Over the course of two days the Invictus Initiative’s 2012 Kenya team traveled across the world to reach their destination. Through a total of five airports in three countries, it goes without saying that there are better ways to spend a weekend than sitting in or sleeping on so many seats and benches.
Once arriving in Kisumu with all of the luggage accounted for, quite the achievement for nine travelers with 13 bags, our weary crew got the chance to simply sit back and absorbed the new found environment that is Africa. The sun was just beginning to set and the cool breeze that touched our faces brought with it… bees? Unexpected, our first taste of culture would be witnessing the flight of thousands of bees from a hive that airport personnel had recently doused with some form of chemical, causing each bee to fly inverted several inches above the ground in sharp circular patterns as if inebriated. A warm welcome indeed.
After allowing for some time to adjust, a smiling and enthusiastic Raphael appeared with his weathered van. Our driver/super runner from the Rift valley, was about to transform the nine seat van into an 11 person, 13 piece luggage carrying machine which would take us across the 90 arduous kilometers to our destination of Uluthe Mungao. The winding roads cut through the Kenyan landscape, filled with potholes that look more like swimming holes. The roads proved themselves to be more like guidelines as Raphael would swerve around potholes, or go off the road, to avoid oncoming traffic and ruts. We reached our village before dark and were quickly enchanted by the place we would call home for the next couple of weeks.
Once everyone had a chance to settle in, the “house girls” Sarah and Jane, prepared a traditional meal of beef with rice, vegetables and sweet pineapple for dessert. Anxious to get to bed, the team set their mosquito nets and fell into the deepest of deep sleeps.