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23 July 2017

Day 13 - A home away from home

How are you?
I am doing very well, better than anticipated.
It has been 13 days in Kenya and I have had so many different, strange to me, and exciting experiences. My supervisor told me in the beginning of my stay here: One adopts to anything within three days. She is so right. That is what has happened. So, as you know I was fortunate enough to get a room at the university Guest house. The university is called Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology – JOOUST. It is named after the first vice president of Kenya who comes from Bondo, the town where I am residing, in Siaya county the county that I am researching. And his son Ralla Odinga, is the current opposition leader running for presidential elections on August 8th, against the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the son of the first president of Kenya. People are warning me that there might be rioting, but I have no worries the university is very safe, security guards everywhere – that might be a reason to be concerned on the one hand, why do they need so many guards, but it is general practice in Kenya and coming from Israel it is natural for me. More about the elections another time.
In my daily routine, I try to do everything as local as possible, but my limits are eating foods from market stalls, cooking or drinking water out of a tap. Although I must say the water in JOOUST is very clean, they have their own treatment plant that supplies water to around 9000 people in any given day and it is clean. Tried it myself.
So, I was thinking that every day I will write about a different life subject. 
Today the house the room and everyday issues.
I live here with my roommate Gertrude she is a young Ph D. student from Cameroon, who is researching the biophysical aspects of the water here and comparing it to Cameroon, so we have similar interests and she joins me from time to time on my tours. We have made a home for ourselves here with a routine. 
The guest house is a nice compact structure, with a living room – which is currently a storage storage room for books from the library – so we cannot use it, kitchen – has a kerosene cooker, sink and storage, no refrigerator, Gertrude cooks here, I preferred to get my meals from the university caterer, there is only so much that I can do………these are on the ground floor with a guest toilet and an exit to a garden, where we dry our laundry. The upstairs has two bedrooms and a bathroom - no hot water, so I shower everyday with cold - told that it is good for the circulation, not convincing..... The inside seemed very humble to me in the first day, but touring around the area, I came to realize that I am truly lucky and other homes are much humbler. So, after a thorough cleaning, life was good again. 
Every Saturday we do the laundry, Gertrude taught me some hand washing tips and on Sunday we clean the house. We in Israel, are used to having our homes sparkling clean, here it is different, you have to start understanding that it is really living with nature. There are bugs, bees, (hardly seen any flies), but many insects that I don’t recognize and ants of course they are everywhere and actually you cannot control it so you try to do the best. I am starting to understand. Monday through Friday, I leave for interviews and go to visit people in rural areas. Next time about the food. could not download pictuers, so none today.
good night!

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