Home of Champions

So it has been quite some time since I posted anything to this blog.  First I’m lazy.  Second, I forgot the password.  Nonetheless I am back in action.

Last weekend I went on the best trip of my life.  Before I left I emailed Renato Canova just incase he might be in Eldoret or Iten and I could meet with him.  For those you don’t know who this is read about him here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renato_Canova

We left Saturday night and arrived in Eldoret Sunday morning.  We slept in the bus for a bit since we arrived about 4 am and the matatus to Iten would start going until 6.  Once we arrived in Iten we walked through town a bit and found a place to eat breakfast.  I had an omelet and coffee.  This cost about Ksh 70.  In USD that’s about 85¢… yeah cheap!  Once you leave Nairobi and away from tourist places everything is extremely cheap for american standards.  We sat and enjoyed the morning while we waited to meet with one of Bro Daniel’s friends (Elizabeth).  Once she arrives, with her son (Peter), we took tea and some snacks.  As we sat we were joined by Bernard Kiptanui Kiptum.  PR in the 1500 is 3:33.  We had a long conversation with him about all sorts of things.  Shortly after we left to walk town, during which Canova called me to set up a time we could meet.  We walked down to View Point to look into the rift valley.  Truly breathtaking!

We went up to Kamirany to see the famous dirt track.  We toured the grounds and then walked the country side.

We ended up walking to Kerio View Hotel.  We sat and enjoyed the view.

Then went to eat in the restaurant.

We relaxed there for the evening and waited to meet with Canova.  He was delayed so we went to town and booked a hotel room for Ksh 1200 (about USD 15) and to send Elizabeth and Peter on their way home.  Just a quick note, the first pic in this post has our hotel in the background.  Then returned to meet with Canova at the restaurant around 8.  We spent somewhere over an hour talking to him.  I told him I would love to return to “study” under him for coaching.  He was very welcoming to the idea and even suggested I come in beginning of the year months as the athletes won’t travel much then and will get more consistent training in during that time.  I think as long as I graduate in December, I will be moving to Iten for awhile.

The next day we stayed in Iten longer than we probably expected.  We went down the valley a bit to Tambach.  There we visited some school and Peter at his Kindergarten class.

We also visited Elizabeth’s house.  Then we went back to town and caught  matatu back to Eldoret.  There we met Evans a good friend of Daniel’s, who was on his way to become a Christian Brother, but then decided not to and now has a wife and two kids.  In the streets we met Isaac Songok and talked with him for awhile.  The rest of Monday and Tuesday we toured Eldoret.  Finally, we returned to Nairobi Wednesday morning.


Going to the Beach!

The link is to a video I took on Mombasa beach.  I have other videos plus some of Pirates beach.  I will try to upload some, but it takes awhile so I doubt I will upload any long videos.  Y’all will have to wait until I get back to see those.

An update on things… I am feeling 100% better and back to normal.  I have not been to school since I think Tuesday, on Bro Maricky’s orders.  I will return to teaching and coaching Monday.  It has been nice to relax and sleep a bit extra every day.  I will try to take a video of the new house I am living at to give everyone a picture of that.  I am also going to convince Bro Ken, Dancun or Julius Maingi to go to Nairobi National Park this weekend as I have yet to make it there.  Next week I will talk to Daniel about going to Iten… time is running out as I have only three weeks left in Kenya!  If I make it to the park I will be sure to take lots of photos… I am hoping by SUnday I can have many photos uploaded on here from past stuff, so be sure to check previous posts for new pics.  That is all for now, tonight I’m going to get some brandy to enjoy tomorrow with dinner 🙂


Moved To Makadara

The Marianists’ houses are getting pretty full these days.  I have been here and Bro. Mike Cochran just came two days ago.  Today we welcome to teachers coming from Spain.  Because of this increase, I have moved to the Regional House in Makadara.  It is a much bigger and is situated next to a high school.  This school has a large grounds and holds a standard size track.  This will allow me to start running more frequently once I know I am fully recovered from being sick.  I have regained my appetite for food and don’t feel nausea when I move around too fast.  Today Bro Maricky was supposed to come pick me up and do who knows what, but he has not arrived and it is now 10 am.  He may not arrive until the afternoon so I will do laundry and try to upload some pics for y’all to see.


Kenya Olympic Trials

Today I went to Nyayo Stadium.  It is not far from South B, but we took a matatu to get there.  When we entered the stadium they had just started the women’s 5k.  We made our way around the stadium to sit on the back stretch, beginning of the final curve.  I spotted Bro Colm and Bro Elvis and I went down to talk to him.  After chatting with him we went back to the stands to watch the rest of the races.  I captured video of all the races, but I doubt I will upload them as it would take me a coon’s age to do so.  The races were exciting.  The men’s steeple featured Brimin Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi.  Kemboi put on a show as he sat near the back and by the home stretch was vying for the win.  Once he knew he would place top two, he let off the speed and finished second.  At the Kenya Trials, the top 2 automatically make the Olympic team and the third spot is decided by Athletics Kenya.  It was fun to see many of the top Kenyans I have read about competing right before me.  During the men’s 5k a man who was not supposed to be in the race toed the line.  Before the race the officials even tried to get him off the track.  He insisted and they let him start.  This man was clearly not an elite runner.  He was hefty looking and had a belly on him.  By the time the leaders finished he was lapped six or seven times!  He was entertaining and the crowd loved his antics, even the announcer was playing along with him.  At the US Trials if someone tried to do this, the meet officials would be going nuts.  After the races were finished I sought out the famous coach Renato Canova.  I had spotted him midway through the meet and wasn’t leaving unless I talked to him.  He is one of my biggest heroes!  I met up with him on the infield and started chatting with him.  His english is rather broken and sometimes it is hard to follow him, but nonetheless, I was able to concentrate and follow what he was saying.  I exchanged email addresses with him and even talked about returning to Kenya to work with him.  How amazing would that be!?  This is a coach of world and olympic champions and world record holders!

