This morning we left Naikara very early (5am) to go to Narok. Stephen had some meetings in this small city, while Charles and I were joining to do some shopping there, since there are no supermarkets in Naikara.
After having breakfast (chicken and chips) we walked around town, looked inside the Mara University and visited the local market and the supermarket. Charles and I were taking the bus home since Stephen stayed the night in Narok. He had meetings throughout the whole day. We bought a bus ticket and waited for the bus to leave (which was supposed to leave at 1pm).
The bus was a typical African local bus. Large boxes and drums tied on the roof with ropes, the whole bus packed with people (I luckily had a seat), and holes in the metal everywhere. When I saw that mechanics were still working on the bus and had (at least it looked like) no idea of what they were doing I was not sure this was the best choice, especially when for 1 hour the engine would not start. Finally, we left Narok at 3 o’clock and we were on our way.
After 1 hour we saw a police van blocking the road. Apparently, there were too many people on the bus and it was too heavily packed. It was quite intimidating since the driver and a fellow passenger were cuffed and put in the police van, while the other police officers were shouting and pushing the people in charge of the bus. They had to pay 10.000 Kenyan shilling (which is 100 euro), or the whole bus had to go back to Narok and go to the police station. The people refused, and the police officers became even more aggressive: pushing and demanding the car keys so they would drive back to Narok themselves.
We started driving back to Narok, slowly, and you could see the police did not want to bring us all the way back to Narok but was bluffing. After some more arguing both parties agreed that the driver was to be expected in Narok the next morning for an official court case, but we were allowed to continue to Naikara again.
Even though I experienced corruption in Africa first-hand (when I was fined in South Africa) this was more exciting. Here the officers became physical and threatened with jail; you can imagine that was not something I would like to experience as a white person in a black prison. So it was all exciting and gave me again the confirmation that corruption is everywhere in Africa. We reached Naikara at 8 pm, and the trip took us 7 hours instead of 3.
Once again, it was an exciting day, summarized by the phrase, This Is Africa (TIA).