Saturday, July 24, 2010

My last week in Kenya...

Well here I am winding down my six month adventure in Chogoria, Kenya. I certainly have mixed feelings about leaving such a beautiful place and all the wonderful news friends I've made. But I am also looking forward to my new venture at Harvard and devising a way to come back. ;)

The past month has been amazing and harrowing all at the same time. I finally got to climb Mount Kenya! You can see that it was a beautiful three day hike to Lanana where the terrain went from somewhat African to simply alpine. Each night was incredibly cold but that just inspired me to get up and hike each morning. We really lucked out with beautiful weather and got a great view of the sunrise. I am so glad I did this!

The new Global Health Fellow also arrived this month. Her name is Liz and she's great! I am so excited to see where she takes the Public Health Program in the next year. When I went to pick Liz up from the airport I wanted to renew my visa so that I would at least be in the country legally when my flight leaves. However, I was informed that Kenya does not allow foreigners to remain in the country past 6 months, unless they have a work visa stipulating a longer period of time. Of course I worried the entire next week about how to deal with this. We decided to plan a trip outside of Kenya in hopes I could renew my six months upon re-entry. Although the idea of traveling to another country is usually enticing for me, I was looking forward to spending as much time in Chogoria as possible before I have to leave. On the way to Tanzania I decided to stop at the immigration office to make one final try to getting an extension. I was overjoyed to find a wonderful man who gave me until July 31 and did not even ask for a bribe. It's always nice to be reminded of the benevolence of humans and I am truly greateful.

I'll see some of you very soon and I hope you enjoy these pictures!