Woke up early to see us dock in Momasa. It was very disappointing. The landscape is more or less flat, there are no tall buildings or development, and it was drizzling too. Mombasa is an island so we had to go through an channel to get to the port. There is shockingly little there. No one actually lives three (at least not the majority) so everyone has to come into the city. We passed a ferry which was absolutely packed. The port is nothing more than a dock yard so we went in to eat. The weather got a little better after that so I went outside again. There were lines and lines of safari trucks just waiting for us. About everyone on the ship is doing an organized trip. Also lined up were the hockers. The whole dock was filled with people trying to sell elephants, giraffes, masks and he rest of the tourist crap. We werenít going to e cleared for a while so I went back to the room for some sleep. Jimmy, Andy, and I all skipped the mandatory pre-port briefing. We docked at about 0745 but didnít get cleared until around 1030. When we finally could go I hooked up with my group. We had a list of safari companies that were said to be good, so w started at Ketty Tours. We had to get a cab there. We went under the Mombasa tusks but didnít get any pictures, the cab was to crowded. When we got to the place Tai and Tate became the negotiators. I would have liked to be in there but with 13 people you need one or two to work out the details. Ketty didnít want to got under 200 dollars so we went to another place. There turned out to be a ton of companies, it was no problem finding possible safaris. The next place we went to was called Six Continents, it didnít look as nice but we could go anywhere for 65 dollars a day. Tate and I wanted to go for 4 days but people had to work so we had to make it a 3 day one. We couldnít leave that night either but we could go early in the morning. The final choice of where to go came down to travel. Tate had wanted to go to Amboseli because of Mt. Kilimanjaro but it was just too far. For 3 days it just wasnít practical. We settled on Tsavo East and West because they were the closest. So we left this place to try another, we were still close to 200 dollars which was too much for some. Tai and Take went back to Ketty and Charlie and Randy went to another place. Though we could have gone for 120, we chose Ketty for 160. They owned their won cars and were a well know place. The other was shady and we didnít want to get taken. So we went to a bank to change money but they wouldnít change my travelers checks without my real passport. A copy wasnít good enough. I know I could pay at Ketty with the travelers checks but you canít make 160 with what I had. They were nice though, I gave them 200 and they gave me a 63:1 rate on the extra 40 (63:1 was the same as the bank). So we were all paid up and ready to go. For 160 we got game fees, tents, 3 meals a day, park fees, transportation, and two mini-busses. It was a good deal. The same trip from SAS was double what we paid (400 actually). It was almost 1300 so we wanted to get something to eat. The Ketty guy got us a free taxi to a place called the Golden Hook. It was a really nice place, there was a river that ran through it and it wasnít that pricey either. We got one order of Impala and Antelope for the table. It was really good so Tate, Tai, and I split that and another thing, it was some really fishy fish, we didnít like it. The Impala was the best but the Antelope was still very good. Splitting that and two beers came out to be about 13 dollars. It was getting close to 1730 so we had to go back, we were meeting the people that didnít come to the safari place. But we did have enough time to go to a market around Fort Jesus. The Fort wasnít that impressive looking. I donít like bargaining for price, Iím not good at it. I was one chess set I liked and after a while of walking around I did get it. They guy had walked down the street to find me just to make a sale. I still didnít want to buy it at his price but he said we would give me a small giraffe too so I did. It turned out to be about 15 dollars. Knowing what I know now I could have gotten one for less, but I liked this one the most. We had to pay 2 dollars to get back to the ship, that was too much but he wouldnít go down. So we made it back about 1730. I had dinner on the ship and met up with Ryan. He and I both wanted to go out so we did but before that Jimmy and I went to trade stuff. I should have bought more stuff from the Goodwill. They want anything American but I didnít bring any expendable clothes. I got three plates for a notebook, folder, pocket organizer (free from Road Rules), and a few pencils. Jimmy got a ton of stuff: a huge mask, a statue, two bust type things, plus some other crap. Met Ryan to go. We almost didnít make it because the cab ride was too much but we could go for 2 dollars so we did. The place was called "The New Florida." It had a casino, bar, pool tables, and dance floor. I had the nastiest beer in the world there. I talked to one of the girls going on my trip for a while, met some other people, and danced for a long time. Jimmy showed up later, he had gotten someone to pay for the cab ride. At about 0100 we went back, this time the ride was only one dollar. We were so tired and finally got to sleep around 0200.
