Kenya Trip 2012 – Week #4!

Posted: July 10, 2012 in Robert Brouillette

Week #3 (July 1st – July 7th)

July 1st, 2012

This morning Simon asked me to go to his church with him and out of respect and interest I did. During the service Simon went up to the front of the church and said some things in Swahili which I could tell was about me and then I was surprised when he told me to come up to the front with him and introduce myself in front of all the people. For the remaining 2 hours they sang songs and preached in Swahili while I just simply sat there. After church while I was walking home with Simon, three men called me over so I went and talked to them for a few minutes and then it turned out they were only talking to me and being nice to try to convince me to give them money so I became angry and just walked away. Once I got home I had rice and potatoes and then headed with Simon to his bosses house with him to watch TV and drink porridge which was really good. After the rain stopped, we walked back home for some ugali and spinach which is my favorite supper so far, plus it’s the best thing to eat for runners like me. The children and I then played games on my laptop for a while until I ran out of internet credit. For the rest of the night I watched the Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy with everyone as Kenyans are huge soccer fans; they even told me they hate hockey which I happen to love.

July 2nd, 2012

I woke up and had a late breakfast of 7 cups of tea and a roll of chapatis. Simon and I headed out on what was supposed to be a 1:15 run based on what Simon told me but in the end it was a 1:30/18.5K and this didn’t really bother him as he knew in his head how far he was from our finishing spot but to me I am just following him so when he says a certain time I pace myself and run a certain way to make me able to comfortably finish in that time. However, when I’m at that time that I was told we would finish at and were still a few kilometers or 15 minutes away still it really made me tired, lose my form and mentally messes me up. In the end it was OK as I picked up my pace with all children running behind me, cheering, and giving me high fives as I ran by each school. For lunch it was just a potato with milk and water which left me hungry so I had a huge plate of rice and beans with 3 rolls of chapatis for supper and delicious pineapple slices for dessert. After I went to the school nearby and talked with the teachers while drinking tea and the cup was so hot that it gave me a heat blister, so my finger bubbled up with fluid and it hurt so badly! Then I went into a grade 8 class where they asked me questions about my life, family, job, sports, school, etc., for about half an hour and I even learned some interesting things about them too. I will be on the plane to home sweet home in 1 week from right now so I’m getting excited but I will miss Kenya and my friends here at the same time.

July 3rd, 2012

This morning Simon and I were finally able to do a 6:00AM morning run again after quite a while due to there being no rain yesterday so we went for 30 minutes/6K. Later that morning we went over to the grass track to do 4 sets of 2000M so Simon’s coach named David could help improve my form by telling me to keep my knees high and open up my stride. I weighed myself again and I am now 57kg which is about 125lbs at 20 years old! For lunch at Laban’s house I had rice and beans but then Simon and I went to a Ketr’s house to have a second lunch of milk, sprite, rice, and chicken which I learned was killed an hour before I ate it. Then we all went over to Ketr’s house to visit and drink some chai tea. After that I headed over to Sokkin Academy where I talked with the teachers about Canada vs. Kenya with topics such as money/financial issues, jobs/wages, lifestyle, traveling, etc., and then I went outside to dance with the children as they were signing in their choir. Tomorrow I am looking forward to the “gift ceremony” at the school where I can give prizes such as stickers, marbles, sweets, watches, flashlights, and more to students with high marks and classes who are performing well. For supper I had rice, potatoes and some ugali before heading outside with everyone to do tecktonik dancing with my finger lights and sing Canadian songs. I took one of my running shirts around with me today and got a bunch of signatures with comments to give me memories and motivation once I’m back in Canada in 6 days.

July 4th, 2012

I went on my morning run with Simon for 1:12/15.12K and once I got home I found a huge blister on my dirty feet so I cant wait to get a pedicure once I’m back home. For breakfast I had a few cups of chai tea with a large omelet before heading out on my second run of the day with Simon which was just an easy 25 minutes followed by the “Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet Drill” which gave my legs pain once I got to the lunges. Therefore, I needed Simon to give me a good half hour massage to get the muscles loose again as they were so tight but it hurt so much as the Kenyan’s like to use a lot of force. By lunch time there was no food ready and I only had one egg for breakfast so I was pretty hungry. Then I experienced one of the best things of this trip as I went to Sokkin Academy to do a gift ceremony to give the kids rewards for their great effort in school. The way it worked was that from grades 1-8, the top student got 3 gifts, second got 2, and third got 1 based on their marks. These students would come up to me from the crowd, shake my hand, and then I would present them with their prize and all the others students would get 1 small item at the end. The younger students got stickers, middle grade students got marbles, older students got candies, and special students that stood out in their efforts around the school including teachers got things such as a t-shirt, flashlight, soap, bracelet, book, watches, Frisbees, shoes, and much more. The students were very grateful and loved their presents from me and even sang me songs to show gratitude. However, their was one thing that upset me during all this and it was that Laban said in front of all the 100 students and staff that “Robert has given us some gifts from Canada but it’s not good enough and he will do better next time and bring us more!” This was the most surprising and rudest thing I have ever heard in my entire life as first of all it is a free and not required thing I did for them, secondly the items that were given out were approximately $500 Canadian dollars, and finally what I have done for this school was so generous of me and John Carson who donated the shoes, that he should just be happy! Most Kenyans don’t realize that I am just a simple college student, with minimum wage income trying to survive financially myself in Canada with all my expenses and debts. By the time I got home it was 3:30PM and I could finally eat my big lunch of chapatis, rice, and potatoes with milk and water. Then I showed some pictures and videos from my trip to the kids followed by playing a few games on my laptop. I went back to Sokkin again and this time I went to the grade 8 class to allow them to ask me questions about anything they like and then I played music from my iPhone which we all danced to. Some of the other grades saw what was going on so to be fair I went to each class to do a short tecktonik dance for them with my finger lights and once again they were amazed. Back at the house I had supper at 9:00PM which was rice, beans, and potatoes with of course milk and water as usual. Today has been interesting which allowed me to have a good day overall and I look forward to tomorrow as I am doing a 8K time trial with Simon at race pace to see my improvements and to get an idea of my time when I race at College.

