African Roads

I’ve always been told Africa has some dusty roads.  That is an understatement.  Yesterday I travelled to some remote villages with an organization doing a water filter project to see how the pilot program was working.  The manufacturer of our stove liners actually produces these particular filters as well so we work closely with this organization.  We visited households, talked to women, and snapped some photos of people drinking the water.  People loved the filters and they were working great.  Those households, however, were far apart and we were driving on really bumpy, really dusty roads between each.  Since there’s no air conditioning (Or maybe they just don’t use it), you have to choose between the heat and the dust.  Eventually the heat becomes unbearable so you roll down your window to suck in a few breaths of cool, dusty air.  Then you close and repeat.  I think skipping lunch meant that I actually ingested more dirt than food.  And of course, your boogers are completely brown.

But I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining; I did learn a lot yesterday.  I was just really tired and hungry, which made the traffic jam on the way home even more irritating.  When there’s traffic, not only are you stuck but there’s dust and black exhaust you get to inhale.  My lungs may never be the same after Kenya.

Not all idle traffic is boring though.  We had a little incident on the way home that was quite interesting.  I was falling asleep in the front seat when I suddenly heard the American guy in the back seat yell “f you” at the top of his lungs.  In a flash I saw someone running away.  Apparently the guy’s window was open and a thief had tried to take his iphone.  Luckily his reaction was to grip the phone and didn’t get it stolen, but it was a close call.  It was my first interaction with robbery in Kenya and a good reminder to stay aware of my surroundings.  Just another aspect of African roads that makes every day an adventure.

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