Travel Confidence

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Over dinner tonight Alex and I got to talking about our trip so far. We’ve been here only four days –although it seems like longer—and there have been some nervous moments. We’ve travelled together before in Costa Rica and, although it is also a developing country, we both agree there is something very different about travelling in Kenya. Maybe it’s a new world vs. old world thing, we decide. People have been living in Kenya for thousands of years. Maybe that has something to do with its different feel. Maybe it’s because in Costa Rica we at least spoke a little bit of the language. Here, we know nothing more than yes, no, and greetings. All day people are talking around us and we don’t understand a word that’s being said. We’ve discovered this is exhausting to the brain. Plus, we never know if their talking about us! Lastly, Alex points out, we are the only travelers in this town right now. Everyone has been friendly to us so far and we haven’t encountered any problems (other than knowingly getting ripped off a little for our bus ride up here), but in Nanyuki we really, really, REALLY stick out. In Costa Rica, we blended in a little more, as there were a fair amount of tourists and travelers everywhere we went.
In this place that is foreign in pretty much every way, we sometimes find ourselves putting on a façade of confidence. We have brief moments where we both look at each other and can see our nerves are knotted, but we are trying only to exhibit confidence to the Kenyans. Everyone is friendly and helpful and I think our nerves come mostly from confusion, from many stares, and from hearing ‘mzungu’ (white person) everywhere we go. We are a bit of a novelty in Nanyuki in April; they see many more tourists in the summer months. Like almost everything in life travel confidence is a growth process. We are at the beginning of the journey. We are infants. Undoubtedly, this trip will teach us a lot. We have been on our own for a couple days now, and are excited to get to the more rural areas of Kenya. Not only do we tend to enjoy rural and natural areas more than cities, we know people in these areas that can help us, show us around, and teach us. Tomorrow, we head further from the city still. On to Archer’s Post!

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3 responses »

  1. Hey, finally a few minutes to catch up with you. Great to see your pictures, and the girls dancing, I know that makes you very happy. Sounds like you guys have been busy enjoying your adventure. Keep writing, I love to see what you’re up to. Love you!

  2. Have fun in Archer’s Post. I know what you mean about brain fatigue when you are surrounded by another language. I have so much respect for people who immigrate here and don’t speak English! I have been following your journey along on a map of Kenya. Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures!

  3. 80 degrees and sunny on Sunday at the campground, 30 degrees and snowing on Monday and Tuesday. I love Colorado, and I love your being here. I hope you are learning and having fun and the main thing, (I may have mentioned this before) be cautious and your trip will be great. We are getting ready for the Easter egg coloring and hunt on Easter day.
    You have fun and we will talk later.
    Dad

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