August 5, 1987

8/5/87 Kiwaiyu Island

at the Kiwaiyu Olympics

Today was the Kiwaiyu Olympics. The group divided into two groups, and we included the crews. Events were: the crabwalk-wheelbarrow medley, tallest sand castle building, three-legged relay holding an egg on a spoon using your teeth, and a change clothes relay. A close contest decided by the final event, the ever popular tug-of-war. The two teams were called "Visua Wadudu" (insect heads) and my team, "Attention, Attention. Please Try Again."

Becky coming from behind in the crab-walk.

I think our highlight of the games was the crews attempts at the wheelbarrow race. Even after showing them how to do it, the just didn’t get the concept. Normally our crews make their living hauling sand in their boats, so I should think they know what a wheelbarrow is. They laughed with us as much as at us. "Those crazy wazungus." We were leading coming into the tug-of-war, but just didn’t have enough pull power. After the Olympics were complete, we promptly tossed our judges, Maria and Margaret, into the ocean. We all then cooled off with some body surfing.

Some of the crew extend the lead showing the wazungus
how to do the wheel-barrow.

Today I had a good time sailboarding. I was able to control the board going out and coming back. I even ran with the wind. I think today was our last soccer game on Kiwaiyu, another tie 1-1. That brings our island record to 2-1-3.

Tonight several of us went to a local’s home for tea. Very different from my experience with the Maasai. We were politely ushered into the common room of the house, and we sat on woven benches. House light was a taa. The construction on the inside was very similar to the outside. Mangrove poles lashed to uprights about three inches apart, forming a tight network. Then it’s filled with mud and rock is pushed in. The roof is thatched with palm tree leaves.

Dave out on the sailboard while Becky watches from the shallows.

When our host was ready, we proceeded out into the courtyard, took our shoes off and sat on mats prepared for us. First, a small bowl of water was passed around to wash our right hand (the left hand is used for toilet hygiene, so is always "unclean"). On a serving tray in the center of the mats were cups for chai and a plate full of sweet fried dough covered with sugar. Our host served us but kept out of the way and his wife was almost never seen. After we had finished our cup of tea, we said thank you and said good bye.