28 December 2010
Staying at Robert's Camp, Lake Baringo, Kenya
After a night where my stomach was still a bit strange from the meal we got at Naiberi (the Swiss chap had the same meal and same affects), we just had a relaxing day on our 'private' beach view. Last night in the late afternoon an on-shore wind picked up and brought along a lovely evening breeze and we actually had little waves breaking on the shore. Falling asleep felt as if we were next to the ocean and it was bliss. That is after I left enough winds in my tents to create a monster typhoon somewhere else in the world. Fortunately we were not in Iraq because the Americans would have bombed my tent with the suspicious of creating chemical war-fare material inside. Anyway, today all is good.
We waved goodbye to a Dutch couple who camped next to us. He got his driving license only 2 years ago and she only just before the trip started! Shows you how easy Africa has become. There are ATM's behind every second tree and in the middle of nowhere a cattle herder will be walking chatting to someone with his mobile phone. I am sure that with this cheap telecommunication in Africa will help its people to improve their lives. I actually had a discussion with Thomas the Swiss about the Western world trying to solve the 'problems' of Africa. The first question is: Does Africa have a problem? If an African does not have a 60" flatscreen TV in every room in his house, is that a problem? Or more simplistic - if s/he does not have a toilet in the bush, is that a problem? Yes, issues like clean water, hospitalisation, infrastructure and education will make a huge difference but at the end of the day, it is the people of Africa who will need to decide if they need the flatscreen and not some NGO from the States or elsewhere. The old saying: If someone is hungry, don't give a fish, teach how to fish… On the other hand, governments need to be held accountable for what they do with the taxpayers and foreign aid's money. So often, the Western world is willingly 'buying' a government's friendship in exchange for oil and mineral rights and do not wish to know if the money they give to the government goes towards their own shopping spree in the streets of Singapore (hope Robert Mugabe is reading this blog) or towards the benefit of the people of the country.
Anyway, enough about the world of sad politics. The camp ground is truly special. It does help if one has prime water view position and we just watched all the birds around us and the boats coming and going. The mountains on the opposite side of the lake reminds us of the Naukluft mountains east of Sesriem in Namibia with the clearly distinct coloured rock-layers. Next door are Kenyan locals with all the kids and they all love fishing, going out on little boats just a bit smaller than a small bath tub and doing what families do. We were off course a bit concerned with a BIG crocodile lying just under the water's service not 15 meters from where we camp and these kids in their bathtub who won't be more than a little snack to this monster. In the evenings there are little camp fires all over and with the sound of breaking waves, good food, cold drinks and great temperature, we are not struggling at all. We still enjoy the food parcels we got from home. Mom's parcel with my favourite Swiss-made Rafaello's, dry biltong, cheese wedges and sugared dry fruit still to be finished, we are certainly not starving.
Tomorrow we are heading to Nairobi as the Swiss showed us a letter from their embassy now telling that even at the southern border the Ethiopian authorities need a letter from our government to say we will not sell the vehicle. Arina remembered she knows someone in the SA Army who knows someone again in the military attaché service in Nairobi. After a few phone calls we got hold of him and he might be able to assist us. We will stay in Nairobi for hopefully no more than 2 days in a place called Jungle Junction - a famous meeting place of all overlanders going south-north or vice-versa. Maybe we find someone who will join us for our adventure trek up north to Ethiopia across the wastelands of northern Kenya. We are planning to have New Years at my favourite East African game park called Samburu before heading north to Ethiopia.