March 1, 2019


After the usual breakfast routine and letting the girls act as my hair dressers, George and I head into town to do research on numbers, visa requirements, college application requirements (turns out international student applications at Grinnell are actually done as need-based, so Lavender’s financial situation would be considered when they are reviewing the applications, rather than after she would have been accepted (with the need-blind). She still thinks the school would be a good choice and wants to move ahead with applying.

We come up with some additional plumbing costs and start putting feelers out to have plumbers, well-diggers, electricians and the like come by the property to give estimates on what they think the scope of each project will be.

It’s a light day, since tomorrow will be a big day of both travel and speaking. 

One side benefit to coming and being here in person now, five months before the July service safari, is that I was able to experience the location of our intended Kitale hotel. While it’s centrally located in the bustling part of downtown Kitale, it’s no longer the #1 economical and clean place for tourists to stay. 

The location is noisy, and not in the best neighborhood. George explains that back in the day, it received it’s #1 tourist rating because it was the only hotel in town that offered tourists a safe to store their valuables.

We’ve been using the Wi-Fi at the Westside Hotel, just outside the downtown area, which can be completely skirted. This place has an outstanding restaurant (which is packed most evenings by locals), free Wi-Fi, and a swimming pool! A standard double room here is Ksh 5100 ($51) and a deluxe double is Ksh 7100 ($71).

We head back home early – around 8pm – so everyone is surprised to see us and dinner isn’t even started. We hang out and talk with the A-U-Guys (as George calls all the children), while Ann makes chai and then we have meat stew for dinner. Early to bed for me – wake up will be at 5am, so water can be heated for my shower and breakfast can be prepared before we hit the road for Mumias in the morning.

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