Meet Joseph Wambura:
Joseph is our driver- shuttling us between our living quarters, our project in Komosoko, the market in Migori, and anywhere else we need to go. Besides his skills at navigating the less-than-ideal Kenyan roads, we also love Joseph for his excellent (if limited) taste in music.
The other day our route took us past Joseph's house, and he insisted that we stop and come in for a while. Like most families in the area, his home was really a small grouping of adobe huts with a sort of courtyard in the middle. Roaming around outside were a host of animals: cows, chickens, at least one duck, and no less than five dogs. As for children, I quickly lost count. Some of the older children rushed to greet us, some of the younger timidly poked their heads out from behind doors, and some were too young to do anything but sit and stare. The ages ranged from as old as we are, old enough to be in college, all the way down to cute babies. Joseph proudly informs us that he is a father of eight. In the United States, eight children and a menagerie of animals would probably earn you your own TV show, but here it's accepted as normal.
It's nice to have a guide who is local, especially in a place where Google Maps isn't exactly a trusted source. He knows how to deal with cows (ombe!), herds of goats (mbuzi!), and everything else that appears in the middle if the road. He's even served as an impromptu translator when the head teacher wasn't present at a school we visited. Finally, he's made us extremely familiar with some of the popular music in Kenya (by playing the same three songs on repeat for a week and a half). Really, Joseph is an invaluable member of our team as much as he's our driver, and I can't wait to get to know him even better over the next two weeks.
A picture is worth a thousand words. See accompanying images here.