Local Life Experience
Toyota Land Cruiser meets Donkeys; ………… A typical road experience in rural Kenya.
But “road rage” will definitely not be the outcome.
A brief stop, a friendly wave and the exchange of a few words of enquiry will be the most likely scenario.
Visit the Market
Buy something; but don’t pay the asking price immediately! Spend a little time to do some bargaining. The prices of most things (except basic commodities) are negotiable.
A bit of “haggling” adds some fun to the shopping experience — both for the buyer and the vendor.
Travelling in local public service vehicles (matatus) can be chaotic and, occasionally (not often) uncomfortable. But they are cheap, customer-friendly and a great way to get around. At one time these vehicle and the drivers had a bad reputation for being unruly – hence the “madness” epithet – but they have been greatly improved in recent years.
Join the Dance
If you visit one of the local cultural groups, you will surely be invited to join in the revelry. Don’t be inhibited; you will be soon be captured by the rhythm.
Sometimes these groups visit lodges and hotels. At other times, it is necessary to visit them in their villages.
Share a Photo
Take a brief time to exchange pleasantries with the people as they go about their daily lives. Courtesy and respect are a big part of African life.
Yes, take that nice photo for the folks back home; but give something small in kind to your new friends as a token of appreciation for the time they have spent.
Visit a Homestead
This is really the best way to understand how people live and the challenges they face. Unless you are very far from a town, you will be able to converse in English with most members of the family.
A good time to visit is planting or harvesting time. You can join in the activities.
Visit a Local School
Be sure to get permission in advance from the head teacher, as the children, especially younger ones, can get terribly excited by the arrival of strangers.
You may be very shocked by the poor conditions in which some of the children learn. But you will surely enjoy the new experience; — and the kids will be happy and very attentive to all your words and actions!
Star-Gaze the Night Away
At the altitude of Kerio View (2350m), the unpolluted atmosphere enables the possibility of beautiful vistas of the night sky.
The best shows will be in the dry season. It is essential to find a viewing location away from all street and building lights. This is not as easy as it used to be a few years ago because of “progress” in rural electrification.
Some lodges provide a special, outdoor, “starbed” for the heavenly show. KV DOES NOT —- unless you are an eskimo couple! But KV will assist with warm duvets, telescope and suitable liquid refreshments to get you through the long night.
Get a Haircut
Its a great way to have a conversation and pick up local news in a short time.
Inevitably, there will be a chart on the wall showing the latest hair-style fashion choices. You will certainly leave with less hair, but with a lot more news and possibly, with a new “afro” image.