Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Video Footage

I'm finally going through some picture folders on my laptop. I just dumped most of it, and I haven't really sorted through yet. Having recently finished midterms, I decided to clean it up and a bit, and I found some real gems.

I have an upload limit on my vimeo account, but for now, watch these two videos:

In this first video, I was just walking back home after school. My school choir was practicing, so I taped a bit. Watch the priceless faces of the students sitting near the fence just staring at me:

My school choir practising from Lisa on Vimeo.

The next one is of the local primary school choir. They did very well in competitions, and practised really hard. I could overhear them everyday as I taught computer lessons in the church, the only place with electricity. Watch and fall in love:

Jolie, Jolie from Lisa on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm all home safe and sound, and I'll do a bit summary wrap up post eventually. I'm doing lots of other travelling in August so I'll get around to it when I'm finally back at home again.

Until then, you can check out some photos. My flickr set can be found here, and here are some favourites:

Monday, July 27, 2009

In the airport

Oh boy! I'm all checked in at my gate! I got here about 3.5 hours early, and of course when you're early everything goes well. It's only when you're running late that you miss your turn, or there is a long line at customs. I've traipsed the terminal but all they have are way over priced souvenir shops and duty free areas with cartons of cigarettes larger than the average coffin. They also have little restaurants. I checked one out to see if they had any mendazi and they did, well, they "did." If you count it if it was packaged in plastic with nutritional information on it. Ahem, the real deal is never more than a few hours old, and must come from a cafe full of old men sipping broth from a bowl. Please. You, airport, can keep your fake mendazi.

I'm kind of anxious about the souvenirs I packed. There are a lot of little wooden things. Things with handles. Things with tusks. I have this big, beautiful stone chess board that I'm most worried about. I know all about bending moments and torque! I packed it surrounded by clothes to cushion, and then books to prevent bending. I made little short cylinders out of newspaper because we did a crash lab last term, using paper cylinders as a bumper on a little car. It worked well then, and I'm hoping for similar impact absorption in my suitcase. Whoever said the things you learn in science classes you never use in real life has obviously never made it home with an intact chess board! I should probably not brag about my packing method until I get home with it in one piece.

Oh, also, somebody ring the wedding bells because I am officially certified as marriage ready. That's right, I made chapati by myself last night. And they were delicious. Kay told me that a good wife makes good chapati. This is a skill that will be boasted on many a future profile, I'm sure. We also had cabbage and potatoes, my favourite meal. I ate so much. I'm bringing home some Royco so I can make it for whoever to try. Royco is this spice that is advertised heavily and only sold in Kenya. Their slogan is, "Royco, for the tastiest getheri ever" and whenever I see a billboard with this slogan, I say it aloud in the same voice as the lady from the radio. I'm sure it's annoying to all other passengers in the car. Royco should hire me. Oh, family, also I'm bringing home some chapati, too. It'll still be fresh.

Last night, after the aforementioned epicurean (I have no spell check, sorry) binge, I woke up around midnight feeling a little sick. Wouldn't it be so funny if after 3 months of fairly good health, I fell sick on the final day? Yes. Hilarious. And by funny I mean the worst ever. And by hilarious I mean woe to me. Luckily, I think it was just over excitement to come home. I got so many people such good presents that I can't wait to deliver! Also, showering! With hot water! I'll be home in about 21 hours and I'm so excited to be greeted at the airport. See you soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Also, no big deal or anything, but today at the park a monkey chilled out on my shoulder for a few minutes. New career goal: organ grinder.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've been keeping a list of things that I packed that ended up being totally frivolous. On that list is: a travel sized bottle of hair conditioner, (please, as if I even get around to shampooing more than twice a week) and this fancy pants running shirt that I bought when I was being a fancy pants runner by going running outdoors even in cold weather. Then I got tendonitis and the next year I got a gym membership, and thus ended my career as a runner who runs outside in the cold. However, I had been told that it gets cold here in Africa during July, especially up in the mountains. Two sisters I know told me that they even ended up having to share a bed because it was too cold to sleep alone- they came to this same exact place last summer. After this story, I considered bringing a toque and mittens, but was laughed at by everybody in the universe, including myself. Mittens in Kenya? That's near the equator. Silly girl. Anyway, I packed this thermal running shirt for just in casies. Like for pyjamas or something. Until today it had remained on my list of things I shouldn't have packed. But today it proved its worth. I've been wearing it, with a t-shirt and a sweater, all day.

But still, while cooking lunch I was shivering like crazy. Like the kind of cold when you feel moderately certain that you can feel your bone marrow solidifying. Usually I tease people for being cold- other than at night when it really is cold- and boast my tenacious Canadian blood. There was no reason that I should suddenly be so affected by the temperature. That I was cold was unusual, and as I stirred the cabbage, I realised I wasn't even hungry for it. Not hungry for cabbage? Now that smacks of mystery.

