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Day 25

The other interns and I had Saturday class and then made brunch. I have the boda boda riding down; I was able to come from the grocery store to the FSD office with a plastic bag of eggs in my lap, down the bumpy path, over the speed bumps without breaking any of the eggs or getting my skirt caught in the wheel.

Then we headed out to visit the Kakamega Forest, which is about a half an hour drive away from Kakamega proper. It is a protected area that is home to a bunch of monkeys; just a very small tract of the forest that used to cover this entire area is left. We visited a monkey researcher who is friends with one of the interns that worked in the forest. She was able to give us a great tour because she knows all of the paths and can easily spot the monkeys. We saw blue monkeys, colobus monkeys and red-tailed monkeys. There were tons of babies. We ran into on of her research assistants tracking a group, this women was rocking a suit in the forest while observing the monkeys. It was awesome.

march29_grassy_area

We then walked around the forest a bit to see prime examples of parasitic trees. These trees wrap and vine there way around healthy trees killing them, jokingly referred to as trees eating other trees. Then we wandered to the glade which is a huge meadow of open grassland in the middle of the forest. We climbed the big lookout tower there for a great view of the giant termite mounds in the meadow and the canopy of the forest. The next morning we woke up to a couple monkeys wandering around in the yard.

march29_monkey

The researcher was able to regale us with great stories of her interactions with the local people. They think she is a witch that can communicate with the monkeys. Beliefs of witchcraft are still prevalent in the more rural villages around here. One of the other interns was told by her host mom that if she saw her in town that it would not actually be her but instead a woman that took a potion to look like her. WEAEP-K is working on getting funding to assist women accused of witchcraft because it directly affects the population we are trying to serve, vulnerable women.

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