Saturday, 11 November 2017

Kenya - day 8 - Homeward bound after an astonishing week

Groggy this morning after a couple of beers last night as we all piled into the coach for one final drive to Nairobi. Nerves now acclimatised to the nigh on head-on collision every 5 minutes,time passed quickly chatting mostly with Tim and Martin.

We pit-stopped at the same lunch place we visited on the way there and bumped into Vincent (Kenya’s 2nd most happy person after the ‘fixer’ Elisha). I took a great photo of him and T together earlier in the week. He greeted us with the biggest grin around and asked him how he was? Not surprisingly he responded with the line ‘I am happy’.

Now back at the hotel we said our farewells with people going in a host of different directions: Masai mara, Iten, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Lake Victoria......

Tommy and I hung at the pool after a quick brunch with the Peppers and Corinne/Helen.

So many memories for the week and can honestly say that Tommy and I have made a lot of new friendships. All like minded people with a common bond of varying degrees of social justice, all had a lot of offer.

Enjoyed chatting with Martin Yelling (host of the popular Marathon Talk podcast in the UK) and Tim who was the physio for Eddy Izard’s 26 marathons in 26 days. Both are very knowledgeable and appreciated both their insights. Martin shared his views on Paula/husband, Jo Pavey, Cram, Seb Coe and a heap of others in his running circles. Macca also sharing his insights on Mo who he knows second hand.

I also really enjoyed the company of everyone else. To mention a few: Anne/Keria, Helen/Corinne, the Peppers, Colin/Nelly, Abby, both Alex’s. Everyone was super friendly. Enjoyed the conversations too with the Shegog’s,wacky Sean (who is thinking about coming out here for a 3 month training stint) and Rachel’s parents. Her Mum and I hit it off after she told me she was a German teacher.

Special thanks also goes to the respective teams. Rachel is a stand out and have a huge amount of admiration for her. Articulate and able to present in Swahili she is invaluable to 5 Talents. The Impact Marathon Series team of Nick, Kat and Elijah were also extremely good value. Nick is definitely onto something!

It’s been an intoxicating week and the Impact Marathon Series is an ingenious way of combining marathon running with most importantly the 5 Talents micro finance initiative. Having Martin there was a master stroke too as through his connections we basically made friends with all of the top runners in Kericho. For Tommy and I though the highlight was the youth centre at the Mathare slum (I knew it at the time). Doing this trip on your own accord you would never have the opportunity to taste Kenya and its people in the way we have done - you could literally spend months in Kenya playing tourist and only scratch the surface.

There have been lots of superlatives used for this trip but the best I heard all week was 'simply astonishing'.  The goal and impact of the trip was to enrich the lives of others worse off than ourselves but ultimately it also massively impacted and enriched our lives. It's been so varied.

Finally and most importantly it has been special to share this with my #1 boy Tommy. I love him dearly and the memory will hopefully stay with him for the rest of his life.


#TIA - This is Africa

My 2 takeaways and after thoughts;
1. Really important that the 5-Talent micro finance initiatives give the same opportunities to non church folk as per church folk. There needs to be some sort of covenant to control this. I worry that there is a conflict of interest given the trusts naturally gravitate to the church since they are usually the only buildings where the meetings can take place (I understand the point).  It should not be a case of attracting people to the church so that they can have access to the micro finance

2. Notwithstanding the point that the Kericho athletes are prima facie better off than the poorer rural areas which 5 Talents targets, I do think that there needs to be some sort of scheme for the athletes particularly if we keep going back to Kericho - besides being awkward it is the right thing to do.

Marathon Talk summary - I forgive MY for nicking my photo: )

My photos:

IMS man and true gent Nick and partner Colombia Claudia:

Kenya - day 7 - Nakuru National Park safari

Drive eastwards to the Nakuru hotel before the safarai where we saw:

starling bird
fish eagle
kingfisher (have never ever seen one in the UK before!!!!!)
harrier (bird)
white rhino
giraffe - for me the highlight - up close they look prehistoric, the closest we will see to a dinasour
grey clown crane

Dinner back at the hotel for farewells.