Holy goodness, I suddenly realised, I've had two days of diarrhea and I've already taken 4 Advils for this dumb, persistent headache! I DEFINITELY HAVE MALARIA.

While my insolent little phone browser can't support the java on's site (the prefered online destination for hypochondriacs everywhere), I still found ample information to confirm my self diagnosis. Did you know that even when taking the most expensive preventative drug, which I am, you can still get malaria? Did you know that even if you live way up in the mountains, where they say there are no mosquitoes, in the coldest month in Africa, when they say there are negative numbers of mosquitoes, that you can still get malaria? For example, we went to the doctor's house for dinner on Monday, and two of his daughters where at the vomiting stage of having malaria. NEVER SAY NEVER TO MALARIA. Did you know that? Also, if you experience flu like symptoms even up to a year after travel, you should consult a physician, because malaria can lie dormant for 12 months. KNOWLEDGE SAVES. The internet can save your life. Anyway, so once I was sure that I was infected, I created a treatment plan. It went like this: tell no one or else they might not let you fly home on Tuesday. Deal with it upon return to Canada.

Just one thing was missing from my diagnosis- a fever. I went to the hospital, conveniently located right beside my house, and asked for a thermometer. 35.9. Totally healtly. CLOSE ONE. I'll still keep an eye on those other symptoms, but I think I'll be okay. Also, don't tell the border patrol people, just in case. I really want back in my country.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ready To Go songs

They say the fogs come to the mountains in July, and today the weather verified that claim. In the morning, its so foggy that you can't see more than a few metres in front of you. You hear footsteps approaching on the path long before you see the owner of the feet.

As the day goes on, the fog eventually goes away, and around midday there are some really beautiful pictures begging to be taken. There's a giant church right near my house, and the fog makes the lines seem a bit blurred so that the whole thing looks like something out of Super Mario level 7. You know what I'm talking about. The castle level. It's pretty cool, and I've kind of gotten a little artsy with the angles. The white makes an awesome backlight for silhouette shots. (Aside to my cousin Britt, your CD has been great inspiration, too!) I think I'm going to have to start saving up/asking for a DSLR as a graduation present or something. Just 9 months away!

Both my exams have already been written, so I'm just spending the next few days marking them. So far I've been really impressed. In physics there is a 99% and an 100%! On Friday they're having a farewell lunch for me, and then I'm off to Kikima for the weekend, then on Sunday I head to Nairobi. Then, on Tuesday I fly home! I'm only here at school for two more nights, which is soon but also a while.

On the final day of a certain somebody else's visit, the certain somebody else was humming John Legend's "Ready to Go Right Now" ALL DAY (but it's okay, but I like that song), but now I totally get it because I've been singing Rilo Kiley's "Pictures of Success" all day. (Chorus is: "I'm ready to go" over and over) And I've still got a week go to! By the way, that's a fantastic song, so you should go love it.

I'm getting pretty excited to catch up on all the music that came out this summer. I also realized I have THREE MONTHS worth of xkcd to read! The only thing more exciting than that is lasagna, vegetables on the barbeque, ice cream, and nachos. Actually, let's get real here. I can't wait for fast internet most of all. Oh, and to wash my Achilles heel. Those babies are crusty with perma-dirt. Um, I mean, most important is all the people I love and miss.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Treats, and other food topics

My darling, darling, darling sister sent me a package of treats. A slew of Trader Joe's finest: honey sesame cashews, cranberry almond trail mix, dark chocolate and macadamia cookies, and so so so many other delights. What a gal, am I right? She also sent me a usb key full of the songs we've sung in choir, and lots of country. There is no country music here. Maybe I'll teach them some basic line dance moves! I'm excited to play all this music for them.

Tonight for dinner, Winnie and I were invited over to James' house. It is with guilt that I admit that I have come to inwardly groan whenever I am invited as a guest of honour. People like to slaughter goats and chickens and then I feel really bad for not eating them. One time, a friend was like, "and here is the meat from the goat's head! Special just for you!" and Eric and I were like, "oh, that looks great, but also, this rice is divine, so I think I'll fill up with it! Thank you!" So I hope James doesn't go to much trouble. I know that slaughtering a whole animal or making chipati are symbols to show a guest they are important, due to the monetary and time expenses, respectively. I feel so awkward when I know somebody has gone to great expense. Although I do love me some chipati, not gonna lie.

I leave next Tuesday morning, which means it's probably high time to start an hourly count down. 182 hours. We've got lots of food left in the cupboard, so I think my last grocery trip has been made. It's going to be a rice heavy week, though. Oh, also, the water pump has broken and won't be fixed for a few weeks, so the water that's remaining in our reservoir tank is all that's left for the week. We can get more, but it won't be in the taps. That means that today was my last cold shower! (From here on out, it's cold baths!)