Other than when I first arrived in Kenya, with my entire life in tow, I try to pack and travel light due to complications and safety. This was my first vacation, a long vacation, and as lightly as I tried to pack I still traveled with the largest amount of luggage since my first moments here.
This was also my first big trip alone. The first hurdle was getting from my house to the matatu with a medium rolling luggage, my 32L day pack, and my small camera bag. I snagged the first *empty* matatu and the entire ride to Kisumu was effortless. Things only got bad on the matatu to Rongo. The first snag was a traffic check. Since most matatus lack proper anything, when real police checks happen, you get out of your matatu and find another. For me, this meant walking 1km with all my things and shuffled onto a waiting matatu. All clear..for the moment..then at the Homa Bay stop, apparently this matatu was done and then I was passed along to a car. Hungry, frustrated, hot, and tired..I was crammed to the window. In a car that should fit 6 people at most, we had 10 people, including two people in the drivers seat. I don’t even know how we drove as far as we did before three people spilled out, giving me a moment to adjust and breathe before being packed in again. After all of this we finally got to our destination, but I was so frustrated at that point I didn’t realize it , and after a verbal exchange of sailor slang with the drive, a very nice mama assisted me in finding the bus station and a place to eat and calm down. I was flooded with relief as I met another PCV (Jen) on the road who took me to Ben’s home. Candy from home and cold beer can make any shitty day better, I promise.
My final leg of the journey before Ethiopia was more streamlined because I took a direct bus into Nairobi. It was a long bus ride, but no getting on and off, which was a relief. We even stopped for a bite and rest at this wonderful choma place and I had the best kuku choma (roasted chicken) I have ever had yet in Kenya! Nairobi maintains perfect ease of travel because I always make sure to hire the same driver, who is a blessing for all PCVs because he knows the area well and gives us great rates. Naturally, I enjoyed some froyo after dinner (twice), my big treat when I get to go to Nairobi!