- Tank team 2 group shot
(60k): New roll of film. Since the silly point and shoot which I had
didn't have an accurate flim-o-meter on it, I found myself taking at
least three pictures to start out the roll -- click, wind, click,
wind, click, wind, etc. This would zero the film-o-meter on 1. So I
have two more pictures of this scene. Clearly
they are all looking at other cameras while I was doing this. :)
- Can Corwin come over to play? (57k):
Poor Corwin. He was often more than a
little intimidated by all of the kids there who wanted to play with
him. They all wanted to touch his skin (because it was white and
therefore cooler in the sun than theirs) and play with his hair
because it was so straight.
- Pharoh pharoh! (51k): Jenny
Pintsch plays the guitar, as
Bianti Curry, Dave Bosscher, and Joel Mekkes do the body gestures for
- Reverse angle! (41k): Joel
Mekkes, Dave Bosscher, Bianti Curry, Jenny Pintsch, Carolyn Larson,
and Dan Vandenberge do the gestures for "Pharoh Pharoh!", while
Rebecca Stone, (being held by) Summer Conklin, Andy Kress, and Hilary and
Dyson Webster look on. (Side note: typing "pharoh pharoh" is a real
"finger twister"... it's hard to type fast, and easy to misspell.)
- Somebody's tired (47k): Mike
Kolassa stands on the dam holding Timothy Stone while an Mzee looks
on. ("Mzee" (mm-zay) is a swahili term of respect given to
older men.) Take a look at Mike's shoes. I was shocked beyond words
when I was visiting a
friend in Alabama three months after I got back
to the states and she had shoes that looked... well, not just
like that, but close enough. After a few seconds, I looked down and
pointed at the shoes sitting innocently enough next to the front
door. "Shoes?" I said. (Not one of my more eloquent moments.)
"Yeah, they're my gardening shoes," she replied with a puzzled look on
her face. "They're red," I said. "Yeah, um, they get like that
because of the dirt." she said, with not a little bit of sarcasm and
amusement. I bounded to the window and started looking outside for
red dirt. Sure enough, red dirt. Then I explained why I was shocked
and she started having slightly fewer doubts about my sanity.
Anyway. If you have a big enough monitor, you can check out a bigger version of this picture.
- Mekkes and Therkildsen (35k):
Joel Mekkes marvels at the brush, while Eric Therkildsen contentedly
contemplates beating the snot out of him. Just kidding! Okay, maybe I'm not kidding.
- The finished dam (52k):
A side view of the completed dam. Someday (yeah right) I'll put up
individual pages for each work project, and I'll post pics from the CD
Jon Stone sent out, so you all can see progress of the various
projects. In the meantime, you can look at this picture, which has
Dave Bosscher (in the distance with the camera bag) and Isaac Stone
(going down the ramp -- you can barely see the crutches, and you can
certainly see how he isn't using them. Since he walked on it so much
before it was done healing, he had to get an extra cast when he came
back to the states -- which he wasn't particularly happy about.)
Also, I think that's Jon, Steven's brother on the right, pointing out
in the distance.
- Another angle (59k): A different shot
of the completed dam -- this one gives a better feel for how wide the
dam is. Keep in mind that it was built in five weeks entirely by hand
with no power anything. Hand tools, hand lifting. Um, I have no idea
how many people worked on it each day -- fifty or so? Anyone on the
dam team want to e-mail me a rough estimate?
- Stupid finger in the lens. (37k): I was
almost hyperventilating while taking this shot (because it was so
beautiful, see), and my finger got in the way so bad that I can't fix
it. Oh well. Here's a close up of
Isaac at any rate.
- Playing in the rain (47k):
The lighting in this picture is so bizarre, I can't figure it out. It
looks like I turned the flash on, but I really don't think I did.
Anyway, this is Nigel Webster playing during one of the rainstorms we
got during the last week while we were there. No, it's not
spot-raining on him, that's the water coming off the roof. (Here's a
close up of just Nigel, if you're
- Park sign (62k): Then I looked the
other way out the window and saw this. Those skulls are exactly the
kind of thing that you're not allowed to touch or take out of the
park. (Like, if you find a dead cape buffalo, I mean. If you
actually kill a cape buffalo and try to take its skull... let's put it
this way: It's not the 1800's anymore when it comes to hunting in
Africa folks. The guns the Kenyan Wildlife Service carry around are
probably just as much to discourage poaching as for protection from
a stray rampaging cape buffalo.)
