August 2, 1987

8/2/87 Kiwaiyu Island

Life here on Kiwaiyu is pretty laid back. A normal day begins anytime from 6am to 8am. The crew cooks mendazis. We all over eat but there’s always leftovers. Class comes about 9am, anything from sailboarding to tides to fish. About 11am we take one of the dhows out for snorkeling. Lunch is usually boiled eggs and cookies. After snorkeling, we head back down to the beach for some sailboarding. Then we might play a soccer game until dark. On Kiwaiyu, we’ve played two games, 2-1 and 0-3. Then it’s rice and vegetable stew, carrots, potatoes and cabbage. Some people play cards or read after dinner.

The Foza under full sail.

It has funny weather here. A storm can speed in, rain a couple of minutes and then it’s gone. Even so I’ve tried to sleep outside every night. I get up about 6am and go for a run along the ocean beach. It’s all I can do to keep from gaining weight. Those mendazis are so good! Most mornings while some people go sailboarding, I’ve been writing letters, catching up in my journal or preparing for my class on Islam. After a few morning classes, we take one of the dhows out for snorkeling.

Omari Bob

We head back towards Kiwaiyu Bay and to the Boteler Islands to dive. Snorkeling is a blast. Even though the water is a little murky, you can see a lot. One thing I’ve noticed was that most of the fish are yellow and green, with a few smaller ones neon. I the tide pools, we found anemone and sea urchins. I fed an anemone a snail and a starfish but it let each go. Little hermit crabs are everywhere. I found one that was smaller than a fingernail.

Other shore wildlife were skinks and large six inch, green and yellow striped crabs. They all seemed to move sideways. These are a drastic difference from the pink crabs found by the thousands along the beach near camp.

As we head back, the crew throw over inner tubes to drag behind the dhows. Something only for the strong as the dhow moves pretty fast through the water. Omari Bob is the #1 lunatic on this trip. His favorite sayings are "attention, attention", "eny eny eny eny moo eny moo" and "unapenda?" Because the Kenyan coast is visited by so many Europeans, Bob can speak English, German, Italian, French and of course, Swahili and Arabic. He can mimic almost anyone’s voice or accent.

A little fishing using Angus as bait

Yesterday I watched the crew make mendazi. Mix four parts flour, one part sugar, a third part yeast, a half part oil, and add water. Knead dough until it opens up when cut. Some bubbles should appear inside the dough. Roll out into 6"-8" rounds, about ½" thick and cut into fourths. Sit out overnight. Deep fry in boiling corn oil.