July 5th, 2012

For the morning run Simon and I did an easy 35 minute/6K run, however we were still sore from yesterday’s exercises and still have to an 8K time trial later this morning. After stretching I saw a motorcycle with five people all squished on and then headed inside the house for some tea and chapatis for breakfast. I did the 8K time trial in the mid-morning at race pace with Simon, John, James, Josphat, and a girl runner where I managed to get 30:30 which is amazing with the factor of the heavy Kenya air so I know once I’m back in Canada ill be able to take about 3 minutes off that time. Once I got to Simon’s house we had ugali with mixed vegetables for lunch which is one of my favourite foods here in Kenya. Throughout my trip I’ve asked people who Reid Coolsaet and Justin Beiber are for example and most people didn’t know which sounds seems crazy to me as they are our fastest Canadian Marathoner going to the Olympics and a worldwide famous singer. My second lunch at Laban’s house was rice, potatoes, beans, chapatis, tea, milk, and water. I then headed to Sokkin Academy to give them some batteries for the flashlights I donated to them yesterday. I talked with the teachers and we decided that I will go to Poa Place which is like a zoo with the young students tomorrow. After I went to each class room and talked, drew pictures, and wrote things on the black board with the students. I went back to see the teachers and we talked about how expensive Canada is to travel to from Kenya and the reason I run cross-country which is simply because I want to be active, have good fitness, achieve goals, and get rewarded for my hard work. For supper I had more ugali, rice, meat, milk, water and was offered some roasted corn on the cob but was so full from the day. I went to bed earlier than usual while everyone else watched TV but it was because I was sore from running and didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. I look forward to hanging out with the children tomorrow to see all the animals, as well as preparing for my 30K run with Simon on Saturday.

July 6th, 2012

I woke up for my morning run but it was pouring rain so I went back to sleep until breakfast which was tea and bread. I headed over to Sokkin to get ready for the field trip to Poa Place and all the kids were there waiting for me all excited. On our way we stopped at a restaurant for some tea and cooked chapatis and then at a large dame so everyone could just walking along the side looking at the view. Finally we got to Poa Place and I had to hide behind the bus and pretend I was an actual teacher just so I wouldn’t get over charged. Once we were inside we walked through the zoo looking at all the animals which were ostriches, birds, monkeys, porcupine, crocodile, lizards, cheetah, lions and snakes. I then walked through a village area looking at all the different kinds of Kenyan houses from tribes throughout the years. Lunch was a slice of bread with a bottle of coke and then we went to the playground so the children could play around for a bit while the teachers and I relaxed. The last thing we did was go on a swing ride and the kids wanted me to go very badly but it was so scary because my legs were so close to hitting the ground. On the way back home we stopped for a snack and some of the kids bought me suckers and peanuts which was so nice. At home I had tea and chapatis and looked at all the pictures and videos from the day before supper which I had rice, potatoes, beans, and chapatis. I went to Sokkin again to hang out with the kids, listen to music and dance, and draw on the board. At home I hung out with Abraham, Justus, Marion, and Margaret while doing iPhone games, watching TV, and then the girls rubbed my hair for an hour and it felt so good and relaxing.

July 7th, 2012

I had some tea and chapatis for breakfast and then went on my 2:24/30K run with Simon and this is now the second time in this trip that I had broken my longest distance and time records. This run made me feel so sore, as I had pain in my armpits and groin from all the friction of my skin and clothes. After the run Simon and I relaxed in my room and drank energy juice with a protein bar. Lunch was rice, potatoes, and chapatis but I wasn’t too hungry. After I went to Sokkin and raced 200M against 2 boys but they beat me because I was still sore and tired from my big run today. It was choir time for the students so I joined them and watched them sing and I then eventually danced with them too. After I went to see the teachers for some chai tea and we talked about a bunch of stuff. The students were watching movies and music videos in the other room so I went over and sat with them. For supper I had rice, beans, chapatis and dessert was sugar cane which I’ve never had before so it was interesting. Everyone else went to bed early so Margaret, Marion, and I watched TV for the rest of the night.

I went with the younger students and staff from Sokkin Academy to go see the animals at Poa Place.

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