“Mysteries Of Peru 2: The Crystal Crisis” Escape Adventure Game January 26th – a Fundraiser for Tri-Cities Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders

Mysteries Of Peru 2: The Crystal Crisis
A unique Escape Adventure Game as a fundraiser for the Engineers Without Borders-USA Tri-Cities Professional Chapter. This is a sequel to the Mysteries of Peru: The Curse of Aramu Muru game, but no knowledge of the previous game is required to play this game.

To buy tickets for the January 26th, 2018 event, visit: https://mysteriesofperu2019.brownpapertickets.com


Eldrite – a small secluded village in Peru that holds a big secret; near this village is the Spring of Life, which houses the fabled Water Crystal, a crystal orb that is the source of all water flow in Peru. The path to the Spring of Life has been sealed for ages by the magic of seven mystical gems to protect the Water Crystal from those who might try and steal it for their own desiresuntil now

The great Encantado has stolen one of the magical gems and plans to enter the Spring of Life and steal the Water Crystal, placing the entire country of Peru in peril. Can you, the six remaining chosen gem bearers, learn the secrets of the magical gems and find a way to stop Encantado to save Peru? Only one hour remains

Rules and Information:

  1. Doors open 30 minutes before each start time.
  2. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled game time.
  3. Please be aware that players who arrive after the start time may not be allowed entry in order to ensure a quality game experience for others.
  4. In this style of Escape Adventure Game, 6 people form a single team. Multiple teams will share the space at the same time, but they do not compete or interact.
  5. There is a possibility that groups of 5 may get split up into groups of 2 and 3 depending on seat availability. Arrive early to maximize your chances of staying together.
  6. Even if you have group of 6 that show up at the door, you may get split up depending on table availability. We will try to accommodate this in advance, but please arrive early to secure a table for your team. Full teams of 6 that pre-register online will have tables reserved for them together.
  7. Basic reading and writing along with the ability to solve logic puzzles are needed to fully enjoy the game, so the minimum age of 10 was suggested. Teams may include younger members if they so choose, as the age requirement was not related to appropriateness of content.
  8. Each of the three game times available for Mysteries of Peru 2 will be running the same game, so to fully enjoy the event and not spoil the experience for others, we ask that you only register for one game time.

To buy tickets for the January 26th, 2018 event, visit: https://mysteriesofperu2019.brownpapertickets.com

Siaya County, Kenya: December 21, 2018

I slept until Benji woke me 20 minutes before our driver was scheduled to arrive to take us to breakfast.  I had a minor meltdown because I had planned to wear a dress and flip flops to the ceremony, but the Health and Safety Officer, aka Benji, put the kibosh on that plan, because, needles.   I begrudgingly put on my usual pants and closed-toed shoes and regained my composure quickly; luckily the driver was 30 minutes late so all was well – or, “sowa sowa” in Swahili.    

George met us and we quickly ate breakfast before heading to the hospital for the 9:00 commissioning ceremony.  True to “Kenyan time”, 10:15 rolled around and we were still waiting on the start of the program. People were trickling in the entire time and by the time the Minister of Health arrived, we had a full house.  

Before I get to the ceremony, I must acknowledge one small detail: Fridays are the day that families come to pick up the bodies of their loved ones from the hospital mortuary. The ceremony/incinerator site is located directly behind the mortuary.  The stench was overwhelming at times, and throughout the ceremony we tried to ignore the sounds of celebrating and mourning families as they arrived to collect bodies. Our view was thankfully obscured by a wall but it did little to deter our awareness of what was transpiring.

The ceremony began with Gottfried as MC – the appropriate choice, as he is the biggest man – a gentle giant who was annoyed with us the first day but who was a friend by the end of the week.  The program allowed for several speakers, including Andrew Hongo, Anthony Kibunja, George, and of course Benji. Following the Minister’s remarks, the ribbon was cut.  Abraham, the youngest of the Evolving Technologies engineers, officially switched the switch, the incinerator lit, and the commissioning was complete!

We all celebrated with lunch together at the County Club, then returned to the hospital for a final tour of some areas we had not yet gotten to see.  These included the operating “theaters”, the dental unit, the eye ward, the TB ward, the HIV support ward, the prosthetics workshop, the hospice and palliative care ward, and the autoclave sterilization room.  It is amazing just how much goes on at the hospital that isn’t apparent upon first glimpse!

