Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Island

Someone once said that Mfangano is the farthest place you could travel to in the world and still be on Earth...After the four days of travel from NYC to get here, everyone began to understand the truth of that statement. Much remains the same here as hundreds of years ago. Constuction for the first road on the island was started a few months ago, but most people still get around by way of small single track paths that crisscross the island between villages. Fishing boats carry people between most of the villages and an hour and a half ride will get you to the nearest port city, Mbita for groceries. Fishing is the life blood of the area and with it comes the diseases of the nomadic lifestyle. The Suba District has the highest HIV rate in the nation at around 40%.
Other than the visitors to a very high end resort, few western tourists are ever seen on the island. Therefore, after the look of astonishment disappears we are always greeted very pleasantly in Luo or Kiswahili, and hear high pitched calls of "How are youuu!?" through the cornfields by young children wherever we pass.

No comments: