The elections have so far gone off without too much of a problem. I say "so far" because they're not really done yet- one of the candidates has gone to the courts to contest the results, so we'll see what happens. At least Kenya is peaceful, and that I appreciate!
The weekend the results were being released though, we decided to go to my helper's (Alex) rural home to visit with his parents. There, there is no TV, no electricity, no running water, and very little mobile phone service- so relatively little contact with the rest of the world, and therefore if problems were to arise, would be very, very safe. I did admittedly have other motives though- I wanted to see bush babies! Bush babies are one of the few animals in Kenya that I really wanted to see that I haven't yet. Also, I had run out of the hormone that I inject into the birds and was waiting for a package from the US that would replenish my stock.
So after we finished the first 12 birds in Voi, we left for Mutito- it's a 9 hour drive from Voi (although not as far as it sounds, it's just the roads aren't wonderful) and stayed there for 3 nights before coming back. I DID get to see bush babies (see the picture below, it's so cute!!)- something that people actual kill in this area for eating their chickens. Bush babies are a primate, but they are also nocturnal, unlike most other primates. They have several evolutionary adaptations that have helped them survive their life style- big eyes (to acquire more light to best see at night), long tail (arboreal life), etc.
Also, I got to experience how those less fortunate live on a daily basis. Coming to Kenya definitely helps me appreciate what I have and had growing up and I wish all children in the western world could experience it. One thing I did while there was fetch water from the river- no one has running water into their houses, so they need to go to the river (which is actually a dried up sand bed), dig a hole until they reach the water table, collect water into a 20L jug (which weights 44 pounds) and carry it back to their house (either using their head or if they're lucky, which I was, a donkey).
Since then, we have returned to Voi. On the way back, we saw these VERY large ants crossing the road carrying food and a couple squirrels crossing the road. Alex told me both of these things were considered good luck here in Kenya (which I wasn't really sure I believed). BUT, as soon as we got to Voi, we found out that both packages I was waiting for would arrive the next day and we had really good luck catching house sparrows! If you remember from the last post, we had some trouble catching here in Voi the first time. On Tuesday, we went out and set up 2 nets...we needed 12 birds. We caught more than 50 in less than 30 minutes!!!! It was so crazy! But now we're halfway through the second round in Voi.
I've also had a couple (Skype) job interviews, so fingers crossed something works out there (more ant and squirrel luck??)!