The team gathered one final time for debriefing, per George’s command, and we all went around and shared our impressions.  Everyone shared their initial skepticism of the project, based on literally years of “talking” without perceived action; as well as their excitement and gratitude that the project actually came to fruition.  I got to share how impressed I am at the openness and kindness of everyone we have met, and how we have made lifelong friends. Everyone else shared a similar sentiment. It truly felt like the end of a family reunion – one during which a mission was set, worked toward, and achieved by working together.  In one Kenyan word: harambee.

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Siaya County, Kenya: December 20, 2018

This day opened with our usual breakfast at the County Club, followed by a planning meeting for tomorrow’s commissioning ceremony.   This meeting, as is becoming customary, was extremely long, but productive. A detailed plan was made for the ceremony as well as for the invite list.  The invite list included the Minister of Health and the Governor. Following the meeting, we went down to the incinerator site to check on progress and discuss a time to return this afternoon for a test-fire.  The amount of work completed was impressive; the incinerator refurbishment was basically complete and at this point, cleaning up and cosmetic adjustments were in progress.  We agreed on 3:00 for the test fire, which left a chunk of the day open for some touring around with George. We drove out of Siaya and into the countryside, heading toward Barack Obama’s grandmother’s home.  Our intention was just to view it from the outside, but when George pulled up to it, he suggested we go in to meet her (!!!). Benji and I were both very hesitant, as it did not appear to be open to the public.  As we sat at the end of the driveway discussing this possibility, a gentleman began walking toward us from the house. He approached the car and George spoke to him in Swahili, and the next thing we knew, he was telling us to park and come on in!  Who knows what George said to him!?! We entered the property and were told to sit in an area that was clearly designated for just such a purpose while the gentleman checked to make sure it was alright with Sarah Obama to receive visitors. Shortly thereafter, he returned and gestured for us to follow him into the home.  Sarah Obama was seated on a couch just inside the front door. We shook hands and exchanged greetings, and it became clear that she did not speak much English.  Via a translator, we thanked her for her contributions to her grandson’s upbringing and for the resulting positivity she has contributed to the world. I was thankful for the opportunity to meet her and that she graciously accepted us into her home with zero notice.

We departed with business cards for her orphan project, growling bellies, and a full bladder (me).  I made my needs known and we drove maybe 100 yards before we saw a restaurant/hotel establishment by the name of “The White House”.  

George slammed on breaks, reversed, and pulled in. Let’s just say that this establishment differed vastly from its namesake. An eerily kitschy painting of the former First Family graced the entrance, followed by an even stranger statue/sculpture of Barack and presumably his parents (??).  

The place was deserted but sported a sign that said “bar/restaurant”, so we were tentatively hopeful. I, at the very least, was going to find a toilet. We found a table (not difficult) and placed our lunch order.  After approximately 45 minutes, our food arrived. We all three wolfed it down in silence, paid, and climbed back in the car to make the 3:00 incinerator test.

We got to the hospital a few minutes late, but no one was at the incinerator site.  We essentially attempted to herd cats for the next two hours and finally the test fire was complete.  I am so proud of the operations staff – they have learned the incinerator inside and out, and are able to beautifully articulate their understanding and explanations of how it all works.  

We gathered for yet another meeting to finalize the plan for tomorrow, which took another hour-ish, and by that time it was after 6 PM.  We had a late dinner, arrived home by 10 PM, and crashed hard. Tomorrow is the day! The project will be complete, we will have to say goodbye to our new friends, and leave Siaya County Referral Hospital to carry through what we have begun.

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Siaya County, Kenya: December 19, 2018

Breakfast was set for 8:00, and George, Benji and I enjoyed a quiet breakfast together.  Afterward, we headed toward the hospital for a site visit and brief check-ins with hospital staff.  All was moving along quite efficiently at the incinerator site, so we invited Andrew and Cynthia to join us as we toured several other incinerators throughout the area.  We thought it would be important for them to get an idea of other operating incinerators, and as EWB representatives, these check-ins were on our list of requirements to meet while we are here.   

Our first stop was at the hospital in Ugunga.  We were greeted by two gentlemen who were happy to show us their new incinerator under construction.  It was wood-fired and an impressive scale for the size facility it is serving.

Next, we moved on to the incinerator and well projects in Uluthe, the original incinerator first installed by Asheville Engineers without Borders back in 2016.  All looked good with both projects. We got the brief tour of the clinic and I was blown away by the level of poverty and simplicity. It was basically a house-sized building with four rooms and a waiting area, filled on this day because it was “clinic day”.  Patients consisted mostly of mothers with infants – lots of them. Two kind clinic nurses took the time to show us around and then bid us goodbye so they could get back to the waiting masses.

