Kenya map:
Lodwar Day #4 - Need a stamp!
Jan 27, 2005

The days seem to be repeating themselves.  Once again, I head out to the diocese to visit Peter.  And once again, he calls his friend in the police.  But this time, the guy is there.  Unfortunately, he knows nothing about immigration stamps. 

Turkana Map

I decide that I have to handle this myself.  I walk through the hot mid-day (the rain and wind are gone, the heat is back) and over to police headquarters which is built like a fort on top of a hill.  I don't even make it in.  The security guard / receptionist redirects me over to an adjacent building which houses the district commissioner's office.

After only a few minutes, I'm escorted in to meet the district commissioner.  This is the man in charge - he should be able to write me a letter.  Stepping into his office is like stepping into another world.  There's a big wooden conference table, books, notebooks and a typewriter.  But what amazes me is that there is _no_ dust.  After only a couple of days in Lodwar I find it hard to even imagine a place without dust.

I ask the commissioner for a letter giving me permission to exit the country without an exit stamp.  He tells me that it's impossible.  I absolutely have to get stamped out of the country.  I have to go back to Eldoret or up to Lokichoggio.  I plead with him a little, but he doesn't budge.


Well, the choice is easy.  Eldoret is a full days travel back down a bad road.  Lokichoggio is in the middle of nowhere in the extreme northwest corner of Kenya, but the road between Lodwar and Lokichoggio is one of the best in the entire country.  Lokichoggio serves as a base for the NGOs to support southern Sudan and refugee camps in Kenya.  One day the UN decided that it was much cheaper to build a good road than to keep repairing their vehicles and so the road was built.  The distance is 150 miles, but the trip only takes, a ridiculously fast in African terms, 3 hours.

Strangle observation of the day is about Turkana men:  They walk around carrying stools, and have a strange tendency to wear funny little green hats.  I can't help it, but they keep reminding me of sub-Saharan leprechauns. 

It looks like tomorrow I'm heading to Lokichoggio. 

The trip from Nairobi to Addis Ababa was interesting enough that I wrote it up as a daily log.  If you'd like to read it from the beginning click here:  [ Leaving Nairobi ]

Leave a comment!  I'm much more inspired to write when I know people are reading. 

Kamlesh - Dec 13, 2005

Please stay at the NEW Camp in LOKICHOGGIO, if you are bacl there.

Janet - Jan 06, 2007

I am a 20 year old student who spent 2 months last summer in Lodwar-reading your journal makes me miss the place so much.The smiles,the stars, th "how are you FINE!" greetings.
Go to lake turkana-its the most amazing sight!  Lokichoggio is a dump full of stinking rich UN officials who waste water on swimming pools and lavish meals-its disgusting.
We also visited Kakuma refugee camp-strange experience.
You can get lifts to loki and sudan with the russian truck drivers that pass through lodwar-we did-they are mad craic and speak no english!!

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