Pretty Wild Vegan

Day 6 – Bus Massage Between Amboseli and Aberdare

Full disclosure: this post is not about diet.

On Day 6 we left Amboseli for Aberdare and the Ark Lodge.

We had another 5-6 hour long ride with “excellent massage” also known as terrible dirt roads that could rattle your teeth loose.

We passed many small centers and a larger village or two. We stopped for gas and restroom breaks long the way. The road trip was a great way to see a little bit more of the country outside of the resorts. A few things caught my attention.

  1. Kenya has a growing a motorbike taxi system called “bodaboda.” Our tour guides said the name has to do with the operators starting at one border and being willing to drive to the opposite border. These taxis are licensed, regulated, very popular, but still a little risky.  The bodaboda have made a difficult transportation problem a little easier. Motorbikes carry all kinds of cargo. Just a passing observation: The bodaboda ride the line of of safety vs. risk every time they hit the road.

This is a Bodaboda stand.
  1. Kenya is a country powered by manual labor and physical exertion. Kenyans perform a lot of physical labor that Americans do with machines.  Need examples? Kenyans walk for miles just to get fresh water, which still has to be treated before drinking. Cattle are herded to pasture miles from their home corals. Clothes are washed by hand, maybe even in a lake. Food may be cooked over open flame or coal.  Many small farms are planted, tended and the crops are harvested, by hand.

Bicycle carrying crates. The yellow jugs on the right are contain potable water for sale.

The lack of mechanization is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it helps keep the country “quaint” and life running at a slower pace. At the same time, because of the slower pace, Kenya is slower to progress when compared to westernized countries. This lack of progress places a hardship on the resident population.

The lack of mechanization also keeps the people more physically active. Whether it is walking from one place to another, carrying water from a fresh water source, washing clothes, using manual tools, building shelter by hand from local resources, it takes a massive amount of time and energy to fulfill the most basic needs. These are some of the gifts and burdens, the honey and the brine of life in a developing country.

Woman carrying her baby on her back.
Workers placing rocks by hand along a gorge.
Washing clothes in Lake Naivasha
Donkey cart…In some cases even the mechanization is still labor intensive for the operator.
Posted in