Sorry for not posting anything for a while…power outages always seem to interfeer with my internet attempts.  And the Kenyans still refuse to teach me how to swear in Swahili!  It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon now, and the monsoon novelty has definitely worn off, let me tell you.  Most days we walk from our house to the matatu stop through raging rivers, and most nights we wash the sewage off our feet.  Unless there is no running water…  It’s usually too rainy to hang wet laundry outside, so Kora and I put up a clothesline in our bedroom.  Who knew that wet cotton underwear could attract to many fruit flies?  Mine were absolutely covered last night.  Sorry to gross people out.  Let’s just say that my cleanliness standards have been somewhat altered during this experience…

Work is still going well when one of the volunteers doesn’t have malaria, food poisoning or similar!  I have been totally fine so far (knock on wood).  We had a bunch of activities for Girls Challenge Violence Day last week, which were really interesting.  Attitudes towards gender are pretty different here.  For instance, while most of the Kenyan guys at Kwacha firmly believe that women are not property, they care more about protecting women rather than protecting women’s rights.  We facilitated a discussion about rape at a polytechnic high school in the community, and the overwhelming group attitude was that women provoke rape by dressing in a tempting manner, and that a woman who wears provocative clothing therefore “deserves” to to be raped.  It left the Canadians kind of speechless.  It’s really hard for me know how to respond to that type of mentality without stamping my foot and telling someone he’s wrong (and stupid!), which, rest assured, I did not do.

On the other hand, the procession we did in Jonvu the following day was a totally effective way of raising awareness about gender equality.  Kwacha partnered with Big Dreams, a similar NGO, and we marched through the community with music, leaflets, dancing and singing.  The procession grew as we walked, throngs of children joined in, and then everyone came back to the starting point for speeches and skits.

What else is new and exciting?  This past Friday was a national holiday and we went to Shimba Hills Elephant Santuary.  The rainforest experience was very cool, and we saw a few animals, though nowhere near as many as on the Tsavo safari.  Of course it rained, which meant it was too slippery for the promised two hour hike to the natural waterfall.  We were not impressed and feeling more than a little stir crazy, so when the safari van got stuck in a combination of mud/elephant dung, getting out to push the vehicle was the highlight of the overpriced trip.  It was kind of like that scene in Little Miss Sunshine only with elephants. 

And we went out with the Kenyans last night, which was super fun.  It was our first night out in over a month, so it was totally welcome.  I can’t stress this point enough!!!  We went to a bar called Turkey Bayse (don’t ask) with live Kenyan bongo music, which is awesome.  Stanley, my host family’s 25-year-old-son who lives in Malindi but was home for the weekend, came out with us as well.  A few weeks ago, I innocently (and stupidly) told 13-year-old Ben, when pressed, that I thought his brother, Stanley, wasn’t a bad looking guy.  Ever since, there has been endless teasing about Bridget and Stanley.  And although absolutely NOTHING happened, last night was no exception.  Good times!

On that note, that’s all for now.  Hope everyone is well 🙂

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