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So, this is me on vacation!  Please disregard the bags under my eyes...I'm not sure where those are from...actually they may be from the most uncomfortable 10 hour bus ride of my life.  The night bus from Mombasa, which left at 10 pm and was SUPPOSED to arrive in Nairobi at 6 am, but actually arrived at 9 am, was an absolute nightmare.  My legs couldn't fit in the seat, so I guess it didn't matter that I was sitting next to the most overweight and cologned man on the bus.  And no, this is a 'high class bus', so the windows don't open, you are forced to suffocate.  I guess I need to move on from it though, because these past few days have been heaven on earth, I've gotten work done, and I've gotten some serious me-time alone.

Me-time alone is mostly listening to NPR, drinking lots of instant coffee, taking hot showers, and taking impromptu excursions into Nairobi (mostly to find fruit...or explore Nakumatts).  The time off has enabled me to read halfway through Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which is a liberal from Vermont's philosophical nightmare, and is also one of the most brilliant pieces of literature I've ever read.  I've finished one Reflective Practice Question (RPQ) for my Capstone portfolio, and I have an outline for the second one!  The 2nd RPQ is little broader, and the third, I can't even get into, because there is no structure at all.  I want to write about my social identity crisis in Kenya...I'm a relatively poor, grundged out liberal working-class masters student back in the states.  Here I'm an ignorant, rich, Godless, kanga-donning phony!  Well not to everyone, but to those locals are the most vocal.  Vocal locals, phrase coined.

I'm digressing, because that is a whole new blog that I don't want to get into right now, I'm in a nice workspace and my mind is clear.  Which leads me to the topic of this strange it is to work in the field and also work in the Western bubble-space my mind "needs" in order to function.

I love living in the village I work in, I love to "rough it" and think I can take on anything, or in my case nothing.  No electricity, no fresh running water, no meat, no laundry, no showers, no chocolate, no cheese, no leaving your head communication with friends and family in the states.  However, when it comes down to me needing to write a 30 page thesis, complete with three 5-7 page RPQs, biographies, learning plans, proposals, Human Subject reviews...somehow I fall short of being able to take on the nothing.  I need this environment:

I need music, I need coffee with NPR in the background, I need linoleum floors, I need unlimited free wireless internet.  I need everything, or I produce nothing.  What does this say about my line of work? It says its freaking hard to try and do something academic when you're working in the field, practicing the theory you spent so long learning about.  It makes me wonder how people like Jane Goodall could do what she did.  I'm whining aren't I?  Maybe its just easier to say its easier to work in this environment.  The productivity test is beginning, I'll see how much I can do now, when I have all the comforts at hand, and what I can produce in the next 10 weeks while I'm living an isolated and remote lifestyle in Kakamega forest.

Alright, blog time over, back to work time!  Cheers everyone!


  1. I just can't. get over. your HAIR. It looks so incredibly cool I want to die. I'm so happy that you're so happy, and I can't wait to be with you again!!

  2. Katie - you are amazing and we are so proud of you. I do need to take this opportunity to remind you of how I had three American Literature classes and one German Literature class all in one semester and was working on research with a professor and all I had was a Brother typewriter with correcting ribbon. If I had had a computer back then I would have three Phd's by now - so...the real test of "roughing" it is ahead and I know you will meet the challenge. Love you so much!