over-estimated the amount of
food we'd eat, he invited the dozens of neighborhood kids watching
longingly from just outside his front gate into his compound to finish
off the leftovers. So when offered some kidney, intestine-packed
sausage, and ribs, I couldn't really find anything wrong with
partaking. I thought the whole thing was pretty fascinating--a few of
my friends were totally grossed out by the slaughter and then chose
not to eat any meat. I, on the other hand, had no problem with it.
When people ask why I'm (normally) veg/vegan, I usually say "because
meat is cruel, inefficient, and bad for the environment" or something
like that. But I guess I clearly don't think it's cruel to kill an
animal under all circumstances, I mostly think it's cruel to force
animals to live in cramped filthy conditions and then pay an
undocumented immigrant less than the minimum wage to kill them by the
Sunday I wandered over to Busia, Uganda, bought some fabric, and
climbed the tallest building in town--currently under construction,
and at eight stories tall, home to what will be only the second
elevator in all of Western province. (Also home to the liquor
store--scotch, but no bourbon, so sad.)
Don't read this awesome New Yorker article about how energy efficiency
just makes people use more energy. First of all it's gated, so unless
you're a subscriber, you can't. Second, the planet is doomed, and
that's not fun to hear.