From the Uluthe clinic, we headed to George’s house to meet his wife and see his farm.  His wife had quite the spread ready for us – corn and peanuts from their farm, African tea, and assorted bottled beverages.  For the first time, sitting around the living room, Benji and I were asked questions by Andrew, George, Cynthia, and George’s wife about our lives back in the US.  I have noticed that these people seem to avoid much personal banter, but something about sharing food and tea seemed to make them feel more trusting of us and less timid to initiate conversation.  Benji and I happily obliged and shared tales of Asheville which got lots of laughs.

Too quickly, it was time to move on to meet the Location Chief Wilifred Otino for a brief visit.  Location chiefs are appointed government officials who administrate and advocate for the people of a county.  We sat briefly with him in his office and made introductions, discussed our project, and heard more about other area incinerator projects.  This meeting at his office did not last long, as we were all heading to lunch at the same place – our friend Carol’s in Sigomere.

We arrived at Carol’s compound and were greeted by Carol, Sara, Rose, and Joaquin.  They had prepared a delicious lunch of pumpkin soup, bread, and fruit. We gathered around the table and shared this meal together, while learning each story of our hosts, as well as more about Sasa Harambee.  This meal was special and we concluded with a great picture of all of us around the table together.

From Carol’s, Sara and Joaquin led us to the hay storage location for the business they are getting off the ground of selling hay to area farmers.  They are seeking money for a larger storage facility so they can grow the business and provide income for themselves and local hay farmers.

From there, we went to Sara’s farm for a tour of her corn and other crops. She has started a cooperative of training area farmers who need help getting their corn crops to grow.  She has a passion for farming and it shows through the sparkle in her eye as she talks about helping those in her community do well for themselves. Sara and Joaquin might be the two sweetest, impressive individuals I’ve met in quite some time. I truly hope they are able to grow and sustain their respective businesses and continue to do good for others.  If I had an extra $1600 laying around, I would write Joaquin a check today for the seeds he needs for his hay business. However, as Benji says, it’s better to teach a man to fish than to give him one, so the goal should be to help them figure out how to build their business on their own so that it’s sustainable long-term.

After one more site visit for the day (amazing progress!!!!), we bid everyone adieu and headed back to the compound to relax.  George is headed home early and we are awaiting a ride arranged by Andrew to get us to dinner, just the two of us. I am looking forward to some down-time alone.  While wonderful and rewarding, our packed schedule has been draining and I long for an evening with no one other than Benji. I’m sure George feels the same about time at his home with his wife.

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Siaya County, Kenya: December 18, 2018

We met this morning with the Siaya County Minister of Health, Dorothy Owino, along with several other public health officers and hospital administration.  The main purpose of the meeting was to establish connections and for us to answer any questions they had about the project.  It was truly amazing to come together with such high ranking officials and share goals and plans.

After the meeting and breakfast, we headed over to the hospital to check on progress on the incinerator.  They were working on the roof and chimney and moving right along. The old incinerator was burning and filling the air with the acrid smell of burning plastic and other debris.  While we were at the hospital, we joined Justin of Evolving Technologies for the hands on portion of the operation training. The operators once again wowed me with their determination to understand the process and become experts on what will ultimately be their future livelihood.  

And then it was lunchtime!  Benji and I enjoyed lunch with Andrew Hongo, hospital administrator and  twinkly-eyed jokester who captured my heart immediately; Cynthia, a beautiful, sweet, pregnant hospital public health officer whose laughter at my jokes made me feel good; Gottfried, who has taken to fist-bumping me regularly, so I think we’re forgiven for our 1st-day-tardiness; and George, our host and man of action.  

Following lunch, we reconvened at the hospital for another site visit and further planning.  We left the meeting feeling good about budget, long-term sustainability, and identification of issues before they become catastrophic.  A quiet dinner followed, then lights out at the end of an exhausting but fulfilling day.

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Siaya County, Kenya: December 17, 2018

First day.  Our trip from the USA to Kenya was long but uneventful.  George Oyeho, community leader and our in-country host, is a lovable character, despite his demanding demeanor – it’s clear he is a man of action.  I am thankful to have him as our host and plan to never make him mad.

