Monday, April 11, 2011

Piki Xtreme By: Katie

The African welcome I received by everyone here in Kijabe was absolutely great. The morning after I arrived, John, Erika, Jon, Myles, Ali and I took off on the dirtbikes (or Pikis) to Mt. Suswa. The Piki’s put up a fight which delayed our leaving time by about two hours. However, by 11:30am we were on our way. Mt Suswa is located in the midst of the Masai territories, which basically means it is very far away from anything resembling a paved road. For the majority of the ride we were dodging pot holes, struggling through sand, and navigating through small fields of rocks. By around 4pm we made it to the campsite with only a few cuts and bruises. The campsite was overlooking a giant crater with Mt. Suswa behind it. It is the rainy season so everything was green and absolutely beautiful. We were all a little wiped from the Piki ride so we laid in the sun and rested before we set up camp. Once we felt energized we set up the tent, gathered fire wood and started making preparations for mealtime. Erika and Jon made bread the night before so we ate that as well as skewers with sausage, onions, peppers and pineapple. It was delicious! All the while we were at camp we were visited by Masai men herding their goats. Since they spoke neither Swahili nor English, our interactions were limited. Most of the time the Masai would stand and stare at us and every once in a while we would give them a cookie; It was a little awkward but mostly funny.
The next day we woke up early and headed out to the top of Mt. Suswa. However, we never quite made it. We ended up venturing away from the trail at the beginning which slowed us down quite a bit. Since we had a date with the Fisher’s Masai friend Samuel we were not able to continue and only made it about ¾’s of the way to the top. It was still a great time. So, we headed down at around 10:00am, packed up the Piki’s, and headed to Samuel’s house. However, when John called Samuel to let him know we were almost there, Samuel mentioned that he was not going to be there but his wife was waiting for us. When we got there his wife Sarah led us into their home. There were three buildings: one was the house, one the kitchen and the other was Samuel’s sister’s home. The house was a very small aluminum? building. She sat us down in a very small room with SO many flies where we waited for Sarah to bring us mugs of warm milk that had just been taken from the cow that morning! We met her children (4) and her sister in law and saw the kitchen.  It was very interesting to see a legitimate Masai home and we were all thankful for the experience, probably more thankful that the milk was the only thing we were obligated to consume. We left Samuel’s and made the long trip home. Such a great first two days in Africa!

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