Our Best Kenyan Friend


As we pulled into our spot at the Isiolo matatu station I could see a tall, gangly Kenyan staring very seriously into our windows. As we prepared to exit the matatu with two bags each, I was thinking I should be cautious of this man waiting there.
“Cece?” he asked with a smile, as soon as I stepped off the bus.
My worries melted away. It was Apin! We have a friend from CSU who works in Archer’s Post (where we were heading) often, and Apin is a friend and employee of his. Apin checked in with us via text message the day we arrived in Nairobi, just to make sure we were comfortable, and has been nothing but a huge help since then. He helps us buy things at the store so we don’t get ripped off as tourists. He helps us find fuel at 7a.m. for our early game drives. He helps us wrangle local kids to take into Samburu National Reserve. He helps us cook on a charcoal stove every night. He translates for us.
Since we arrived to Archer’s Post on Wednesday, Apin has been at our camp each day when we wake up and stays until we are going to bed at night. He is there pretty much every moment to help us with anything that might come up, to chit chat with us and share meals with us. Apin is 19 and just graduated secondary school. He plans to go to college to study biology or ecology; Oftentimes I am just staring out at the river while he and Alex chat about Protista and kingdoms and phylums and other scientific matters. He is jovial almost all the time, lighthearted and teasing. He just opened his first bank account and is saving to build a house in this area. He loves Facebook and our MP3 player, and he we give him one of our point and shoot cameras to use on every game drive. He is one of the most grateful people I have met, and has a great sense of humor.
We are infinitely happy to have Apin with us in Archer’s Post. In only half a week he has become a friend of ours and it will be a little sad to leave him.


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