The third world scene in Kisumu was intense – we drove through muddy slums filled with barefoot men, women, and children carrying bottles full of brownish water, presumably for consumption.  I saw no evidence of running water, plumbing, or any type of waste management.

We grabbed lunch in Kisumu before heading to Siaya.  Upon our arrival at the Siaya County Referral hospital, we met Gottfried, a hospital administrator in charge of all medical personnel,  a giant of a man who was initially disgruntled at our (unbeknownst to us) late arrival. He took us on a brief tour of the hospital grounds, and then on to an in-process training for the incinerator operation staff by Anthony Kibunja of Evolving Technologies.  We were blown away by the dedication and focus exhibited by the trainees.

Afterward, George took us to settle in at our accommodation and then we joined him, Gottfried, and George’s friend Carol for dinner before turning in for the night.  I think we made unspoken amends with Gottfried by sharing this meal. 🙂

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Siaya Incinerator Project Complete!

The Siaya medical waste incinerator project was a success!  Benji and I depart Kenya with full hearts, after witnessing a great need met by hard work and collaboration.  The hospital administrators and staff were amazing to work with, as were the engineers who made the repairs.  We were able to confirm that the incinerator has been brought to full working order, as well as the operating staff trained and prepared to sustain the project safely and properly.  

The hospital administration has included maintenance and future repairs in its budget, and a seed has been planted for future waste management expansion across Siaya County.  

Our week concluded with a commissioning ceremony that included the Minister of Health for Siaya County.  Her remarks brought hope for a future that will see bigger and better opportunities for handling waste, an important mission for an area that so desperately needs ways to decrease the spread of disease and increase general sanitation.  

We here in America take for granted the ability to throw something “away”, with our efficient and readily available resources for disposal.  In Siaya, there is no “away” right now, but after our time there, we believe that their wheels are turning toward a new way of thinking.  Thank you to all who donated, to EWB, and most of all, to Siaya County Referral Hospital for seeing a tough project through.  

Asante sana (thank you so very much), from the bottom of our hearts.  

Kathryn Blount
Asheville Engineers Without Borders Chapter Secretary

Sign at entrance of refurbished incinerator building
The Commissioning ceremony, with special guest Dorothy Owino, Siaya County Minister of Health
Exterior of the incinerator after refurbishing
Newly-trained operators performing first burn!  

 – – Asheville Professionals Engineers Without Borders

Party Dec 10th, plus GREAT photos and stories about EWB travels to Kenya

UPDATE  1:20pm DEC 10th – The party tonight is still ON despite snow in Asheville. Travels safe and see you tonight!
I’m writing to tell you about a party, and to share some amazing stories with you.
First, we are changing the date, format, and location of our monthly meeting.   Monday Dec 10th 7-8:30pm, friends and well wishers will gather for drinks and food at the Bone and Broth in Asheville to celebrate our upcoming trip to Kenya. (The regularly scheduled meeting Dec 18th is cancelled.)
Bone and Broth
94 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801
Second, we think you will REALLY enjoy reading stories written by Asheville EWB member Ed Williams about his trip to Kenya in 2016.  Ed traveled with Tim Heim to build and commission a medical waste incinerator at the Uluthe Dispensary and Clinic in Siaya County, Kenya.
In case the stories inspire you, please consider donating to Asheville EWB.  Better yet, consider attending a meeting and getting involved.
– – – –
Benji Burrell
Business and Technology Engineer

(828) 283-0744 office, (804) 662-0964 mobile
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” — Mahatma Gandhi

Part 2 of 2 – Dispatches from Kenya – March/April 2016

By Ed Williams – Member of Asheville Engineers Without Borders

This is part 2 of 2.  To read part one, click here.

Ed Williams

Below are text messages sent to my wife, Cathy, while visiting Kenya, Africa as part of the Asheville Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project to construct a medical waste incinerator inthe rural Kenyan community of Uluthe.  Tim Heim, engineer, co-worker, travel partner, and I were tasked with overseeing the final construction of and training the local health workers in the operation of the incinerator.

On a past EWB project, where a well was installed in the community of Uluthe at the site of the clinic, children were observed fishing a soccer ball out of a pit where medical waste from the clinic is burned.  It was then that the need for proper medical waste disposal was identified and the project idea was hatched.

