Kenya Trip 2012 – Week #3!

Posted: July 3, 2012 in Robert Brouillette

Week #3 (June 24th – June 30th, 2012)

June 24th, 2012 

Today is Sunday so all the Kenyans went to Church and I had my rest day from running. However, even though I was allowed to sleep in I still woke up early because my body is used to it for my morning 6:00AM runs. Whenever I go to use the washroom I’m never alone as I have company by about 100 bugs flying and crawling around. I took advantage of my free time today to read my second book called “Running” by John Stanton who is the founder of The Running Room. Both books that I brought to Kenya are by this guy and he writes amazing information about running that I can easily relate to. Then I went outside with all the children and played tag, hide and go seek, bike races, and just ran around. It started to rain again for a week straight now so we went inside to dance and sing to Kenyan music. After, some of the older kids and I hung out in the kitchen drinking tea over the fire which was relaxing. The Canadian visitors left tonight so we said our goodbyes during a nice supper of spaghetti noodles, beans, chapatis and lots of water. I ended the night watching Euro 2012 soccer with a few of the boys till 1:00AM. I have a little over 2 weeks left in Kenya so I’m really going to push myself to make the most of my running training for the remaining time.

June 25th, 2012

I woke up for breakfast of chapatis and tea and then headed over to Simon’s house to get read for the run. Simon and I were met by John and some marathon runners to go 17.4K in 1:22 which felt really good. My $300 Nike+ SportWatch got some water damage which gave me a heart attack at first, but then I found out I have warranty covering it for one year. For lunch I ate some corn maze with a vegetable mix with lots and lots of milk and water. I’m not shocked that it rained for over a week straight now affecting my training and causing me to stay inside but at least I got to read some more from my “Running” book. Once the rain stopped I went to Sokkin Academy to help them set up their blog, post some pictures and we plan to make video’s tomorrow. Back at the house I played tag with the young kids around the living room until the power went out. Then with the older boys I had a nice conversation comparing Canada vs. Kenya. The weather is the main reason for my decision to go back to Canada earlier than I planned.

June 26th, 2012

I haven’t been able to do a 6:00AM morning run in a few days now because of the muddy roads so I got to sleep in for a little bit more before having tea and chapatis for breakfast. Then the Kenyan boys and I headed over to the track to do three sets of 5K/2K/1K. They tell me they can see a huge change in my strength and speed only after 2 weeks. After they showed me their stretch routine which gave me a few more good stretches that I can show my running friends in Canada. I headed to the hospital to see my weight and it turns out I lost 10 pounds since I’ve been in Kenya. As a snack Simon and I ate a green orange which looked funny to me but it still tasted normal as well as some hot porridge. Once I got home I was watching TV and then all of a sudden a lighting bolt hit the house right next to the window I was sitting beside which freaked me right out. For the rest of the day I basically just read my “Running” book, drank tea and ate chapatis and a mini banana, played games with the kids, and watched some more Kenyan TV shows even though I don’t have a clue what they are saying. I had lots of rice and potatoes for lunch and supper and felt stuffed. As the days go on I am seeing that some people are only staying around to keep asking me if I can give them money or stuff such as my suitcase, clothes, running gear, flashlight, shoes, etc. It doesn’t feel good to know someone is on nice or talking to you in order to get something from you.

June 27th, 2012

Today when I woke up for breakfast I had a whole thermos of tea all to myself with some chapatis. Simon and I went on a 15.8K run in 1:20 and during this we hit a hill that went up for just over 10 minutes and I felt like I was going to fall over and die. I went back to Simon’s house and had homemade porridge with a “green” orange again. Had some rice and beans for lunch and then headed to the site where buildings are being constructed to be used by runners participating in the Rift Valley Marathon next year in March. Simon, Moses, and I then went to a ladies house to drink tea with bread and she thought I was 27 years old which was crazy to hear as everyone has always seen me as younger than my age of 20. Back at the house I showed everyone what an iPhone is and what all the cool little applications on it do and they loved them. It didn’t rain very hard today so I will finally be able to hopefully go on a 6:00AM run again tomorrow before my track workout later that morning.

June 28th, 2012

I woke up this morning to heavy rain pounding on the house so I knew right away that my hopes of finally having a 6:00AM run again had ended. So I waited around for 3 hours till I went to the track with my usual group and did “diagonals” which is too complicated to explain so I’ll wait till I’m back home with my Cambridge Harriers or Conestoga Condors running team. On my way home a drunken old man asked me to come to his house so I did for some reason and it turns out he was really kind and gave me milk and ugali and I gave his family their first time of touching a “white person.” Later that day I got a drive to town by a random guy I just met to drink strawberry tea and eat chapatis with some ladies who are studying to be nurses. In Kenya it is common to just get rides by strangers or hop on the back of a motorcycle as the people trust one another. Tomorrow the driver offered me a chance to drive his car so I’m excited and nervous as the other drivers in Kenya are mostly crazy and the steering wheel is on the right side instead of left like in Canada. During supper Laban Rotich, showed me all his medals from racing track and even let me hold his Olympic champion certificate. I made him agree to going for a run with me before he leaves even though he has been retired from running for a while now.

June 29th, 2012

Simon and I gave up on doing 6:00AM morning runs so we waited till after breakfast which of course was tea and chapatis, to go on our long slow endurance run at 9:30AM. Simon and I planned on going for 1:15 but just as we were about to start running, the marathon guys showed up so we changed our workout to being a 2 hour run in 15.3K. This is a huge PB (personal best) for me as it is now my furthest and longest in time ever! Through out the run it would seem that I was the weakest against those Kenyan marathoner’s but I was the only one who actually ran for the full two hours. On my last kilometer all the school kids were along the sides of the road clapping and shouting “mzungu kijana” (white boy) which made me feel really happy. I finished at Simon’s house and had porridge again with him for a few days in a row now. I walked back to Laban’s house for lunch which was spaghetti noodles, potatoes, milk and water. It started to rain very heavy so I wasn’t able to go to Sokkin Academy to help them make videos for their blog so I finished off my “Running” book instead. One of the ladies from the kitchen brought me some chapatis and a whole thermos of tea for myself which was awesome. The rain went on for a long time so I watched some Olympic marathon and Ontario College Championship video’s on YouTube and it’s getting me pumped up for running races this summer and with school in the fall.

June 30th, 2012

I accidentally slept in this morning so I told Simon to go without me so I could get some tea and chapatis into me for some energy before I had to go for my 45 minute/10K run on my own which I got lost and ended up running in circles. After I went to Sokkin Academy to help the teacher take pictures of the children eating their lunch and fetching water and post it on their RunForLife blog. For lunch and supper I had big plates of rice and potatoes. It rained very hard today so I was stuck inside for a while but it was fine as I got to spend time with Laban’s kids. I showed the Kenyan family pictures of me, my family, races I’ve done, and my house from my Facebook albums and they were quite interested with it all. Tomorrow is Sunday so it’s my day off from running and I am able to sleep in and relax.

This has been my breakfast and snack for the past 3 weeks which is chai tea with chapati!

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