Monday, April 23, 2007

Good morning, Kenya

(Written Tuesday April 24, 07:12 Kenyan time)

Didn't sleep too much last night. I thought I had slept quite a bit but once I gave up waiting for the sun and finally checked my clock, it was only 2am. Figures. I managed to get back to sleep two more times, but by 5am there was no way I was going back to sleep. I finally relented and quietly got out my laptop (there is of course power in Nairobi so I'm taking advantage of it while I can), and finished editing the "haircut" video. Yes, there is one.

Once Joshua woke up I took a shower and got dressed. More interesting conversations with the cultural differences this morning. For example, Joshua has never brushed his teeth with a toothbrush or toothpaste. He showed me a small tree branch with the tip frayed out (like bristles on a brush) and said he's used these sticks all his life. He doesn't recall the name of the tree, but it's a specific type. I remember hearing about this somewhere deep in my memory, and will have to find out what it's called. But the result? His teeth are probably in better condition than mine, and I can pretty much guarantee he's never had the thousands of dollars of dental work I have. Or fluoride in the water.

As I slathered on sunblock (which he obviously doesn't need) and mosquito repellant (which he doesn't use) and took my Neem tablets (which he'd never heard of), we got to discussing malarial prevention. He said that basically they just trust their immune bodies. Obviously this doesn't work for everyone as malaria is a big problem here, however he's never had a problem. And he pointed out that it's so hot that most people are running around half naked anyway.

Then he showed me some of his scarification. All over his chest he has a series of small scars that are for decoration. I'll definitely have to look into this more and get some pictures once we're in Pokot.

Off to breakfast.


Pratt said...

"sarification" - I am looking forward to learning and seeing about this - humm?

Joseph said...

"Scarification" is the art of scarring your body (usually with incisions or with hot brands) in a pattern or design. It's along the lines of getting a tattoo, but probably hurts a lot more and lasts a lot longer ;-)

I did finally get some pictures, look for them in later posts.