Three reasons why I’m happy that my mom doesn’t know how to use the internet:
1. I learned to ride a motorcycle
In a village where there’s minimal electricity, no tv and zero internet you need to get a little creative. (I lied. We found ONE tv and it was playing of all things, Chinese soap operas in Mandarin. Of course.)
After some constructive brainstorming, my friend and I flagged down a boy on a motorcycle taxi and asked to rent his bike. Voila! 40 minutes later:
What I didn’t mention was that we were on the very Muslim coast of Eastern Kenya. Proper women are covered up and stay at home, tourists stick to snorkeling by the shore and NO ONE tries to learn how to ride a motorcycle. What started out as an empty field became littered with boys and men both jeering and cheering at the strange sight of me- a foreign girl teetering around on a bike. If ever there was a moment where I couldn’t fail, it was this. I heard the roar of their laughter when I couldn’t kick start the bike and the weight of their stares when I got burned by the exhaust.
This crowd had grown to a group of 20 guys by the time we left. If there was ever a moment that I felt like I needed to win one for the girl's team, it was now.
But at last, my moment of glory come when I walked off the field and turned to wave a victorious good-bye at the crowd of stunned men. Point for the girl’s team.
2. We got mugged in Mombasa
My initial thought was to grab a rock and heave it at the four guys that had pushed my friend down and ripped the gold chain off his neck. But judgement kicked in and I realized me < four guys wasn’t a good idea; violence was a bad look for me anyways. So I ended up doing the reasonable thing and flagging down help.
The best part of the scenario? No one got hurt, it was a good lesson learned (be more careful and don’t throw rocks at men twice your size) and my friend got his chain back. The guys had dropped it on their way out and a watchful homeless man found and returned it, once again proving the goodness of random strangers.
3. I got left by a bus in Nowheresville, Kenya with no phone, cash or passport.
I got off the bus to let the pushy passenger behind me out. For whatever reason, the bus stopped, I got out, but the man behind me didn’t. As the bus whizzed away and left me in the darkness, I realized that my phone, cash and passport were in the bag my friend offered to help me carry when the bus got too crowded. FML.
While looking for help down the empty, barren road, a concerned trucker spotted me and somehow understood my wild gestures and that I needed to locate my friend who was still on the bus. A frantic truck chase, a lot of mishaps and two hours later, friend and I were reunited once more.