Friday, November 18, 2011


Today is our last day at TBI. It feels so surreal and strange to say that but it is. We just finished up our last exam this morning and while we are all happy that we’re done there’s a bit of sadness lingering in the air. To me goodbyes are always bittersweet but they make us appreciate our experiences. These last two weeks have been and if not even more amazing than the last eight and time just flew by while we were having too much fun. From learning to knap stone tools to roasting a goat, to seeing a complete rainbow to visiting a man with many camels, to riding the lorry for hours to excavating some of the oldest stone tool sites in the world, and to simply just sitting around with friends, everyday has been an adventure.

Tomorrow, we will set out early in the morning from TBI to Lodwar and there we will catch a plane back to Nairobi, but since our plane doesn’t take off to midnight we will spend the day shopping for souvenirs and having a nice dinner before we go. For many of us going home will be a very strange experience because we’ve gotten so use to the serenity and remoteness of Turkana, and I think we’ll all experience some sort of reverse culture shock once we are home. I know for myself that my experiences here will be something I take with me forever and think about probably almost every day. There’s a cliché that people say about Africa changing people, and I think it’s true, especially if you find the time to visit places outside of the cities. It’s not all starving children and poverty there is so, so, so much more here that I wish more people in the world came to see and that is what my blog is about. I hope I have helped someone out there make the decision to come to TBI, trust me you won’t regret it.

The next time I write will be my last post, but for now here are some pictures from the last two weeks:

A rainbow stretches across the sky after the rain.

Students relaxing in the evening before dinner.

Meeting with a seer who owns many, many camels.

His many, many camels.

Students learning to knap stone tools.

Students determined to make good flakes.

Students discovering the effectiveness of stone tools by butchering a goat.

Celebrating our hard work with a goat roast.

Dodging thorny plants on one of our many rides on the lorry.

Enjoying dinner on our camping trip at Nariokotome.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Is it November already?

My my how fast time has flied! Eight weeks seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye and before we know it there are only two more weeks left of this program. Today wraps up the last day of our fourth module, Human Evolution with Bernard Wood and as usual we learned a lot and laughed a lot. For any parents reading or any perspective students- we're all safe, healthy and happy. I know there has been some concern over our safety here at Kenya due to some incidents by the border and at Nairobi but rest assured moms and dads, we are far from those places.

Aside from that it has been raining A LOT here at TBI and I mean tons. At first I tried to keep track of the days that it rained here but now it's all a blur. On the good side, rain is actually quite nice here because we get cool breezes from it and lightning is quite fascinating to watch. On the down side however is that it interrupts with our plans such as today. After driving for almost three hours to a nearby town to do some volunteer work today we realized we couldn't because everything was simply too muddy to work wit,h and since the rain was not showing any signs of slowing down we had to turn back and spent another good few hours on our lorry, which by the way was quite an adventure. Imagine 30 people sitting in the back of a truck with rain coming in from all sides, but luckily we had covers that we could pull down on the lorry to shelter us so it wasn't too bad. What strikes me as amazing though was that although half of us didn't understand the other half, we were able to share this journey together. On top of all that everyone here is also very happy about the rain here because this region has been struggling with several years of drought.

Other highlights of these past two weeks include a class trip to the beach for fossil hunting (and swimming), helping paint a medicine dispensary for the villagers and well rain, rain, and lotsa rain.

Alex and Francis painting the dispensary.

Rain encroaching TBI as sun sets.

My bed had to be moved because too much rain was coming in!

TBI students enjoying tea on a cold and wet day.

Ken the TBI dog after having too much fun in the rain.

Kait realizing shortcut had been cutoff by the flooding river.

Class trip to the beach with Bernard Wood and Meave Leakey.

Grass on the beach? My first time.

TBI students taking a break from sitting in the lorry.

TBI staff members having fun chatting in the lorry over rain.