In Kenya our build site was down the highway, then two dirt roads, then a path, then a field, so there wasn’t even a town – just a small community. They were incredibly welcoming and we had a great time. They build brick houses from locally made bricks and that meant a lot of brick lines and rock lines as we moved the materials and placed the rocks in the foundation. The mason has the final say over where things belong. Then comes a lot of cement to make the floor. We passed a lot of rocks and mixed a lot of cement.
The whole team arrived in Nairobi over a couple of days. Once everyone was together, we had a group orientation, then split up into two vans to drive across the country, from Nairobi to Homa Bay by Lake Victoria where we would be building. They did a great job of breaking up the trip (no coincidentally at places with great bathroom facilities). We had opportunities to shop at a few too, and I got a hat and a drum for my friend Tony. One of our first stops was at a Rift Valley overlook. It was pretty hard to match that view for the rest of the drive.
Spring has sprung and it’s the final pre-season game at Nationals Park – good seats too. We had a great lunch in Red Porch before the game, and it’s even a Yankees game. Since we were in the club seats, it was suggested that I not wear my Yankees hat. I bought a vintage style Nationals hat that I’m pretty happy with. Here’s hoping the Nats make a run for it at the end of the season. We’re off to a good start.
Sometimes it’s difficult to convey the difference in the housing that we build on a Global Village build versus the house that the family had before. Here’s the old house that Felixmina and Alvaro use to have with their new house in the background. The logs on the roof of the old house were placed to try and stop the rain from coming in.
In the new house, Felixmina and Alvaro will be safe and dry.
The wild fires had been burning, and right up until our flight left we weren’t even sure it was a good idea to go to Moscow. We were going to visit a friend (and see a U2 concert). He lived a few blocks from Red Square which makes for a convenient landmark while wandering around Moscow.
But the rains came and put the fires out, and the skies were clear and beautiful for our arrival. I’d only been to Russia before in February (when it is really inexpensive) so it was nice to be there in better weather and when gardens were in bloom. I still want to go back to St. Petersburg in better weather.
Everyone sits in a circle, and one person walks around with a piece of cloth. There a song about a hyena and suddenly the cloth is dropped behind someone and the chase is on. It’s an Ethiopian version of Duck Duck Goose and the kids would play for as long as they could coax us into a game.
After seeing a show about the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite, I was obsessed. There’s a lottery to get a space – you hike between the camps and they have tents with beds and cook meals. That means a lot less to carry (especially in bear country). Then I discovered they offer ranger-led hikes – someone in charge to ensure that we arrive at camp at the end of each day. We were sold and signed up.
It was incredibly beautiful, the most difficult thing I have ever done (you can’t train for altitude), and the most fun thing to have done. And I would go back in a heartbeat.