The “De Montfort” incinerator design to be used was developed as an inexpensive but effective incinerator which could be built in almost any developing country, but would meet the criteria of a temperature of above 800 degrees Celsius with a residence time of over 1 second.  The small and simple incinerator is easy to operate. A small amount of firewood is used to get the heat up in the incinerator, then the medical waste is added and the heat from the burning of the waste plastics, syringes, etc.. is what brings the unit up to 800 degrees C. Its dual stage combustion destroys both pathogens and toxic organic emissions, making it the most sophisticated waste disposal device in a large region.




George picked us up at the compound at 6 this morning and drove us to Kisumu where we met Winnie, our area travel agent and owner of the safari company, and Jonathan our safari van driver and guide. We had some breakfast then Tim, Jonathan and I headed for Masai Mara, about a 6 hour drive. The landscape changed as we gained elevation and got into tea plantation country. Very pretty green fields and less populated than where we came from. The last two hours to the game reserve were dirt, potholed and bumpy. We got to Masai Mara around 3:30pm, took a bite of lunch, and got settled into our quarters, a big canvas tent sheltered by a thatch roof. We also have our own bathroom with a shower. We headed out for an evening safari. There was a nice rain in the afternoon, and being higher in elevation, it was actually a bit cool. The first time on this trip I wasn’t sporting a layer of perspiration. Had to break out my jacket, which was kind of nice.

We drive through the entrance gate out onto the savannah and it wasn’t long before the wildlife viewing was on!

We saw: Banded Mongoose, Impala, Thompson’s Gazelle, Wildebeest, Warthog, Ground Plover, Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Grant’s Gazelle, Tope, Ground Crane, Yellow Billed Stork, Southern Brown Hornbill, Jackal, Guiana Fowl, Hyena, and a big ole herd Of Elephants that we managed to get in front of as they passed through. Darn tootin!

Didn’t see any big kitties, but hoping to see them tomorrow when we set out for an all day long safari. Going all the way to the Mara River where we might see hippo and crockadilos. Jonathan is an excellent guide and seems to know how to get in the right place at the right time.  As I write this sitting here, I’m listening to lots of cool sounds in the night. Also, my new binoculars are working famously. Wuv you!!

Can’t wait to see YOU!!




Was another beautiful day in Kenya. Will give you details when I get home, but a few highlights for now. Lots of lions!  ROAR!!! Came upon some lion families. One group we drove right up on were sleeping and cleaning one another. Our Toyota safari van is 4WD and the roof completely pops up so you can stand up and look around. We got so close to this group, daddy, two mommas and 5 cubs that you could literally spit down on top of them. Dadda was just sleeping heavily and the rest of the pride were just piled up on each other licking, loving and being sweet. Wait til you see the pics!

Went down to the river and saw a big mess of hippos. Lots of wildlife seen on the way. Jonathan is a great guide. On the way back we spotted a leopard up in a tree with his kill from last night, a Thompson’s Gazelle. You would have been sad.

Saw tons and tons of cool birds. If you came here just for the bird watching and the incredible landscape and hanging out with the Masai people, it would be well worth the trip. Throw in all the other wildlife and well, unreal.

In addition to seeing most of the wildlife species we saw yesterday, today we saw:

Lion, Attabeest, Lilac Breasted Roller, Waddled Plover, Masai Giraffe, Water Buck, Frangoline, Supobs Starling, Baboon, Black Bellied Bastard, Hamakope, Grey Heron, Red Billed Stork, Velvet Monkey, Egyptian Geese, Hippo, Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Hooee, Hornbill, Leopard, Maribou Stork, White Winged Shrike, and all sorts of other cool birds. Heading back to Nairobi in the morning. Hope all is well in Asheville.



We left the Masai Mara this morning about 7 for the six hour drive to Nairobi. The drive was nice as we descended into the Rift Valley, the Cradle of Mankind, then up and over its eastern escarpment and down into the big city. It was a bit of a shock to all of the sudden be in the noise, dirt and hustle & bustle of Nairobi. We headed into the city center and to our little oasis in the middle of the madness. The Fairview Hotel sits on a hill overlooking the city and just next door to the Israeli Embassy. It’s actually run and owned by the Israeli’s and the security is tight. The hotel is beautiful with gardens, courtyards, swimming pool and plush accommodations.

Peter, the student studying engineering in South Africa, called to see if we want to do something. He’s staying with his parents in Nairobi for another week or two before going back to school. Not sure what he will have in store for us this evening. Will report back later if I’m not too tired.  

Ps: I saw a pair of little Dik Diks on the drive out of Masai Mara!



