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Not Dashing, Chilling

March 29, 2008

Today is/was supposed to be Dash Day, the culmination of a month or two of preparations, training, strategizing, finding a partner, gossip, subterfuge, and speculation about who would win the famous Maxi Dash, the Mt. Club’s annual climbing competition. The goal is to climb as many routes as possible at 3 out of 5 areas around Nairobi, then end up at Hell’s Gate park to finish climbing, camp, and party. The Dash has a history of high rivalry, lie-telling, car-disabling, and sounded like a lot of fun. When we found out that there were likely to be only 3 or 4 teams competing, it took some of the luster off the idea, but still, we were packed and ready to go when, well, the rain kicked in and HOW.

The Dash has been held for about the past 40 years, in which time you’d think they’d have realized that there is this very reliable thing called the rainy season starting at the end of March, but there it was, scheduled for today. After pouring mercilessly, complete with loud thunderclaps, from about 3 to 7 last night, the rain continued slow and steady. Our resolve wavered. That is to say, went into the toilet.

Maybe we’re just not as hard as the African hardmen (and my partner was the only other woman), but neither Chris, me, nor either of our partners felt the slightest bit ambitious about waking up well before dawn to drive an hour or so to Lukenya on the hellish Mombasa Rd (which at least is kind of paved in spots) to climb 3 wet routes only to drive 2+ hours the other way to the 2nd area, which is well off-road, and encounter impassable muddy ruts. Not one of us felt like slogging in on foot, either, and without climbing at that crag, there’s no point. We know just those two places plus Hell’s Gate to satisfy the requirements.

It was clear that the climbing committee wasn’t canceling or postponing, even though there is a “rain date.” Apparently that’s just for show and it’s never cancelled, so we all decided that if it were still raining at 4 a.m. when we woke up, we’d call it quits, and that’s what happened. Bugger being wet, stuck in the mud, rained on, and enduring seeping wet rock if you could get in.

So we got to sleep in instead, enjoy a Saturday at home, and rest after a hectic week. We have a visitor from the States (another academic who’s just moved here for a year) and he brought us a much-needed firewire cable, so I’ve almost got some of our first video downloaded at last! That, and finished “Things Fall Apart.” With that and “West With the Night” done, I owe you some book reviews, coming soon.

Hope you’re not dashing too much either on your Saturday.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. MIL permalink
    March 29, 2008 12:58 pm

    Wht can I say…..except I applaud your intellect! Glad you had a restful Saturday. Loved yesterday’s post with pictures of the kids at Angel Cottage. Once again, how blessed we are and how much we take for granted! All that poverty and still the smiles and determinaton on those little faces!

  2. April 10, 2008 1:05 am

    what a shame to miss the climbing. It is nice to have a sleepy weekend though.

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