Gap Year: Kenya (Days 138 – 148)

Tuesday 25th May – Day 138

An early morning shopping trip, which included factor 50 sun cream – I wasn’t taking any chances!

Incredibly the entire day was spent on the beach, simply in and out of the ocean trying to body surf the waves and when it got too much, having s soda!

After being tempted for two days, we finally boarded our camels and headed along the beach – with me at the front, the natural choice as leader! The best bit was getting up and going down!

Dinner we’d booked through the hotel and was a BBQ affair, with Tomango soup (yes, as it sounds), followed by meaty delights and the obligatory salad and rice.

To finish the night off we shared out the Jeigermeister and had homemade JeigerBombs – regretfully it only made about 2 shots each.

Wednesday 26th May – Day 139

Snorkling!

Thankfully we didn’t have to get up too early for snorkeling, getting to the beach about 8.30.

It was exactly what you’d expect for 550KSh/5GBP. It was a little wooden boat, with a home made, leaking glass bottom! But the did provide us with masks and snorkels and mine worked fine…

The boat headed out to a small sandy island that had formed out in the ocean and moored up.

I’ll admit it was a little tricky at first – who knew breathing could be so loud? – but once you calmed down you felt just like a fish, it was like meditating. I managed to avoid the scary urchins, and get good glimpses of schools of little blue fish, sea snakes and coral.

To top of the experience, we took photos of ourselves underneath the glass bottom of the boat!

After lunch at 40 thieves I wondered the mile or 2 to Nakumatt, being greeted by the locals and invited into their shops. The closer I got to Nakumatt, the more desperate and begg-y the people became.

To finish off the night we once again proceeded to 40 thieves and had a few drinks, culminating in Heather doing rolly-pollys down the beach!

Thursday 27th May – Day 140

Since the kite-surfing companies were shut for the low season, Heather and I found ourselves with a little extra cash, so we convinced Vic to come back to Mombasa with us and catch the train to Nairobi again.

We chilled at 40 thieves one last time, taking lunch there, before the 3 of us headed back in a private hire.

Dumping our bags at the station, we caught tuk-tuks around Mombasa, firstly to Fort Jesus. A Portuguese sea defense, later taken over by Arabs, followed by a tour of the crooked, crowded streets of Arab old town Mobasa.

By this point time wasn’t on our side, so we caught another tuk-tuk to Nakumatt, bought snacks, coloured paper, birthday banners, masks and hooters.

Once on board we made ourselves Wizard Hats! Mine was ‘da bomb!’ Running down the carriage on the way to dinner we cast spells and deflected them…

Friday 28th May – Day 141

I don’t understand why they wake us at 7am for breakfast, yet the train arrives at 10am?!

Unfortunately we arrived at Milimani Backpackers again to find it full and had to walk in the rain to the Youth Hostel down the road – not as nice.

Then we discovered Heather had left her toiletries bag and some clothes on the train! We had to wait to see if her things would turn up.

Lunch we went to Pizza Inn – unlike last week though, we actually found it, and it being Friday, it was 2-for-1! Then I had a strawberry sundae!

The station rang back and it was all found! We swung by the station on out way to the National Museum.

The Museum was professional looking – the most western thing I’ve seen in a long time! I really enjoyed the display charting human evolution.

Desperate to see Prince of Persia we caught a taxi to the Sarit shopping centre, only to find it doesn’t do Friday afternoon or evening shows.

We had to regroup and form a new plan to go to Fox cinema in 20th Century Plaza.

Thankfully they had a showing and we settled in to watch it – it was… alright.

After we found a little Italien restaurant and I settled down to a Spag Bol with milkshake.

This had been perhaps the best day of the holiday. Being only 3 of us, things were decided quickly and followed up even faster.

Saturday 29th May – Day 142

A horribly early start, but our taxi man was on time.

The trip was spent asleep, almost solidly, apart from toilet breaks, lunch and the border.

Somehow we managed to get back into Uganda no hassle, though the border guy did think my passport photo was Heather!

Getting back to Lugazi, I got a rolex and a hug from Esther at 5 Angels.