The day started out bad for Jimmy. At around 0615 this girl knocks on our door asking "Whereís Jimmy?!? Our safari is leaving!" I just assumed he was gone but I turn around and look and he is still asleep. I ran over and start shaking him. I cold see the horror as he opened his eyes. He flies out of bed, and not having packed starts to throw clothes into is book bag. He grabs his camera equipment put on his shoes and says "Well, I hope your safari starts better than mine." Slams the door and leaves. He was very lucky, if I had to stay in Mombasa for five days I would have killed myself. So I eat and head outside at 0715, like we had planned. Most everyone was there and in a couple of minutes everyone was. Our safari people showed up on time but they didnít have two busses. I guess since we only had 13 they gave us a mini-bus and a regular truck instead. We all fit, that wasnít a problem we were just worried that Ketty might try to screw us over in other ways too. The main driver was Alfred, he was more or less he man in charge, he was the man who deals with Ketty. The other driver was Simere, or Big Papa (BP). The cook was Harrison, It didnít take that long to get on the road. Once we did it was fairly uneventful. We passed some shacks outside the city, I figure that is were most of the people live. We slept for a couple of hours before the first stop. We got out at a junk stone to use the bathrooms and such. We didnít stay long, the prices were like at an airport, way too much. We found out another thing we didnít count on, we needed to buy water. These safari companies are really cleaver, if you donít put it in the agreement you donít get it. This was the last surprise but we didnít know that at the time. So we stopped for a while to buy water, Tate also picked up two crates of beer. We got on the road again and drove until we got three. On the way we saw a couple train wrecks, one old the other new. 31 people had been killed a couple of weeks ago. We also saw some Zebras on the side of the road, little did we know that they would be the only ones we would see. So we pulled up to Tzavo West at around 1400. We took some group pictures at the gate as Alfred paid for us to get in. It was funny seeing Charlie with 10 cameras on his arm. We got back in and started into the park for the first time. It was really rocky and mountainous. I slept for a while so I donít know how far we actually went but we stopped to see some Impala, we could also see some giraffe at a watering hole way out in the distance. It looked so cool, it was one of those "Wow! Iím on safari!" moments. We stopped a couple of times for Impala and to shot this strange cactus-looking tree. The campsite we stayed in wasnít far from the Parkís gate. We pulled in at around 1445. The campground was nice, it had running water and bathrooms and these little thatched roof type things to put your tents under. The tents were two man A-frames. They were very easy to put up, we were done in no time. We had some coleslaw and pasta with meat sauce before we left. It was good. By 1600 we were ready to go on our first game drive. We saw quite a few Jackals. They move their ears like cats and seemed fairly interested in the cars. I wonder if people feed them from the cars. Also more Impala. We got to Mzima springs for about a half hour walk. There was a Vervet monkey walking around. Itís small and gray and will climb in your car windows if you donít close them. The main thing about the springs are the Hippopotami. There were probably between 20-25 that we could see. They were basically just sitting in the water. But we did hear them grunting and in the distance tow were fighting. They walk around for miles at night but spend much of their day in the water. There were a lot of birds but I didnít get the names of them and I canít find them in any books so Iím just going to skip over them for the most part. There were a lot of egret type birds, lots with curved beaks, bright yellow ones, and this robin looking things in our campsite. Being done at Mzima we started to head back. Here it got interesting. We pulled up to where the truck was, they had gotten ahead of us. They had spotted a lion in the bushes. We looked for a while but couldnít see it. So, even though this is against the rules, we started to drive off road into the bushes. We got about 25 yards in and stopped. All of the sudden the lion bounds out of the bushes and runs away. I was very happy and excited, we were talking at the beginning of the drive how we might not