- Fog rolling in at
Marsabit Lodge (40k): Did I mention that it was foggy and raining and
cold the last week we were there? Well, it was. Also, that building
only looks just slightly crooked, it's actually an optical illusion.
Trust me, I spent about five or ten minutes composing that shot and
thinking about it, until I finally said "Oh, to heck with it," because
it looks straight when you're standing there but then when you look
through the camera, it doesn't look straight. Also, something else
you can't tell from the picture is that the fog was spilling in
over the edge of the crater when I was taking this picture. It was
pretty cool; my picture of it is just an approximation of cool.
- Lake Paradise. (68k): This is
a composite of two shots of Lake Paradise (because 14 dollar 35mm cameras
don't have wide angle lenses). To the right, you can see the
desert stretching off into the distance. To the left, you can see a herd of cape buffalo
swimming. Well, wading. And by "see", I mean, "can barely discern a
bunch of black specks in the water on the far left shore, which might be
be rocks, or even dust on the lens, but it's not. Really!" Here is a
close-up of the buffalo in case you don't
believe me. I found
picture of Lake Paradise on the internet, so check it out for yourself!
found another... scroll to the bottom of the page. Of course, the
area in dispute is obscured by vegetation. That page is actually
pretty neat -- it's about a team of a few people from a Canadian church
that went and stayed at the St. Stephen's Training Center (Centre!),
in Marsabit (they were there right after we were: "Aug 29 - Sept 10,
2001," the webpage says.)
Their descriptions of everything tend to be a little more breathless and
excited than mine are -- but then, they were only there for a
couple weeks, so they had less time to get used to it, and no time for
culture shock. I hope they enjoyed the mosquito nets.)
- Yet more baboons (41k):
As we came down the hill and around on the way to Lake Paradise, there
was a whole bunch of baboons sitting there on the outer edge of the
final curve before the road double-backs.
- This is not a posed
shot. (41k): I'm not kidding.
I turned around after looking at the lake and this is what I saw. It
took me a good 30 - 45 seconds to get my camera out, and the whole
time I was afraid that they would move or something, but they didn't.
And I didn't want to say anything because I knew that they would stop
looking natural and start faking it or start being self-conscious.
Heh. Someday, when I'm 90, I'll publish a little pamphlet on the art
of ninja photography -- of taking natural, unposed pictures of
people which reveal who they really are without being invasive or
distracting. (Of course, sometimes I'm invasive *and* distracting
when I'm taking pictures. Even ninjas get time off.)
- Huh. (23k): We
stopped at the gate on our way out of the park. While Tim was talking
with the guards, I looked out the right window.
"Hey, Serenity," I asked, "are those solar panels on that authentic
"Um, yup, that's what it looks like," she replied, laughing a
You can't see it from this picture, but the "thatch" was covered in
chicken wire, to keep it from blowing away in a rainstorm, you see.
Also, there are several layers of plastic under it. So it's... not
really authentic at all. Heh.
- Me and Galoro (43k): Galoro and I
pose for a picture in front of the Blue Defender. And no, in fact, I
can't always think of something funny or interesting to say about each
picture that I took.
- On the way to the
airstrip (58k): There were many
last minute "snafus" with the computer network, and that was really my
fault. I should have concentrated on getting the computer network
done first, and then started working on some of the construction
projects, instead of the other way around. Alas. One of the problems
was with the main FHI reports computer -- the one they used to send
their monthly district report in to the central office. It suddenly
stopped working, and I couldn't get it started again. This happened
about an hour before the plane was going to arrive. Well, I tried,
but I had been up all night, and that damn computer was being really
stubborn about booting (picture a proprietary motherboard desktop Gateway
pentium 90). The plane was literally flying overhead when they said
"Um, we have to leave NOW." I looked up, and said "I'm sorry. I
cannot fix this." "Nevermind, just go." So I ran out and hopped in
the back of this pickup truck with the luggage (and snapped this one
last picture.) I still agonize over the computer problems and the
state their important reports computer was in when I left. I think it
was the power switch that failed, actually, and I've since thought of
a couple of ways around the problem. But that's not very much help now.
(Not everything about the computers was bad, we fixed up their
printing situation and the network infrastructure and the like is in
Anyway, that's Nyamu on the right. I don't remember who that is on
the left, but Galoro was driving the blue rover behind us. This is
the last picture on the six rolls of film that I brought with me. (The
next two rolls in the series I got from Jon Stone in Nairobi.)
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