Back in the house a few more things had been knicked, plus we’d gain mice. A fact I found out for sure when 2 bounced down my net and one crawled across my leg.

Sunday 30th May – Day 143

The first few hours of the day were spent unpacking and rearranging my shelves.

I popped in Kampala in the afternoon, cashed traveller’s cheques, printed photos and spoke to Jo and Kitty on Fb.

Joseph was apparently cooking us dinner in the evening, so naturally I went and had an early dinner of BBQ chicken breasts at Spur.

At 7pm I was just heading back when Ben rang to tell me he’d only just passed through the border!

When I got back to Kitega, I rang to see where Boz was – still in Kampala!

Not that it mattered, Jose[h hadn’t cooked dinner…

I met up with Ben in the village and headed back.

Opening the door, I could see more stuff had been stolen!

New locks from Kampala were needed!

Monday 31st May – Day 144

Mine and Ben’s first day back at school!

The timetable’s gone – they’re going to redo it…

Lessons were so-so, and at lunch time we took along Ben’s Aussie rules ball and played with them.

Lunch was 5 Angels and I saw a kitten in a supermarket!

In the evening we were going round Paul’s, so we rented Harry Potter 1-5 on DVD and started watching it round there, only for the power to cut out half way through for a couple of hours.

Finally, when we did have power, the disc froze! We won’t rent it again for the other 4 films.

Not long after Boz showed up, having gone to town to try and renew his Visa – he was unsuccessful.

Tuesday 1st June – Day 145

At breaktime I had a Chai Latte! One of the packets Ben’s mum had sent out for us!

Boz had gone to Sophie’s project to ask her about getting a Visa at Port Bell (a border control on Lake Victoria) unfortunately for him, she’d gone to Port Bell that day with Shaun!

During the afternoon, Ben and I practised our Aussie Rules kicks on the Lugazi Homeland College field – I’m looking tanned all over!

Dinner we tasted out one of the local food joints. We had matoke, rice, cassava, sweet potato and really good meat!

Around 10pm we wondered where Boz had got to – he was staying at Backpackers!

Wednesday 2nd June – Day 146

Charles was back in P6, only 3 kids failed the spelling test in P4!

With it being a public holiday the next day, we headed down to Shaun and Oscars project in Lukojo.

Unsurprisingly, the boys didn’t cook for us and we had rolex. But we did get to watch twilight in the landlord’s house.

Thursday 3rd June – Day 147

Managed to make a start on The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s nest!

I had chapatti for breakfast, the lads had a full Ugandan meal! Urgh!

We visited Shaun and Oscar’s school, where we played football for a couple of hours – topped up my tan some more!

Back at their house we watched another film before Ben and I had to hitch back to project. It get awfully cold on the back of a pickup truck once the sun’s set.

Boz had attempted Port Bell with Emma today, but being a public holiday, it was shut, so they were going back the next day.

Friday 4th June – Day 148

School was as good as ever.

Lunch was a simple spaghetti and ketchup affair – not good.

Then we were meant to push to Kampala, only the heavens opened for a couple of hours, and then Ben’s keys magically went missing from the padlock. After much searching, he had to go get new locks from Lugazi.

We locked up with a mix of old and new padlocks, and I went in to Kamapala.

I can only presume there was a traffic accident as I went 2 different routes south of Mukono before turning round, and taking a Northern approach, going past Shaun and Oscar’s house and project.a

We were out celebrating Georgia and Rosie’s last Friday night in Uganda – they were leaving on Wednesday!

I got out at Garden city and had a Cafe Java dinner before meeting the girls at the National Theatre to see ISU’s production of Aladdin Jr. I got to sit next to Emma, who played Maria in the Sound of Music.

After having a NYK dinner,l we got to Backpackers at 10pm and only had time to shower before we were off to Iguanas.

To get there we travelled in Freddie’s (a guy from Backpackers) 4×4 – all 16 of us!

The music was fair and I didn’t had home until 3am and bed about 4am.

By J.Molkenthin

James Molkenthin is an enthusiastic and energetic British Designer, with a background in Graphics, Website and Product Design.