Aside from a short stop for diesel where we were harassed for money by a local guy who couldn't believe white people would walk barefoot (Kenji – who was barefoot – had a c oloourful conversation with the guy about how not all tourists were stinking rich), Chris drove us straight to an awesome campsite just outside of Eldoret called 'Naiberi'.
We arrived early afternoon and one of the first things we saw was a plaque outside reception telling of how Bill Gates had stayed there in recent times. This was a good sign (no pun intended). As it was my birthday, Lara treated me to an upgrade to an en suite room (which I subsequently had to pay half for). Everybody soon had their tents up or their rooms booked and were busying themselves exploring the extensive campgrounds (complete with bar and subterranean paths to reach it, swimming pool and innumerous quiet spots furnished with tables and chairs for maximum chillage. If they weren't exploring, they were preparing for or creating their masterpieces for the evening's big event – The AK Party.
Lara was on cook group that night so, in a quiet moment in our room, she gave me a couple of presents which she'd been hiding from me in our shared locker since Cape Town two months before. After that she skipped off to join the other girls (Jen, Jules and Son) to prepare a feast for the night, leaving me to build my costume.
So. It was an AK party…this meant you either had to go to the party as something begininign with A or sometyhing beginining with K.
After having a mass debate with myself (I know what you're thinking) I finally opted to go for "Aussie". Remember, we didn't exactly have a costume department on the truck so we had to try and make a costume out of what we had. I knew I already had the look of the stereotypical bushman: big beard, sunburnt nose, slightly paedophilic in appearance - imagine "The Bushwhackers" of early 90's WWF (now WWE) fame. Next up, I had a vest (which I wrote "Reck off, ya drop-kick" on. As any good 'Neighbours' fan will be familiar with) and some old shorts that I could cut into even shorter shorts (apparently called 'Stubbies' or 'Warwick Capper' shorts in the Motherland. I had some footy socks (which I had brought along for the expected cold nights in the Middle East and Istanbul) as well as some walking boots borrowed from Berbs. The coup de grace was my camo safari hat: I had intended to sew a bunch of corks into it so that they all dangled around my face, but in the previous few days I had only found one cork so I cut this into pieces, sewed these on at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o' clock on the hat and filled the gaps with marshmallows.
Before I donned the kit, I wondered off to the rondavel by where our truck was parked which was doubling up as a kicthen. Kenj was in there looking excited but slightly anxious. His birthday present to me was to allow me to cut his hair into any style I wanted…he'd been growing his hair for quite a long time and it was already touching his shoulders. Some ideas went around the place like mohican, mullet or that f'cking awful haircut that French kids and trailer-trash always seem to have: "The Lonely Fringe" i.e. grade one all over but with a tuft of hair hanging like a cheaply-made curtain over the forehead. The other option of course was the equally bad 'Rat's Tail'. I eventually opted for 'The Monk' (a cut I'd once given my wee bro) and we all delighted in watching the monk-cut take shape. Given the theme of the party, Kenj found some hair-ties and made himself look like 'Krusty The Clown' of The Simpsons fame. This at least met the A or K criteria for the evening.
|Me giving Kenji "The Monk" as Gab, Berbs & Kyle reassure him how awesome he looks.|
|I told you he looked awesome.|
Back in the room, Lara and I got ready – her a cheesy American athlete and me an Aussie (no offence to either of those nations of course) and as 7.30pm rolled around we made our way to the bar where we had set up the 'buffet' style dinner. Son and Lara had also taken time to prepare a quiz (I'm a geek and tend to enjoy the odd quiz - my home team "Showing Brain" can strike fear into the heart of all other uber-geeks as we stride into the pub quiz swinging our encyclopaedias of useless knowledge around like nunchucks).
|Like me, Sonya (Accountant) is also a geek.|
|Chris would have won the prize (if there was one) for best outfit.|
Some group photos were taken, as well as team photos (we were in quiz teams of three) before the quiz got underway and we grazed at the array of canapes laid on by the girls. As the quiz went on the comic answers rolled off our increasingly alcohol-soaked tongues (courtesy of Jen's water pistol) and the entertaining arguments ensued. Needless to say, my team came first (Gab, Ish and I) helped largely by Gab's knowledge of football (he's Italian) for the sport round and his uncanny ability to identify the logos of airlines from around the world. (I'm surprised his eyes worked after he eschewed all political correctness and 'blacked up' to be a Kenyan by covering his face in mud – thankfully, the local guys saw the funny side.)
|Army girl Jen - squirting some booze in American Lara's mouth.|
|...and doing the same to me (an Aussie).|
|Aussie, Kenyan, Amputee.|
|Antelope, Kenny (South Park), Arab, Apprentice.|
|Apple iPod, Kimberley Clark toilet roll dispenser, Ape.|
|Arsonist, Krusty, Kevin (from Harry Enfield's "Kevin & Perry")|
|Army girl, Aquarium, Kitchen.|
|Sonya the Accountant getting busy with Lara the American athlete.|
|Safety first - box of delights.|
Oh yeah – did I mention the box of 200+ condoms that the eccentric campsite owner (Raj) had given me? The next morning when I complained that they were (two years) out of date he said (and I quote) "You should have told me last night! I would have swapped them for Viagra." Raj was cool. He had a mullet.
Cast (in Alphabetical Order)
Accountant – Sonya Ohlen
American Athlete – Lara Maubec
Amputee – Ishwar Singh
Antelope – Chris
Ape – Ronald Abbring
Apple iPod – Matthew Nagel
Apprentice Mechanic– Kyle " You can smell him a..." Mijlof
Aquarium – Kerry Charles
Arab – Julie Maree Price
Army girl – Jennifer Hague
Arsonist – Patrick Loffel
Aussie – Adam Kennedy
Kenyan – Gabrielle Ferrazzi
Kenny (South Park) - Yoichi
Kevin (of Harry Enfield's "Kevin & Perry" skecthes) – Tollie-Man…Berbs…
Dave… Mark Kilburn
Kimberley Clarke toilet – Kimberley Forbes
Kitchen – Kayelene Mills
Krusty the Klown – Kenji Ashman