Hello hot water, my old friend



Peter and his Scottish girlfriend Nikki came by the hotel, had a drink and brought us back to his parents’ house in a suburban neighborhood called Karen. It was all the family members we had dinner with at the compound in Sigomre plus his sister. Their house was incredible and had a big yard with gardens and sitting areas. They served us a nice dinner with grilled beef and chicken and veggies. Had the first cauliflower since leaving the states. It was Peter’s 25th birthday so we had cake and custard and we all sang happy birthday just the same as we would at home. His mom even threw in a last verse similar to the one my mom always sings me about the monkeys and the donkeys. We talked, had lots of fun, and Peter’s sister brought us back to the hotel since she lives close by. We’re getting the full local culture experience for sure.

Finished off the night by the pool. Lots of kitties running around and velvet monkeys in the trees. Goodnight Wifey!  




Today we did the Nairobi tour. Had a 1st class breakfast at the hotel (included with the room fare), then Jonathan picked us up at 9:45. Went by the Galleria Mall and got some goodies before heading over to the Baby Elephant Orphanage for the morning feeding, 11-noon. They brought out the first group of babies, about fourteen 1 to 2 year olds, and fed them two big bottles of milk each. They use a human baby formula mixture. After sucking down their bottles, the baby elephants chewed on branches and leaves and mingled a bit with the tourists looking on from behind a rope. One came over by me and I got to pet it some. After that, another group of fourteen babies came out, 3-4 years old. They told the different baby elephant names and how they came to the orphanage, mothers killed by poachers, conflicts with farmers, mothers dying of natural causes, babies getting stuck in wells and watering holes, etc..  It was cool to see the babies, but sad that such a place must exist.

We then went on to the Giraffe Conservancy. It’s a captive breeding program for endangered species of Kenyan Giraffes. There are several giraffe types in Africa. We got to feed and pet some of them. Beautiful animals!


From there we went for lunch at Carnivore. It’s popular restaurant with locations in Nairobi and Johannesburg. It’s a big ole meat fest. You pay one price and they come around cutting you off pieces of choice meat. We had: Rump Steak, Leg of Pork, Beef Striploin, Leg of Lamb, Pork Sausages, Pork Spare Ribs, Beef Sausages, Lamb Chops, Turkey, Beef Ribs, Chicken Wings, Lamb Sausages, Rabbit, Rabbit Liver, Ox Balls, Crocodile and Ostrich….phew!

We waddled out of Carnivore and cruised on over to Bomas Cultural Center where we sat and watched dancers performing traditional dance from different tribes of Kenya. Very cool. We also strolled around the grounds looking at homesteads of the different tribes, thatch huts and so on.

We’re back at the hotel relaxing after a long day.  Mary and her daughter are coming by at 6:30 to bring your dress and things.

It’s been unreal, but now I’m ready to get home to my Wifey.

Love you!!  Have fun with Emma!  I’m having my evening tea I’ve grown accustomed to. Kenyan tea with hot milk…African tea.



Tim and I are sitting at the airport waiting to board for our long journey home. George met us this morning at the hotel and we went to check out a few sites and have lunch before going to the airport.

We went by a bookstore at the mall where George turned us on to some books about Kenyan culture. Then we went to the Karen Blixxen museum. She’s the author who wrote “Out of Africa” and other books. It was the home and coffee plantation where she lived with her husband, Baron, and then her lover after she and her husband split up. We had a tour guide take us around the grounds and house complete with most of the original furnishings and artwork. It was way cool and you would have loved it.

After that we went to where they make Kazuri beads. We got the tour of the facility and rooms where at least a couple hundred women were busy making ceramic beads and jewelry. Pretty cool.

Then we went for some lunch, hamburger and fries. Need to start acclimating to life in the US. George ordered me some chocolate birthday cake which was pretty good. Tim and I wolfed it down, since George can’t eat sweets due to his diabetes. Then on to the airport where we parted ways with our friend, George, a very wise man and teacher from whom we learned a hell of a lot.

The other night at dinner, Pamela said Africa is a land of extremes: extreme natural beauty and extreme environmental degradation; extreme wealth, extreme poverty; extreme vastness, extreme overcrowding; and so on. Not sure how or if Africa has changed my way of thinking. It will take weeks to process it all. So much packed into two weeks. It certainly was an eye opener. So many new friends made, so much seen. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a culture so welcoming and friendly. The Kenyan word for Welcome is Karibu, a word I heard many times. Maybe someday we can come here together and I can show you around and take you to meet my new friends. Can’t wait to get home and see you!