Mar 19, 2007

Dinesen's Ghost

I wrote a note thinking she'd gone and come back.

"You mean to Ethiopia?" she wrote back. "Haven't left yet - we leave on Saturday. And, the plan is to spend about a week touring through north-central Kenya - the OTHER side of the Rift Valley (yes, I know, Rift Valley Fever - we'll try to avoid the beef...), through Maralal,Samburu, and Marsabit National Parks - up into Moyale,
and then over the border, where we zigzag through the lower (Ethiopian) Rift Valley lakes, making our way to Addis in about another week - and then one last week going beyond Addis, into the hills to the northwest... But, of course, we'll see how it goes - and, again, all of this is contingent on the vehicle log book actually being sent to Eldoret, on the 'new' peugeot having its final mechanical tune-ups, and on both of us finishing up a zillion things - all before Saturday.

It's gonna be a crazy week - that began today for me with a trip up to Ptoyo (bumfuck, west pokot) - where we picked up a young woman, 5 months pregnant, having a miscarriage... the fetus, a fully formed boy, came out some time between Ptoyo and Chepkobegh, where her mother-in-law scooped him out of the girl's skirt onto the roadside. And we all
clucked our tongues, and the mother-in-law tried to wash away the blood from the vehicle with tree leaves.

The family wanted then only to return to Ptoyo. But we convinced them to continue, on up to Kapenguria, afterall, the girl was anemic, had lost a lot of blood - and who knows what else. Of course, it had rained in the meantime, and by the time we got to Chepkobegh,the river was flooded. So we waited almost 2 hours, all six of us in the Prado, by the riverside. Under gray skies.

It's been a long day; and I can only say I'm already looking forward to the end of the week, to barbecued sausage and a glass of wine under the stars with baboons crying in the background.Afterall, what else, if not for these layers of experience, is East Africa about...?

No comments: