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Day 29 (July 24, 2011): Sunday Funday

July 24, 2011

Every Sunday the Kenyan crew takes a break from the usual rigors of excavation.  This season their favorite place to visit is Kiserian, a town about 45 minutes away just outside the Rift Valley, toward Nairobi. Today, Katie decided to join the crew going to Kiserian to see what it’s like, and she offers her thoughts here about the day off:

an image of Kiserian near the intersection of the Ngong Rd. and the Magadi Rd. a few men are walk in the street around cars, truck and matatus.

The town of Kiserian
Kiserian is a relaxed place, but not boring! It houses a lively market and plenty of shops.  Here the crew members typically spend the first few hours shopping for miscellaneous needs.  Afterward, they head to their favorite restaurant where they just unwind for the rest of the day.  They also take the opportunity to have a special lunch, a favorite of many East Africans—nyama choma, which is Swahili for roasted meat – essentially, barbecue.  It’s generally eaten with ugali (see Day 23) and tomatoes.  Sometimes the crew’s family members meet them in town for a visit. Overall, it’s a great day away from work relaxing with friends!

In the late afternoon, everyone returns refreshed to Kampi Safi.  Starting around 5pm, Katie and Jenny took a hike from camp to the Baboon Cliffs, an area of high basalt ridges along the Ol Keju Nyiro River.  Just before sunset, dozens of baboons converge on the cliffs, lounging, grooming each other, and playing. We often hike there just to relax, watch the baboons, and enjoy some snacks.

Eight baboons sitting on top of bushes and boulders.

Baboons on the cliffs above the Ol Keju Nyrio River
a woman in a blue shirt, high on a hill above a river gorge, looks through binoculars at baboons scampering on a cliff face on the other side of the river.
Katie sights through binoculars to watch the baboons on the south side of the Ol Keju Nyiro River, which runs across the base of Mt. Olorgesailie.