see anything. Then I hear, "Oh my God! Elephants!" There is a herd of elephants about 50 yards away. So I think, "Wow, look at that, theyíre coming over here." But then I see that these elephants are coming pretty quick. I look at the driver who says with a look of absolute terror on his face, "The elephants are charging us." I look back up and I see the leading one, while running, throw its head in the air and let out this thundering trumpet. Iíll describe them for a minute. They were bright red, this was from the bright red clay of Tzavo. There were about 10-12 of them which included 3-4 babies (thatís why they were charging). They were all bigger than our mini-bus and seemed freaking fast. So our driver throws it in reverse and starts to tear out of the bushes. The lead elephant is crashing through the bushes and trees coming at our bus but luckily for us it went for the other truck. If it hadnít changed directions Iím not sure if we could have gotten out and in drive in time, being that it was a stick shift. Now itís going after the other truck. Tate had been sitting on top of the other truck and had almost gotten tossed when the driver put it in gear. They got back on the road with it right behind them. It was so close that I thought it was going to flip them. It trumpets again as it starts to chase us down the road. I thought I was going to have to jump out and try to get Tate back in the flipped car. Now that we were on the road we figured we were safe. The elephant would slow down and the truck would slow down, then it would charge again and they would race further ahead. This happened about 4 times before our driver finally drove away (though we left the other truck). We thought that our driver was just a wuss for not staying but he told us later on in the night that "The other ones were circling us to cut us off." We did a collective, "OhhhhÖ." I guess he wasnít a wuss after all. The best quotes were from BP in the other car: "Shut up or she will kill us." - "Can the elephant catch us?" "Yes, elephant very fast, going to flip us." It was absolutely intense, it was the scariest five minutes of the trip to date. I didnít think the truck was going to make it. I thought it was funny how we that frightened compared to the drivers. I guess itís that they know the danger and we donít. The rest of the ride was uneventful compared to that. We did see more jackals, mongoose, a wart hog, gazelles, dik-diks (the smallest type of antelope), and a hartebeest. We got back to the campsite at around 1830. We were all telling the story from our point of view. Alfred and BP tried to explain to us the danger we were in but we didnít really care. We were safe now. For dinner we had chicken, rice, and this vegetable mix type thing. They also had bananas for desert. It got dark soon after that. Most went to bed even though it was only like 2030. There was a Civet in our trash. Itís this cat-like thing that comes out at night. Tai, Margot, Tate, and I stayed up until about 2330 listening to Alfred and BP talk. They told us about how they got flipped by an elephant, what other types of animals we might see, types of tourists, and their world view. English tourists seemed to be the best, they were accepting and generally content. Italians were untrustworthy, you couldnít leave anything out or they would take it. French were snobbish, they would pretend not to know English even if they did. Americans were combative. There way a man Alfred was taking out who saw a leopard at a watering hole. The American made him go back to the same place a couple more times but they didnít see anything more. At the end the American blamed him for taking him to the wrong place. "The animals arenít tied down" he said. But Alfred knew the man felt bad about it later because when they got a flat tire the American changed it. About us Alfred said we had our eyes wide open, and were happy to see what we did and not expect more. But we also didnít recognize the dangers we could be in. I know he was alluding to the elephant. You see, he left the other truck because the other elephants were circling around us trying to cut us off. On life he seemed like a wise man. Very Tao sounding, open to all, accepting of the world, gaining understanding. It was interesting talking to a Kenyan about life. But it was also another thing where you realize you will never probably do this again. It really hit me as I looked at the stars. It is all so great and it is going so fast. It will soon be just another memory. Itís really sad.
