We made our meeting quick and headed over to the auditorium for FWCC business meeting. When I walked in I saw huge clouds of them swarming in the building. SICK!!! In my pastoral care role during that meeting I had to sit up on the stage behind the speakers and hold the meeting - with these big nasty bugs flying around. They dissipated after 30-45 minutes so that was good.
I still don't quite know what they are, but I guess they are a good thing in Kenya because they signify the rainy season. And apparently they taste good. A friend of mine had stayed behind in the cafeteria and one of the cooks came out and said the bugs were good. Ben didn't believe him. So the man fried some up and they shared some. Ben said the bugs were better than one or two of the food items we've been served! I wasn't there and I think I'll pass on future offerings of bugs. Blech.
Here is kind of a shot of the swarms in the auditorium:
Here's how big they are...
And here are some other fun bugs outside our room, probably trying to get in...
I've heard that after these guys mate or whatever, their wings drop off and they fall to the floor. So after the mass orgy was over, the floors everywhere were covered in twitching bodies of these guys. The staff has been sweeping them away all day.
I went off with several folks who seemed to know what they were doing. First we had to find an ATM. The leader woman with us got directions and off we went. I guess some ATMs take Visa and other Mastercard. We passed by one that took Visa and I thought I'd stop and try it. A woman from the group stayed with me and kept an eye on where everyone else went. No luck with the ATM. I can't remember my PIN number! So I came out and the woman and I headed off to catch up with the group. She said she'd seen them cross the road but didn't know where they'd gone from there. We walked for blocks and blocks and saw no sign of them. The sidewalks were packed with people selling goods (radios, watches, shoes, underwear, stocking caps, food, books, and on and on). We got to a certain point where we could see quite a way and didn't see any sign of our other friends. We were lost/separated together.
The woman turned to me and said, "Well, I'm Joy!" I introduced myself and we went on our way! We turned back the other way and I asked a shop owner if he had seen a bunch of white people walk by. Yes he had! And one was wearing a green hat - our party! We walked and walked, but saw no sign of them. We gave it up and went into a grocery store to get a few things on our shopping list.
Hmm, I wish I'd taken a picture of the store now. I guess it had most of the normal things, but lots of things in tiny little packages, tiny little plastic bottles. They had enormous amounts of steel wool (I don't know what that was for) and a whole aisle of fat and lard for frying. I guess they fry things a lot. There was salt lick for animals, in the same aisle as candy and snacks; hoes and farming implements, and giant sacks of flour and sugar. It's always interesting to go to grocery stores in other countries.
Then it was well past time to have a sit down and a bit to eat. I must say our packed lunches left a bit to be desired. We decided to head back to the hotel we had stopped by earlier because there was a restaurant there. We walked in and who was there? The other folks from our group!
It was a lovely restaurant - I shared a pizza (YUM!) with Sharon Frame and had a milkshake (a couple scoops of ice cream floating in some milk). It was such an excellent meal. The guy in our group got a veggie burger and fries. Fries!! He let me have one. So good! And the bathrooms were nice too. =) (The squashed photo up there is Joy and I in the restaurant.)
For my birding friends, there are loads of birds here but I haven't been able to get any on film. Maybe I'll have better luck on the safari next week.
I can't believe I've been here 5 days now, and the conference only has four days left. I feel...expectant. What will happen next?