At the end of 2015, Eva and Gerhard, who had already participated in our Turracher running camps on several occasions, visited our camp in Kenya for the first time. Here are some of the impressions they brought back with them:
We were still on our flight in from Vienna, via Istanbul, when a Kenyan steeplechaser named Esther „interviewed“ us. She said that Veronicah Njeri Maina, a member of the R2G team, was an old friend of hers and that she had immediately noticed the R2G tops that Eva and I were wearing on the plane. She told us that Run2gether was known throughout all of Kenya.
Esther is studying in Toulouse, participated in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (she has a PR of 9:20 in the 3000m steeplechase), and is taking part in the World University Games this year.
In Nairobi, we were met by Gitonga & team and brought to the camp. On our second day, we took a trip with our „guide“ Paul to Mount Longonot (2,777 meters), a former volcano. We then had lunch at the Gikuni family home. We also visited Gikuni’s father, whose house had burned down the previous day. The village is all pitching in, however, to rebuild the house.
Here, we’d like to thank everyone who donated money to help support construction on the new home!
Lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate National Park were the next points on our agenda. Both are absolute gems and happen to be very close to the camp.
The children of the Kiambogo Nursery School and their teacher Lilian invited us for a short visit. The small gifts we brought made the children’s eyes light up.
Sunday mass in the gospel church was quite an experience for us Europeans. Apparently, church doesn’t have to be a serious, uptight affair. What was really interesting was that two priests moderated the service. Priest #1 read from the Gospel in Swahili. Priest #2, however, read the English translation from off his smartphone! We were also kindly asked to come up to the podium and say a few words to the congregation.
On Sunday afternoon we went to the R2G track for a workout with the young runners James (15), Jack (13), and Joseph (13). Even in their street clothes, the boys demonstrated their sprinting talents. We also cleaned up the track together because sometimes people throw a lot of rocks on it.
Other highlights of our vacation included the trip we took to our Maasai Robert Surum and family and to the Maasai Mara National Park. With Robert, we hiked Mt. Suswa and were invited to spend the night in his manyatta. Now that was a real Maasai experience..!
Afterwards, we headed on to the Maasai Mara National Park. Our R2G bus was exchanged for a safari jeep driven by a Maasai by the name of Jackson, who took us back and forth through the area. Jackson also happened to be an excellent mechanic with a special knack for improvising. He always seemed to know what to do whenever our jeep broke down. We saw nearly all the different animals of the park up close. The lodge was located alongside a river, not too far from the border to Tanzania. Since there are lots of crocodiles and other wild animals there, two wardens are responsible for ensuring that the animals stay clear of the camp.
We then returned to Kiambogo, and on November 18, Gitonga and Sang took us – and our many wonderful impressions – to Nairobi Airport…
Text: Gerhard Hoffmann,
Pictures: Eva Bartosch/Gerhard Hoffmann