Didnít wake up in the middle of the night, I would have liked to hear the quiet but it wasnít meant to be. We all got up at about 0600. All we did was put closes on, grab a cup of coffee and go. We got in the park about 0620. BP said he heard lions last night so they might still be around. We passed the usual impala, gazelle, dik-dik, and a couple of Jackals. But not long after we got in we spotted four lions. We went around the bend to get a little closer and luckily they didnít run away. The guide said that the lead one was stalking something but after a minute he gave up and they all plopped down in the grass near a bush. We sat there for a long time just watching them. Kilimanjaro had cleared in the back ground. It was a really beautiful time. After it was clear that they werenít moving our guides looked around for other cars then drove into the grass. We took the left and the bus took the right. They bounded out and went into a line of bushes. We pulled back on the road and went to where they were. Two of them were sitting close to the road just watching us. We were all hanging out of the cars and sitting on the roof when they told us to get back in. I donít think the lions were too happy about us chasing them. Alfred just said "the lions have had enough." By now I had learned to trust him on those type things. We drove around for most of the rest of the time and didnít see much. We did see one Hyena at a watering hole. Then we came upon a herd of African Buffalo. They are the most dangerous animal to tourists in the park due to their numbers and aggressiveness. This day however they were content with standing, eating, and mating. This was the largest group of animals we had seen so we watched them for a while. We did see and elephant in the trees. Its strange how even though they are so big they blend in so well. We almost drove past this one. He looked mad for a second but was really too old to fight. We made our way back out to the campsite. Breakfast was eggs overeasy and beef sausage. It was all really good. Oh, we also had mango and pineapple. We finished up and started to break camp. It took us a surprisingly short time to get our stuff ready to go. We were ready to leave by 0930. We wanted to go to the rhino sanctuary but it was closed until 1600, so we just kept on going. We did get to see a giraffe up close before we left. Alfred said giraffes are some of the stupidest animals in the park. We also saw three old male elephants. If I got any good pictures of elephants it would be these. It seemed like we were always looking into the sun. It was also hard with a point and shoot camera. You couldnít zoom very well and the animals seemed to blend into the grass. I guess that camouflage is good for something. So we left Tzavo West to got to East. We stopped at this market and heard some disturbing news. One of the organized SAS trips was in Tzavo East too. They might beat us to the place we wanted to stay. That would have sucked, the last thing we wanted was a bunch of SAS kids overrunning the place. We stopped at another market to buy food. This place I didnít like. As soon as we got three people were all around our truck. There was this one kid with rotting teeth who was just smiling at us. I guess he wanted us to give him something just to go away but we didnít. It was disturbing. It was all "Give me, give me, give me!" I was reminded of a quote from South Africa, "Donít make our children beggars." Iíll give, but only to those who donít ask. Harrison came back with a ton of food but we managed to get it in, though it was tight. We got t Tzavo East soon after that. East was much flatter than West, the place was wide open. There wasnít much on our way to the campsite, just a few waterbuck and impala. We got there around 1345. The site was some old abandoned lodges that were built in the 30ís. We put up our tents without much trouble. There was a watering hole right there so we walked down. There were huge flocks of birds, but the coolest part was the tracks in the mud. There were elephant tracks all over and a couple of lion oneís too. It was cool knowing that lions were around our campsite. The worst part of the site were the baboons. They were circling the site like sharks waiting for the kill. It was freaking me out. They had rushed the site earlier and stole some food from a small group of Germans there. They had to chase them away with sticks and yelling. Even when they were farther away you could still see them sitting under the trees around the place. We had beef in these wheat shells for lunch, there was also coleslaw. The meat was really chewy but thatís all we had so what are you going to do. About 1600 we went out on a game drive. It was still hot so we left our tent flaps open and stuff outside. That would get us into trouble later. We didnít see much wildlife on the drive. We did pass the SAS kids though. It looked bad. They had about 20-25 people in the back of these huge surplus army trucks. There was no way they had as good a time as we did. This is when it started to rain. It wasnít bad at first, we still had time to see these four giraffe that were handing around. Then the skies opened up. It was poring and we couldnít get the top down . We all got a little wet. We were racing to get back to the campsite. The roads were becoming puddles and the lightening was bad. There was a huge rainbow for a while awhile which I just happened