Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm back! And awake at four in the morning (love the jet lag.) I got in at about 3 yesterday and made it all the way til 8 pm without falling asleep. :) Will brought me a pastrami sandwich at LAX, which is amongst the most amazing things I've eaten in recent memory, as well as fresh fruit I couldn't get in Kenya: cherries, strawberries and peaches. Tomorrow I'm going to see if we can get sushi at Katsuya in the valley.

I'm happy to be home and not nearly as culture shocked as I thought I would be. I think backpacking for three weeks and spending my last couple of days in Nairobi helped a lot with that. Nairobi is rife with shopping malls, coffee shops, European retail stores, big buildings and lots of traffic. And the suburb I was stayin in, Karen--after Karen Blixen of Out of Africa--was mzungu central. it might as well have been Pasadena. If I'd left straight from Kakamega, I think I'd be in major shock.

My first impression of LA flying in today was, "Jesus, look at all that smog." Driving home, I was overwhelmed by all the concrete. Everywhere. Not a fan. Los Feliz still seems lovely, but not nearly as green as I remember. I guess anywhere pales in comparison to the green of the Kakamega Rainforest and Western Province tea plantations directly after the Long Rainy season. LA really feels like a legitimate desert.

And so many cars!! The 10:1 car to pedestrian ratio here is the inverse of Kakamega's. I'm used to sharing the sidewalk/dirt road/bicycle path with loads of people: seeing their faces, greeting them, getting solicited to get in this or that minibus, buy vegetables, give 5 shillings, etc. Here it's just machines! Cars talking to each other with their turn signals.

I'll only in LA for two days: On Friday, Will and I are going to Sacramento for Cousin Kristine's wedding, then we'll be in Oregon for a week visiting Lizzie, then to Orinda for a few days (the 18th or 19th to 23). So I'll have to wait until then to see most of you LA folks. Sacto and Bay Area peeps, I'll see you soon!

Love and thanks,

P.S. Even though I'm back, I have a lot of old posts that I started writing in Kakamega, but never finished due time constraints or bad internet connections. So don't be surprised if you see a few posts/e-mails back-dated from the Spring.