Great Sunday in Eldoret. I went to sleep quite early on Saturday given the exhausting couple days of travel we had and got up early for my first Kenyan Catholic mass. Much to my surprise, the service was almost entirely in English besides the singing. The singing in Swahili was quite beautiful and all in attendance would clap or wave to the beat depending on the song … it was clear that the two Americans obviously had no rhythm … but we tried our best. Besides a few small differences in the prayers and the fact that you brought your money during the offeratory hymn to the front of the church and deposited it into a locked box, most of the mass was much the same as we would have in the US. After mass, we headed back to the IU house to join a group of medical students for breakfast. We’ve met some fantastic IU medical students who are also staying at the IU house and working at AMPATH that have been very helpful in trying to get us acclimated to the city and culture.
Following breakfast, our new friends asked us to join them on a trip to Niburi for the day, which is a “resort-like” area about 25 minutes outside of the city. We had the chance to cool off in a pool and relax in loungers under the sun with a cold beer (I say we, but you all know my complexion and know very well that I retreated to the shade of one of the huts). After cooling off we had lunch and played a few card games to pass the afternoon. This certainly is not the type of experience that we had expected on our second day in Eldoret … but a great way to relax after a long trip.
After arriving back at the IU house, I joined my new friend, Beth, for my first run at altitude. Let me know tell you … I now clearly understand how the male and female Boston marathon winners this year were both from Eldoret. I thought for sure my lungs were going to explode … at least I had a medical student with me just in case! After a group dinner at the IU house I’ve decided to call it an early night as tomorrow is my first day at AMPATH. Kwa heri.
P.S. Picture are soon to come. As I start to feel more comfortable with the area and we take our weekend adventures you can expect to see lots of pics!