Day 4: Breathtaking

March 17, 2009

The Great Rift -

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This day has been absolutely breathtakingly beautiful!

Even the breakfast buffet ;)

We started our morning bright and early at 6 with a group breakfast. Since the restaurant was basically empty, I was able to get some photos of the selection.

The rainbow of fruit juices

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Plethora of breads, from croissants to muffins to rye to carrot cake

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Fresh tropical fruits

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The hot buffet

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I chose to try the yogurt today (it was pasteurized) and was happy to have some again. Love my yogurt! Tummy: so far, so good!

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I topped the yogurt with granola, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds. Plus I had some eggs for protein, 2 potatoes/plantains?, and a slice of carrot cake bread with PEANUT BUTTER! And a small glass of tropical fruit juice.

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And a Kenyan coffee, for the caffeine.

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We drove through Nairobi for the first time during the daylight so we got to see some of the city. So many people were out and about at 7am, and the traffic was quite busy!

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FLY

We arrived at the airport – I was nervous.

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Especially seeing the runway in front of us…

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But once we were airborne – WOW. One of the coolest (the coolest?) experiences of my life. VIDEO TO COME!!!

The landscape changed immensely as we traveled west – from plateau to valley to farmland to forest to tea. (Click to enlarge). We had the pleasure of riding with Richard Fairburn, the managing director here at the estate. He told us all these cool facts.

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This is the divide between the escarpment and the Great Rift Valley where the earth is splitting apart. It’s a 2,000 foot drop!

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We also flew over a dormant volcano – Suswa.

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The Mau Forest. 300,000 acres full of green and elephants! This forest is the reason tea exists here. The weather pattern is super important – water from Lake Victoria, which is 100km away, evaporates in the hot weather and floats via clouds until it dumps rains on the forest and tea estates. Without these forest to induce the rain, there would be no towns, no tea.

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The forest is shrinking from encroaching people and is being burned at the edges, as you can barely see in this photo. I suppose there are two sides to every story, but it’s still sad to think of such a massive forest shrinking –

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Then we flew over TEA!! It was bright green – like a patchwork quilt

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I made it!

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Tea Briefing

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Upon arrival, we had refreshments. I enjoyed some Kericho Estate Tea and mango heaven!

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And sampled a tea cake, a mysterious citrus fruit and PASSION FRUIT, which I’ve never had! It was like pomegranate with the crunchy seeds with a tropical flavor. Yummy!

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I also tried the Lipton Vanilla Caramel Truffle – loved this! I’ve seen it at Harris Teeter – why have I not had it before!?

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We spent the morning learning all about the estate. I have about 10 pages of notes! Here are some highlights of what I learned:

  • While the tea estates used to dominate the market, since the 1980s the smallholder tea farms predominate the Kenya tea production industry producing 62% of the tea. There are now 27 large tea estates, Unilever being the largest and producing 11% of Kenya’s tea.
  • Lipton’s tea is exported to Egypt (24% in dust form), the UK (17% in teabag form), Pakistan (16% in packets) and the rest (19%, including USA).
  • Lipton’s labor costs are the bulk of their operating costs. Wages have increased by 200% in the past 10 years, which is higher than normal inflation.
  • Why plant tea in Kenya instead of North Carolina? According to professional tea tasters, Kenyan tea (and other teas grown along the equator) is higher in quality in leaf appearance + shape, color (it produces an orangey-red color), and taste (like wine rankings, tea is also ranked according to flavor). Kenyan tea is also higher in antioxidants, which is most likely an effect of location (year round warm temps) and altitude.
  • Eucalyptus is planted all over the estate and used as a renewable energy source of fuel when it is used to heat boilers to create steam to dry the tea.
  • The Rainforest Alliance was chosen as a way to have a third party verify the work of the estate towards a sustainable future and best practices in labor and operations. The audit criteria is surprisingly not all environmental – 47% of criteria relates to fair conditions and social benefits of workers, 24% is natural resource conservation and the rest is operations, such as waste management.
  • While wages are 3x the minimum wage of the agriculture industry, the benefits of working at the estate are significant: free housing, free healthcare, and free education (and from what I saw today, those are all very good). Most parents save their wages to send their kids to university. This past year the estate leaders gave “long service awards” to 400-500 employees who have worked there for 10-15+ years.
  • More Lipton Facts:
    • Lipton grows over 20,000 acres here in Kenya and makes 36,000 tons of tea (19 billion tea bags!)
    • There are 16,000 employees on the estate with 80,000 dependents
    • 80% of the estate’s energy is produced on site and in 2 years they hope to be 100% self sufficient.
    • Lipton sent 54 students from the estate and local community to university last year along with 30 university scholarships
    • The company helps the local community outside of the estate in many ways, such as donating trees for planting and offering health care resources.
    • Over 2 million people are affected globally by Unilever’s supply chain. That’s a lot of people living for my daily cup of tea!

I know that was a lot of info, but I found it all very fascinating. Overall, I took this away from the day: The estate here at Kericho is a role model for other estates. Only 10% of Lipton’s tea comes from Kericho, so what about the rest? They are hoping this estate will lead the industry as an example for change, and hope to have all the estates certified by 2015. It’s a long process, but they will not just stop with a few estates. They are 8 estates to the way there already.

