We have returned from Lake Naivasha, which was an experience, to say the least. We arrived on Wednesday at Crayfish Camp, which would be our home for the next two days. Crayfish Camp was just that: a camp! We showed up with laptop cases and rollerbags only to find, to the shock and dismay of most of us, that our “rooms” were actually small tents around a bonfire area. Each tent barely had enough room for luggage, not to mention sleeping area for two! There were communal, outdoor toilets and showers and there was, naturally, no Internet. If our Nairobi hotel was “basic,” this was something far, far beyond. You could see the jaws drop of several students as they immediately began scrambling to find some alternative accommodations out of their own pockets.
Many of the rest of us understood that the situation was what it was and we were determined to make the best of it. I haven’t been camping since Boy Scouts campouts in high school. Before that I have many fond memories of camping out in a tent with my mom in our back yard, telling ghost stories and bonding. Although I would have rather gone camping under different circumstances (I’m not sure my business casual wardrobe was terribly appropriate, for example!), I was still encouraged that this experience would be fun. My tentmate, Yan Dongao, had a similarly positive attitude and we got along in our cramped space just fine. Besides, there were several dogs to play with at the campsite and we were very close to a major hippo area so I was excited about the prospect of making contact.