to spot. It was unreal how fast we were going in that weather. We did make it back to the sight with no problems but this is when the trouble started. The tents were soaked. Some were underwater, others had fallen down (including ours), and most still and the flaps open. I was so angry with Steve my tent mate. He kept making himself out to be this outdoorsman but he really wasnít. I had trusted him it put the stakes and stuff in and he messed it up. He didnít know any knots, he didnít even put the steaks in at and angle. No wonder it fell down. I went around and fixed up everything, and wouldnít you know it, it stayed up! Itís not like he needed to impress anyone. If he didnít know how to do it he should have just let me do it. This didnít really end up being a problem because of the old lodges. We were able to stay in one of those. One major problem was that the trucks were all getting stuck in the mud. We had to push them out a couple of times. They shot mud all over us, we were quite covered. I forgot to mention that Tate, Steve, Charlie, and Randy got naked in the rain while we were waiting for it to stop. It was funny. We were finally able to get the trucks on high ground. I was the only one who had prepared for rain. My stuff was bagged and I had a poncho. I was fine, everyone else was wet. Once again, Boy Scouts pays off. We got dinner and I have no clue what it was. It was dark. I know us that it was like a stew, but extra chewy. What I though was really funny was that we talked to some of the people (Africans know you) who ran the place about the WWF. It was great, it reminded me of Monday nights at home. It wasnít late but there was nowhere to sit out so we went to the lodge. Two things sucked about this. First, before we went in they bug bombed the place with this stuff called DOOM. The name was a tip off that it is bad stuff. It should sit 10 hours after you use it but in our case we waited about half and hour. Steve is a bio major and got a look at the can. When he looked what was in it all he said was "OhÖ You couldnít get this in the states." It worked as a bio-accumulative neurotoxin, which means it will be poisoning our brains for the rest of our lives. Oh wellÖ The second bad thing was that a lot of the people are a bunch of alcoholics. It was hot and smelled like DOOM but they wanted to play drinking games. They were really loud. Tai got mad and told them off but you canít tell someone who is drinking off, it will only make them laugh. This very eclectic group had gotten along fine up until now. I hate when people drink to get drunk. But what really made me mad was that once they finally did quite down Tai and Margot talked the rest of the night. She had asked them to give her respect but then showed equal disrespect to me. I was quite annoyed, it was so disrespectful to me. I was quite annoyed, it was hypocritical. So people lost sleep and made bad blood over a couple of beers. I was very disappointed. Also, Iím not sure the real story but one of the guides made a inappropriate sexual advance at Margot. I donít really know the story but she was somewhat upset. The same people we thought were so wise last night now broke one of your important rules. I wish I knew more but I donít and Iím not going to ask, I wouldnít feel right about it. I got about two hours of sleep that night. I was mad.
Woke up early for a game drive. It was a bit disappointing but this time of year isnít great for safaris. The rainy season is coming and the animals are moving to places that we canít get to. The rain last night had made the roads impassable on the better side of the park. Even the way we went was bad, there was almost on drainage. Both cars almost got stuck a couple of times. We saw the usual gazelle, impala, and waterbuck, about the only cool thing we saw was a hippo out of water. It looked like a football with legs. Unfortunately it was too far away for pictures. BP thought there was a kill in the area, he said he could smell it. We never saw anything though. The clutch got stuck on the truck and we had to cut short early. We were stuck in 3rd for about 20 minutes. When we got back he said it was leaking fluid but he had enough extra to get us around for the day. We had eggs, toast, and fruit for breakfast. While we waited we found out that we could go to a Maasai village. I had really wanted to go so I was happy. But everyone didnít want to go because it was going to be 10 dollars. There were enough of us who wanted to go so that one car could and the other could leave. We went on one last game drive before leaving. There wasnít really much to see. We saw a gerenuk which is a long necked antelope that looks like a mini-giraffe. We saw about four real giraffes but they were really it. There was nothing at the water hole we stopped at, though we heard that there were a bunch of lions there not soon after. Oh, there were a couple of ostriches. So we went back to the campsite for the last time. We packed up everything and were ready to leave fairly quick. Before we left we saw these giant lizards. We never found out what they were but they looked like Kamoto dragons. There were also some waterbuck at the pond but it was time to go. Tai, Margot, Tate, Steve, and I were the ones who wanted to go to the village. I was asleep most of the way out of the park but we did get to see some more elephants before we left. We had seen elephants every day. We all slept