26 November 2015

Bondo here I come.

Back in Africa. This time in Kenya, I am going to my first academic conference and I am very excited. We will be hosted by the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, in Bondo, which is about an hour and a half from Kisumu the third largest city in Kenya.  I am looking forward to talking to people about the same issues that concern me, project sustainability , technology transfer and more.
It is 8:15 in the morning, 11 hours have passed, since I started my trip (20:40 in Israel), I arrived in Nairobi, A bustling airport, people from all the corners of the world, all shapes and color, in the airport, American country music is playing in the background (s t r a n g e), I have a five hour wait here until I can take the flight to Kisumu, thank God for laptops and cell phones, I have a lot of work today and they have electricity charging points. Reading tension of Empire of F. Cooper and A. Stoler, an assignment we got, in class.

Malarone pills - apparently the kisumu area is a Malaris zone

Frustration kicked in and it is now 16:30, It has been 2 hours after I landed in Kisumu, I am so tiered – 18 hours have passed, from my departure from Israel. I expected the bus to be there at 14:30 and by now to be already in the hotel. But that is not going to happen. apparently he has to pick up some people at around 17:00, now he tells me they will come at 17:40, and since I have already waited so long, why not wait some more. The airport is quiet small so everyone already knew me. Everyone is trying to help, the poor stranded tourist, offering me their cell phone, their support, suggestions and such. The security guard came up and said "why do they behave like Africans" I was actually shocked to hear it from him and gave a slight smile, not knowing what to answer and continued to keep calm. Now I am told that the Pope (everyone is very excited) has landed in Nairobi so all flight are delayed, they are supposed to arrive at 18:00, they did not, at 19:00 we decided to leave just me and the driver. FUN.

Kisumu from the plane

What was going in my mind: I can't stand it any-more, it's too hot I need a shower, a bed and I am starting to get hungry, my last meal was at 10:00 in the morning; I decided to play it "African", waiting, not getting annoyed, this is the African experience, many Africans wait for hours, see it from their  point of view, you are not in a hurry anyway, so what if you are tired;  In Israel this would never happen, such a waste of time and money, waiting is not an option and so much more; We learnt last week the location of your research is a very important component in your well-being, people that have archives in the French Riviera are very lucky, people that have 4-5 hour extensions of waiting in remote parts of Africa, probably less; Am I an adventurer or just waiting, is this the African experience or just a fluke; What does this say about me. Finally,  I decided to stretch my legs and tried to have a short sleep. In the background somewhere from the airport was a monotonous African drum tune playing. It was very soothing and very beautiful. I fell into a slumber, I think I even heard myself snore a little.

the univesity bus
Eventually I arrived at the hotel, at 20:30, this is exactly 25 hours after leaving Israel. (1 hour time difference between Israel and Kenya), Had a quick dinner and went into a deep sleep.
Was this a true Africa experience or just a whole waste of time, I am not sure but it was definitely something worth to write home about.

That’s it for now, tell you all about my travels tomorrow. 

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