Biking around the Kenyan Countryside

Looking uber-cool on my borrowed mountain bike.

Looking uber-cool on my borrowed mountain bike.

Before coming here I never imagined myself biking around in the Kenyan countryside, but low and behold that is what I found myself doing last weekend.

In the last three months I haven’t had much opportunity to keep up my physical fitness.  You always know that you should, that the rest of your life will run much more smoothly if you just take the time to work out 30 to 60 minutes a day, but when deadlines loom it never works out that way.  Needless to say, I am out of shape and the three hour bike ride on unpaved roads really took its toll.

Paul and I biking along in the countryside.

Paul and I biking along in the countryside.

And was so worth it.

Cars are so ubiquitous in the developed world, at least in the States.  Even in low-income areas, no one will blink twice if a car pulls into the neighborhood.

But last week while we were looking at the different project sites, the taxi we were taking was very out of place on roads that rarely see any motorized vehicles.  We also didn’t really have an opportunity to see any of the villages and markets between the project sites.

The hand pump at Chiga Primary School

The hand pump at Chiga Primary School

The bicycles, however, were a different story.  We were still quite visible, but in a more accessible way.  Almost every few meters we were being greeted by people of every age.  They seemed to find the muzungos on the bicycles quite funny.  We even stopped into the market in Chiga Village to get some cokes.

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Our bikes, all piled up next to the coke stand.

It truly was a good idea to get around the countryside in this manner.  I got a much better feel for the areas and the way in which people live there.

I promised some pictures of our apartment (here they call it a house?) as well!

The view from our front door.  So many water tanks!

The view from our front door. So many water tanks!

We live in a neighborhood called Kenya-Re, which you can find on Google Maps!  It is one of the safest areas in Kisumu and has its own security, which I am quite happy about.

We were initially supposed to be staying in a three bedroom apartment, but due to a typically African snafu, we are in a one bedroom within the same complex and will be moving at the beginning of March to the three bedroom.

With running water, electricity, a fridge, a microwave, and a camp stove I do not believe we have anything to complain about!!  We even have a toilet and a shower (of sorts).  Add to the fact that we have only a 20 minute walk to our office, and I’m happy as a clam.

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I feel like a princess sleeping under this mosquito netting.

When we can get someone in here to do our laundry I will truly feel like a queen.  And a clean one at that.  Needless to say, my pathetic attempts at hand washing leave quite a bit room for improvement.

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