Saturday, March 14, 2009

Downtime á la Africa

For a hyena, downtime usually looks something like this…

For the Homo sapiens out here, downtime is a bit harder to come by.

Honestly, between watching hyenas, thinking about hyenas, and writing about hyenas, we don’t have a whole lot of free time. And, when we do have a moment to spare, we usually spend it peering under the hood of the car, repairing tent zippers, or fixing whatever’s gone wrong with the solar panel.

On those glorious occasions that we can unwind, we make it count. Fisi Camp knows how to throw a great party. All you need is some bad American music, a campfire, and a freshly-slaughtered goat. As if by magic, everyone in a 10-mile radius – both Masai and foreign - shows up at camp within the hour. It’s a great way to take a break from work, as well as show some generosity to the local community.

Another one of our favorite leisure activities is “sundowners,” Kenya’s variation on cocktail hour. The idea is simple: rally some friends, find a hilltop with a gorgeous view, pour some libations, nibble on cashews and “crisps” (that’s “chips” to us Americans), and watch the sun go down.

Often, however, our downtime is less exotic. When there’s enough power to spare, we watch movies (our standards are pretty low, so we don’t mind watching the same 5 movies over and over and over again). When we’re out of power, we read…we have an eclectic collection of books donated by previous Fisi Camp residents. When Kay is around, we play some bizarre German board game involving railroads. We gossip, we nap, we play with our food.

While there’s a definite scarcity of downtime here, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to fill those fantastic free moments.


Dan said...

Ticket to Ride! That game is awesome.

Leslie said...

I am also a Ticket to Ride convert. Kate—the trick is to forget the whole cockamamie passenger thing. Then it's a great game. Although I do prefer the non-German version. :)

Kate said...

I love games...give me Scattergories, Labyrinth, even Monopoly any day. Those railroads just drive me insane.

Suddenly I have NO qualms whatsoever about leaving soon. You all can play that ridiculous game all day long.

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