9/27/09: Nairobi, Kenya To Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
What do you think about when looking out the car window? I usually daydream about my professional golfing career, or facing off with Morimoto in a chili dog battle on Food Network’s Iron Chef, or deciphering the secret behind blowing out while you whistle (as opposed to my awkward sucking in method that only allows me to whistle for a few seconds at a time).
Today, though, we were driving through back country dirt (key omission: the word “roads”) in rural Kenya on the way to the Masai Mara National Reserve, and I was thinking about life. The landscape was so beautiful (Zhou said it’s what she pictured Arizona looks like, and I emphatically told her no); there weren’t signs of cities, towns, or even villages for miles. It was simply unabated land as I imagine the world was meant to be, so it seemed like a good place to think about life.
I first imagined what my family was up to – Mom and Dad were probably getting close to waking up, Steve was probably fast asleep in his new apartment, and my new sister, brother and parents were probably asleep as well. In fact, everyone I know was probably asleep since it wasn’t past 5am Eastern. That was a boring game. So then I thought about how lucky Zhou and I are to be upside down from everyone we know, driving through the middle of something so different, so perfect. And that led me to think about how proud my parents would be that my wife and I were fulfilling a….
THUMP! … Thump! Thump! Thump!
Something had clearly just fallen off the bottom of our bus. I, not knowing anything about cars, immediately assumed it was the transmission. (Those can fall out, right?) Almost as immediately, I thought, “Wow, this is going to make for a great blog post!” As soon as our driver pulled over, I scrambled out to see how bad the damage was.
Random aside: Remember how I mentioned that there was nothing around us for miles? Before I could even get out of the bus, a group of Masai warriors had shown up to watch the action. I looked around again – nothing to the west, nothing to the east, nothing in any direction whatsoever. Where in the world did these people come from? You know what would be cool? Taking an O H I O picture with them! But they didn’t speak English, and I found out they wanted money in return for taking pictures, so I passed on the idea.
Anyway, something metal has fallen out alright, and, as I suspected, I had no idea what it was. So I began taking pictures.
Both of our other buses had stopped along with us, so the three drivers, as well as two Masai warriors with spears were trying to figure out how to solve the problem. As it turned out, the metal plate that was guarding all the bus parts from the large rocks we were driving over had been knocked off. That actually put a damper on the whole blog post, as they screwed it back on and 20 minutes later we were back on our way.
It did actually fall off one more time an hour later, but this time our driver put it back himself, and we managed to arrive at camp for lunch before 3pm.
Kind of a lackluster conclusion to this story… remember the key takeaway: Zhou and I were stranded in the Kenyan desert with no food (ok, we had some peanuts), no water (ok, some water too) and no help for miles and miles (besides the Masai people). What a dire situation!
Picture of the Day: Look Ma! We’re driving down the right hand side of the road!