 

 

On the way out of the stadium we met up with Bro Dan and he introduced me to some of the athletes he knows.  He spent some time in Iten, so he is friends with some of the elites he met while there.  It was amazing to see someone like Augustine Choge seeing Bro Dan and flagging him down to say hi, then getting to chat with him.  I hope a trip to Iten is worked out and Bro Dan says we will spend time with many of the elites he knows living there.


Trip to Mombasa

I meant to publish this last night.  Also, I doubt I will post as many pics or videos as they take awhile to upload since our internet is slow.  Be sure to check back to past posts as I will add pics when I have a chance

Last weekend I went to Mombasa and stayed with Brother Elvis’s family.  I had lots of fun, except for the bombardment of mosquitos.  The first day we went to some of the markets.  It is pretty cool.  You have kiosk after kiosk filled with different goods and people walking everywhere.  When you enter the one market you are surrounded by people and kiosks.  The sky is covered with sheets, so it is rather dark in there.  The other market was much more open.  We visited Ft. Jesus after this.  This fort was built by the Portuguese and was taken over by the Arabs.  Eventually falling into the hands of the British.  It was carved out of the rock and took a long time to finish because of this.  Later in the evening we went to Mombasa beach.  This beach is very relaxed, not many people.  That night we went to a night club.  I had a gin and tonic, then switched to Johnny Walker Black Label on the rocks.  Scott Koressel would be proud.  We saw a dancing/acrobatics show before we went to the dance floor.  We finally left the club at 4:30… I was extremely tired at this point.

The next day we went to Pirates beach.  This beach was very crowded as most of the Kenyans go to this one.  The waves at this beach were also bigger and it was lots of fun swimming through these.  On Monday we went to a Haller Park and saw giraffes, crocodiles, various snakes and lizards, sort of saw hippos (they were under the water), various antelopes, a couple tortoises, and some monkeys.  Then we went to a park along the ocean before we left.

We arrived in Nairobi Tuesday morning and I went to school that day.  On the way home we were stopped in Mukuru by a truck and as we waited for it to get out of the way we saw the start of a fight.  A man started yelling at two men walking and eventually the one was being held by his shirt.  Once the truck had moved out of the way, people from the crowd directed us through the crowd that was gathering to make room to beat the man.  as we drove by the men, The one holding him by the shirt started slapping him in the face.  This made the other man very heated and punches started flying.  By the time we were past them, I could see form the back window the man being punched and kicked.  Even people from the crowd not involved started throwing punches and kicks.  The brothers said these people will join as they use it to real ease anger and stress.  They also said it would not surprise them if he was beaten until he couldn’t move or until he was dead.  Later I asked some of the children what they thought was the reason and they said most likely it was drug related.  definitely a crazy experience.  It makes me think back to when we hit the child with the car and that things could have easily elevated to the worse.  Because we took the child and sought him care there was no grudge.  There was actually a man then that helped control the crowd.  I think Bro Julius said he is a drunk, but nonetheless he is a good man.  Anyway, those are some interesting experiences I’ve had.

Tomorrow is the finals for the Kenya Olympic Trials.  I will be going grant it I feel better.  I woke up today with a headache and feeling very weak.  I talked to Bro Colm last night and he said events start at 10:3o and he will be there.  Hopefully I will run into him.  Bro Dan will be done with class  by 12:30 so He will meet me at the stadium and I think one of the other brothers will go with me for the beginning of the meet.  I will take pics and videos while I’m there… hopefully I don’t get in trouble as they might not want things filmed. Luckily my camera does not look like a normal camera and they might not realize what it is.


Off to Mombasa

I am off to Mombasa today.  Leaving in the next couple hours.  I have been very busy and tired and have not had much time to write on here.  I have some photos and videos to post but don’t have the time to upload them right now.  I will also have more time later to write about what’s been going on since my last post.  I will return Tuesday morning and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of pictures and videos of the coastal city.  I’ll be going with Brother Elvis and staying with his family.  We’ll have opportunities to go to the beach, to shows, and to night clubs.  Should be a fun time…. they say Mombasa is the Las Vegas of Kenya 🙂  Well, until next week, See You!


Uhuru Park

Yesterday, after lunch, Brother Elvis and I took public (what taking a bus is called) to city center. We walked a boat load!  Perhaps 4 miles worth of walking.  We saw all sorts of sections of the city. We walked through market places, through kiosks, a big repair section for matatus, and through a park next to parliament called Uhuru Park.  Here are some pictures of the park plus one of the cathedral.  I have a couple videos but i will upload them later.