Saturday, February 24, 2007

Final Oranges and Bananas

It's Saturday and I'm in Nairobi, flying out late Monday. Thursday the fuel-tanker line at the border was easily over a mile long so I again shot some video from the back of a boda. (Every drop of petroleum that Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi use gets driven right by my front door all the way from Mombasa, more details on that when I edit the video back home, set it to Bloc Party's "The Price of Gas," and post it on my website.) Friday I finished up in Busia and took my FO's out to dinner, where the team-member that's a part-time preacher amused us with his appreciation for chapatis after downing an entire plateload by saying, "It's Jesus first, then chapatis." I also got them happily discussing who's going to be the next President of Kenya. I think they all support ODM-K (the main opposition to Kibaki's ruling party, formed in opposition to the government-backed constitutional referendum that failed in '05. Voting for it was "banana," voting against was "orange," hence the name "Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya"), but it's a wide coalition that doesn't have a clear nominee, so the Luhya guys made fun of the Luo front-runner, saying people just want him to win so that if Obama wins in the US (yes, please), he'll build a giant bridge from the US to Kenya (Obama's dad was a Luo from the district neighboring Busia).

I got up crazy early this morning to take a taxi to Kisumu. I decided to fly to Nairobi, and I thought the flight was leaving at 7:45. Apparently that's the check-in time, and it only takes an hour and a half in a taxi, so I got there before the airport even unlocked the front door. Then when they let me in and I tried to pay for the ticket I'd reserved, they said they don't take credit cards. I didn't have enough cash, so I was about to take a cab to town for an ATM, but then two of the Busia MSF doctors walked in the front door, and a few minutes later my co-worker Anne got off the plane as I was getting on, so it worked out fine. The flight was 30 minutes long. That means nothing to you guys, but once you've taken the hellish 8 hour bus ride seven times, it means a lot.

Lastly, I just watched the movie "Blood Diamond" about the civil war in Sierra Leone. Really good. Horrible dialogue at times by DiCaprio and Jennifer Connely, but a moving story nonetheless.

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