Today, I am in the town of Laisamis, Day 2 of 23!
I’m headed to the North, and while I’ve just focused on the fact I am going thus far, I thought I’d discuss today who my entire posse is. Altogether, we are six in a Landrover. There is our driver Ngure, and our translator Uncle Sam. When I first interview for The BOMA Project, I felt under-qualified, since I didn’t speak Swahili. However, as it turned out, I wasn’t really at a disadvantage. While Swahili is spoken throughout much of Kenya, it’s not as prevalent in the north. Unless I happened to speak Rendille, Samburu or Turkana, I wasn’t really at a disadvantage to anyone else for work purposes, since those are the language skills our organization needs. Since I speak none and Uncle Sam speaks all three, and English, and Swahili, he is an indispensible member of our team. We then have Omar, who is our cook and mechanic. There is also Semeji, whose skillset we hope never becomes relevant. Semeji is our bodyguard, and while he might sit shotgun (I don’t actually know yet if this is the case), is not carrying a shotgun. He is wielding an AK-47. Finally, there is Sarah, my co-worker, and the other American in this crew. She and I will be overseeing the training sessions together (or more precisely, she will be overseeing the sessions, while I assist in whatever way I can). Towards the end of the training, Sarah will be headed back to Nanyuki, and my Kenyan boss Kura will take her place,
Each day, we’ll be traveling by car, on unpaved roads, to our next location, where we’ll oversee another session, collect some survey data, and do whatever other tasks we have in that town.