Day 331: Interesting Facts We Learned About Kenyans (at least the ones around here).

by Lara Vogel, lara@trippingonwords.com

Point One: They seem to have temperature confusion. We guess that this arises from the fact that their temperature is consistently within five degrees of just about perfect. They show up at PE in 75 degree sunny weather wearing a sweater, over a collared shirt and tie that are in turn over a t-shirt. They then complain when they have to take it off that it is too cold outside and the teachers literally have to cajole and threaten (in the interest of cleanliness for people who do not have much clothing) that they take off their heavy wool sweaters.

This would be fine. One would guess that Kenyans are just always cold. But then when we try to convince them to go running with us at sunset instead of dawn, they complain that it is too hot in the evenings. Though again, they don wool hats, sweaters and slacks by 5 PM.

Which brings us to Point Two: Kenyans seem to enjoy running in the dark. Not all of them, I will be fair. When we woke up at FOUR THIRTY this morning to prepare for the five AM run the Kenyans insisted would be the best time, we felt confident that all would be called off as the moon was still high in the sky and I could see about 6 times the usual Boston number of stars. Nothing doing. They ran, and they ran fast. Happily, Claire and I decided to “stay with the slower girls for safety” as we had the headlamp, but Jonathan was forced to run a 25-minute 8km run panting behind quick-sprinting Kenyans in an effort to keep up as the sound of their footsteps was all that could guide him home.

It was nuts. Unfortunately (extreme sarcasm noted) this seems the 5 AM runs will not become routine. Sigh.

Point 3: Caring for other people is emotionally exhausting. Aside from the two PE classes, the 4 AM wake up call and the 5 AM run, we have decided that helping other people and working outside of classically defined conditions of “work” is extremely draining. More on this later when I am less tired.

All in all a wonderful day. Lots of running, lots of name learning, I learned to count to 29 in Kiswahili, and I overcame any foot karma I may have had from years of hating on this part of the body. For a long long time I hated feet and avoided them at all costs…today, I had to take measurements of 150 orphan feet and spent the rest of the morning sorting through used sneakers. I think the feet of the world have finally paid me back for years of insults.

We are growing here, people.

3 comments:

Adam said...

sounds like fun. i think. i hope you're able to post pictures soon.

Brian said...

We are so excited you are there! And also can't wait to see pictures - say hi to the kids for us - Katie and Brian Thomas

sarah mac said...

positively brilliant, ladies. really it 'tis.

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