most of the way to the village. I do remember BP pointing out the place where the lion attacks from "The Ghost and the Darkness" happened. The weather started to turn bad right before we got to the village. We lucked out though, it held up just long enough for us to go. I ended up liking the village. Most didnít because it was like a circus, not "real enough." Maybe thatís because they went with a larger group or that they had a different mindset than me. They were trying to sell you stuff non stop and it turned me off at first but it wasnít too bad. We saw a little baby which was only about a week old. The flies were horrible but they didnít seem to mind. Their huts are made of cow dung and were not that big. They seemed to have all that they needed unlike the townships in South Africa. The Maasai also did their traditional dance where they make barking-like sounds and jump high into the air. That was cool, it looked like they were having a good time just goofing off. Tat had a tape recorder with him and had one of the kids say "Jambo" into it. When h played it back everyone had a Paz. I donít know if they never heard anything like that before but they were excited. The adults were singing into it and having a ball when he replayed it. It was really neat. They all wanted to buy it from him as we were leaving. We got some pictures before we wait. It was cool but sad too. No one can keep their culture any more. But they are doing what they have to do to survive. You wanted to see reality? You got it! The rest of the way we slept but it did see and it did start to pour. The rain was coming down like mad I was afraid we might get in a wreck, we saw two along the way. We got back and the other group was already there. We had decided on a 22 dollar tip per person for all three guys. So I ran inside, grabbed the cash, shook the guys hands and went inside. I needed a shower so bad it was unreal. I had mud and dust everywhere. By the time dinner rolled around people were getting back from the organized safaris. We were all telling stories about what we saw ending. My elephant charge was a good one. Most people who went to other parks saw more animals then we did but we saw most everything. It was getting dark and I was tired so I didnít really want to go out. Ryan and I went out to trade stuff with the dealers. I wanted to score a big elephant. I bargained with this guy for a while, he wanted 100 dollars for an huge elephant. In the end for 30 dollars, three pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, a stapler I took from the student life office, and a couple pencils I got an elephant and two Maasai people. I think that was a good deal, some people did a lot worse. Our room is looking so bad. Between the things Jimmy, Andy, and I got we could set up our own stand outside. We are overflowing with junk. It looks so funny. After that I met Alyce, Tara, and this other girl and played cards and talked about our trips for a while. Alyce and I planned to meet at 1100 the next day to go to Fort Jesus. There isnít really much to do in the city. Itís more of a functional city than any of the others we have went to. There arenít that many major historical sites to see. I donít know what I would leave done here without a safari. I would have went crazy. I was so tired I ended up giving to sleep at around 2300 which is one of the earliest times Iíve went to bed in port. It was a packed four days. I really needed to sleep.
Woke up a little early today so I had some time to kill before I was to meet Alyce. I washed some of my filth covered clothes. They were so dirty it was unbelievable. So I got done, got my stuff ready for the day and went to lunch. So I waited, and ate, and waited some more but no Alyce. I went to here room to find out where she was. Turns out she had gotten real sick last night, vomiting and the like. It didnít mane me too mad I just a bit annoyed that she didnít call me earlier. But I guess when youíre puking you have other things on your mind. That kind of sucked for me because I wasted about an hour and a half of in-port time. So I said I would buy her some post cards and I left. Now I was a little lost as what to do. I went back up to the grill to see if I know anyone around. Luckily I found a couple of people still eating. NO on e wanted to go to Fort Jesus so that idea was scrapped. Most people said it wasnít worth going to see anyway. Shabby and I finally made up our minds to go to the White Sands Hotel and try to go snorkeling. Dave had went the other day and said it was cool so that was good. We decided not to go in a taxi because that would be too much money. We wanted to go on these mini-van taxies called mutatus. He wanted to charge us 1000 KSH per person. We know better than that, we ended up giving him 100 KSH for the both of us to the first stop. This woman we met said she would take us to the right one, she was going that was anyway. We talked to her about SAS for a while. She wanted to know where we were going and how much it cost (I thought she would pass out when we told her). She was a Psychology major but I didnít get to talk to her long enough to find out about it. We were so packed into this van it was unbelievable. Every time I thought they couldnít fix any more they picked up three more. American music was blasting on the radio and everyone knew the worlds to the songs. