- Commiserating with my young friend about
driving here today.
This week involved trips to pediatric HIV clinics across the
western portion of Kenya, requiring 6-8 hours in the car a day and
leaving me pretty exhausted. At the moment, I'm too tired to write
about the good work our teams are doing or the sick kids we are
taking care of, and so here's a Friday list reflecting on life in
the car in Kenya.
1. I swear more while driving in Kenya than during any other
activity. When I have my team in the car, I try to do this
2. My greatest asset for Kenya fieldwork may well be the fact
that I don't get motion sickness. Working on my computer in the car
can still be a challenge when the laptop is bouncing off my lap
every 20 feet.
3. My greatest weakness for Kenya fieldwork is likely my
walnut-sized bladder. I have learned to identify roadside locations
with just enough shrubbery.
4. The aggressiveness of my driving appears to increase with
every 30 minute interval on the road. As the time goes by, I become
a more fearless passer on narrow roads and uphill climbs. Some
would say this is fueled by rage; I like to think I am adapting to
5. Often, while driving in this country, I imagine myself in a
driving videogame with myriad obstacles. I am now very good at such
6. The traffic and parting police in town have absolutely no
concern for the fact that you have parked illegally on the sidewalk
in something that could never be construed as a legitimate parking
spot. On the other hand, they are keenly concerned about whether
you paid your dollar for the daily parking permit.
7. Driving in Kenya is done best with a zen-like balance between
thinking one might die at any moment and thinking that death is
- The position in which I spent much of the