May 24, 2006



In the morning we stop at the auditor, which advises Marina’s NGO, Doctors of the World. DOW, which is based in New York, is one half of a French organization that includes Docteurs Sans Frontiers. DOW has a human rights aspect that Docteurs Sans Frontiers doesn’t.

We go on to visit Merlin, an NGO that provides medical services. Marina is ever looking to network. The project director is Lionella, a fiery Italian who after two years is quitting to find another job and to start a cat orphanage.

We go on, in an SUV crammed with bee hives for one of Marina’s friends. The drive is four hours to Nakaru Lake Game preserve. The road out of Nairobi is unbelievably bad. A dirt road after a rain storm is better. As a result of indifference and the relentless pounding of semi trailers, the road is a colander of pot holes. And in the late afternoon, roaring dust and black diesel smoke become a fog bank so thick you can barely see the dim red brake lights of trucks ahead, much less holes to avoid. The road is also narrow and drivers use the shoulders as a lane. They also heard together charging into the gloam with no thought of collision.

We stop in Nakuru, meet some friends of Marina, and then reach the preserve late in the afternoon. We drive thorough it, you're not allowed out of your car as there are lions and leopards, driving past gazelles, white rhinos, dik-diks, water buffalo, giraffes, literally hundreds of thousands of storks, both larger and lesser, we see a leopard in a tree, about 100 yards off the road, lying splayed on a long arching branch, all four legs hanging down.... We spend the night in a lodge overlooking the preserve. The place is jammed with the jowly, heavy bresated people, in their long tight shorts.

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