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get there. It was totally worth it though, a regular taxi cost 20 dollars but we only paid one. The hotel was nice, the beach was OK but there was a ton of sea weed. It was gross to walk in. We walked down the beach to see if we could find a good rate on diving but there wasnít really anything. So we walked back to the While Sands, and talked to the guy and the rental place but he said this wasnít a good time to go. The tide was in and it was getting later in the day so you wouldnít se much. We took his word on that. So we gave up that idea. I wanted to go in the ocean just to say I swan in the Indian ocean. Shabby didnít want to go in the gross water so she waited for me. I wasnít in for that long, just about 10-15 minutes. Walking up to the pool we met a couple of girls we knew (Jenny is the only one I remember) so we went in the pool for a little while. We had some drinks and swam around for a while but I really didnít want to be there for a long time. It was getting to be about 1630 so we decided to go. We got dressed and started to leave. We did hit the gift shop before so that I could get some post cars. I got Alyce some real ones then I got her one with these two Maasii people with their butts hanging out. I knew she would get a kick out of that one. We took a mutatu back again so it was cheep. There were even more people packed into this one than before. We talked to these two guys on the way back. They were chewing on the kind of root. They said it was some type of a healing thing, homeopathic crap I guess. We werenít sure where to get off so we got a taxi back. It was only 200 KSH so we took it. It was starting to get dark so we wanted to get back. Shabby got dropped off at the Missions of Seamen to use the phones. There was the coolest sign there, "Welcome to Mombasa. Due to safety concerns we recommend that you do not enter the city." I got a kick out of that. It was almost 1900 buy the time I got back to the ship. Jimmy had just got back from safari so he and I ran to dinner before it closed. This dude at dinner told us how NATO was bombing Yugoslavia and how Russia and China were against us. At first we though we were at war with Russia and China. Were we relieved to hear that we werenít. So we had about an hour and a half o kill before leaving so we went out to bargain. Nothing was really catching my eye, plus I decided against it. I walked around to all the dealer but no one would give me anything for so little. I wanted book ends but they were too much. Turns out I had forgotten my key so I couldnít go back to get more money anyway. I ended up getting some smaller bookends for five dollars. I got a dollar from Tai, she owed me. So Iím running back to the ship and I pass a security guard who says "One minute!" I figure thatís cool so I pass the noon announcements woman and she tells me Iím late. Iím like "No way, that guy just said one minute. Iím not late." She still said that I was. I said I wasnít. We went back and forth a couple more times before she said, "Fine just get on." I was so relieved, there was no way I was getting dock time for being on time. Back on the boat everyone is talking about their safaris and what they traded for. I think I made out well. We ended up waiting a long time because some people were really late. Their flight had been delayed in Nairobi so they were told 1700 be there for the next flight. So they went out of the airport to cruise the city. Big mistake. They ended up boarding the plane at 1600 and leaving without them. Luckily for them they were able to get a flight back to Mombasa that night. But they were late getting back to the ship. It was a stupid thing to do but it wasnít all their faults. I still think they should get dock time for it, you just can not take chances like that in another country. It was hard to stay awake but I was up until we left port. There wasnít anything to see but I just wanted to see us leave. We were all asleep by 0030. Kenya wasnít a port that made you think that deeply but it was a lot of fun. I had a great time.
Back to the same old crap, namely classes. Everyone was so out of it, including the teachers. I got an exam back in Cross Cultural Psychology. I was very disappointed with an 87%. I should have had an A but I blew it on some of the multiple choice. I was really angry. The open mic was OK. A lot of people talked about how they were appalled with the Maasii village. They were expecting some untouched tribe of savages, I think. Itís totally unreasonable to think that. Did they believe that any place where 75 to 100 SAS kids get dropped off is going to be untouched? If they did think that they were stupid. If you wanted to see reality you did. You have to deal with the fact that westernization is everywhere, you can not escape it anywhere.
Not much going on today. Everyone is studying for the CORE exam tomorrow. Not me, I looked over a review sheet someone made but thatís it. I havenít really gone to that many COREís and Iíve only done a little bit of reading. Iím going to be flying blind. Thereís nothing I can really do now, itís too late. Got snacks, played some cards, and putzed around. Everyone has given up on CORE. Since most peopleís grades donít transfer, no one cars what they get so long as they pass. CORE is just so worthless, I never learn anything in it. It is run so poorly that the teachers knowledge is wasted. It sucks, itís the worst class Iíve ever taken.
I blew the CORE exam away. It was so easy, you would really have to be dumb to do poorly in it. I am kind of nervous though, whenever I think I do well I do poorly. When I think I do poorly I rip it up. Weíll see. Everyone thinks it wasnít hard except for Jimmy. Heís one of these people who is so smart that he confused himself on multiple choice exams. He does much better on essays. Iím not worried, CORE is a joke. Iím not doing anything for that class anymore. What a waste of time. And the say this is the best CORE ever. I canít even imagine it being any worse. Itís laughable.
Opening ceremonies were today for Olympic Day. They did a lip sync. I missed one sea but saw the rest. It was really fun. Alyceís sea did Simon and Garfunkleís "Iím A Rock." Ryan was Boy George in his group, be was the bomb! Our sea sucked, we did some Prince song. The teachers were the best, the did a mix of "oldies." It was really funny seeing them get up and be dumb. Shabby did some song from Rent, they did the best with the words but it wasnít a good song for here. It was cool, everyone did a good job. After that everyone disappeared so Jimmy and I went outside for a cigar. We ending up getting in an argument with Dr. Critter (Singleton) and this drunk woman. The drunk woman was trying to tell us that kids had nothing to offer and that we were all crap. It made us mad but we blew her away, we were to learned (and sober). After that we went in and played some Euchre with Jill and Heather. I want a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup so bad! It was a cool night. But we didnít get to sleep until 0430.
TBA day - Olympic Day. Woke up really late. Watched some events and did a little reading up on Malaysia. Iím still not sure what I want to do there but Iím thinking about Kuala Lumpur. Later on in the afternoon Jimmy, Andy, me, and these other guys from our floor were a team on Jeopardy. We were doing really well in the first round, we were tied for second. Unfortunately, we blew two 1000 point questions in a row and took our score down to almost nothing. From. There we knew we had no chance to get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd so we were just funny from then on. We made up crazy answers for the questions. It was funny. I did the "Whoís the black private dick thatís a sex machine to all the chicks?" The team shouted "SHAFT!" And I responded "Damn right." That was the best one and it was even in the form of a question. At closing ceremonies we figured our sea had done horribly but they kept reading the list of points and we werenít called. Finally, it got to 3rd place and the I - O - NION sea was called. We were shocked. Our floor doesnít care at all but we cleaned up in the events. We had a good laugh about that. No one could believe that we placed. We shook up the world! We won a night up on the forbidden deck to look at the stars. It was a cool day. Played a little cards and went to bed. It was really late.
Another day with out a lot going on. Iíve got a Geology exam tomorrow. So I studied for that for a while. Andy and I watched "Dumb and Dumber" on the TV. Went up stairs and stayed up way too long. I didnít get to sleep until almost 0400. That sucked but what are you going to do.
That Geology exam was fairly hard. The essays were very specific, that made them very had. Those exams are always hard but this one was harder. I know if I was taking this course at Pitt Iíd be getting an A. But as is itís looking like a solid B. That sucks, I didnít want to bring down my GPA on this trip but itís looking like Iím not going to do that well. I hope to get two Aís and two Bís. That would be bad but not too bad. Iíve also got an Abnormal Psychology exam tomorrow. It shouldnít be that hard (I hope). I donít think it disorders are that hard, its just getting the details right. It was also crew night. They did skits and songs and stuff to raise money. They were good. The band played REM, U2, and Bob Dylan. It was cool. We pimped out our room with these colored filters. It looks really cool.
That Abnormal Exam wasnít terrible hard but some of the details were a little tough. Iím not sure what to think about it yet. I shouldnít get less than a mid-B and the absolute worst. I did get a 96% on the first exam so I should still be looking at an A. Thatís a fairly good class but I didnít like Cross Cultural Psychology as much. Itís getting better now because we are focusing on Japan which is cool. The homestay I signed up for is looking to be really cool. Iím really looking forward to it. Pre-port briefing was fairly useless, the same old stupid questions by stupid people. There was a moment of silence for the SAS people who had died in India, evidently there have been quite a few. Played some cards for a while and stayed up longer than I should have in the room. Went to sleep around 0330 and had my alarm set for 0615. Iíve got to get up to see us come into port.