Lunch

After our info sessions, we had lunch!

Empanadas – a beef and a veggie

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MANGO!

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A tomato + cuc griled sandwich and a cheese + lettuce sandwich half –

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and cream of carrot soup!! It was a lovely lunch :)

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Accompanied by soda water –

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And a gorgeous setting!

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And new friends. Everyone is SO nice.

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Wildlife –

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The School

After lunch we headed up to one of the four primary schools on the estate – and passed a guy on a bike with a stack of hay 3x his size!!

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Seeing the school was amazing. The kids were so cute and brilliant!! They were so well-behaved and focused on their work!

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And they were smart as whips!! The teacher was doing all kinds of geometry and I could barely keep up. The kids repeated each sentence after him and were getting all the answer>s right

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The Hospital

After the school visit we went to see the hospital

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The hospital has 85 beds and is the top center over 4 health centers and over 20 dispensaries for minor illnesses. All of the health care is free, and they put a strong emphasis on preventative care. They have seminars on HIV frequently before the morning plucking sessions begin as well as annual exams with everyone to meet with the doctor and discuss any risks they might have in their live like stress or alcohol. The top reasons for admission are 1) Respiratory infections 2) Joint and back pain and 3) Eye infections. HIV is not a top trouble, thanks to an effective preventative care program, and they also have full treatment plans for those who have the disease. I was pleased see nutrition was a high priority in treatment! They also offer a bunch of different kinds of contraception, immunize 98% of infants, and have a “vitality program” for general wellness and fitness. I was truly impressed – it was all very professional.

When asked why they still had the private health care, I liked Richard’s response:

“Until the government can take care of our people, we will” 

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A bed in the maternity ward with a little bassinet on the end! We saw a woman who was in labor and one who had given birth the day before

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I got to speak with one of the directors about the nutrition work they do with the HIV/AIDS patients. I have to say, this trip has piqued my internet in global nutrition. Maybe not as a full time career, but perhaps as an annual trip of some kind (cost permitting, of course).

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She said many of them come in malnourished and they emphasize a balanced diet with regular meals. Like so:

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When we returned to the main house, I grabbed a snack – a mini banana and a shortbread.

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We all met for a drink before we broke to go to our guest houses. I had this Kenyan beer, Tusker, which was awesome! Kind of like Corona meets a wheat beer. (Kanz, you would love it! I would bring you one except for the airplane liquids rule.)

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We snacked on some “chips”

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And masala peanuts. I had a few of each.

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Then we were taken to our guesthouses, which are so charming! But the scenery is just breathtaking.

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Bananas!!!

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And avocados!! With our host Thomas!

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The inside

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My room. I am using the mosquito net just for fun!

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Kath Eats Kenyan Food

Then I had the privilege of helping our host Thomas cook a traditional Kenyan staple: Ugali. Here’s a site I found on some more info on the staple: Kenya Imagine.

VIDEO TO COME!!!!

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More dinner ingredients. Gulp! Freshly caught from Lake Victoria.

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I am sharing a guest house with two others and we sipped on some wine while the rest of dinner cooked

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For dinner we started with a cream of carrot soup, which was just pureed carrots and broth and spices but was so good!

Bread. I love bread.

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Refill

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And then we were served!!! The huge mound is the ugali (which I loved but barely ate half of!), plus greens, rice and a really delicious piece of chicken in a spicy sauce. I only finished about half my plate, but it was all very good!! See below for a topping addition!

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I did taste the fish – they were very fishy but not bad! Probably full of calcium from their bones ;)

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For dessert we had Kenyan pineapple topped with strawberry ice cream, which was kind of like a cross between shaved ice and sorbet.

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WOW, I am so tired and that took me a very long time!! I’ll be back tomorrow night after a day of tea plucking, hydroelectric power and a Kenyan party!!

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel March 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Kath, I am just IN AWE of this post! Thank you for taking so many pictures and sharing this experience with us. I am learning a lot, too!

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2 Emily March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Africa looks so fantastic! It must be great to step back and enjoy and appreciate another culture.

I am also really interested in global nutrition. It’s a huge problem and malnutrition is a vicious cycle that affects not only health but also the economic infrastructure of a country.

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3 Meagan March 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I cannot wait to watch the ugali video! It looks so good sitting there on your plate, was it the slightest bit healthy?! I am excited to see all of the efforts in global nutrition, there is hope for the world, although sometimes I think American’s need more help! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures! But please, don’t spend too much time posting– Enjoy your time in Africa!

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4 junghwa March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Your trip to Africa sounds amazing!
thank you for the wonderful BEAUTIFUL pictures!!!

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5 Hallie March 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm

It looks like you’re having the time of your life! I can’t wait to read more. Now I really want to go to Africa (along with the dozens of other places on my “must visit” list).

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6 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Wow, what a great post!

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7 Kelsey Miles March 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I’m sooooo glad you went!!! :) I can’t wait to hear even more about it when you get back!!

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8 Kristin March 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Amazing! Thank you for so much detail! I know it takes much time and effort to keep your blog. However, I know I throughly enjoy reading it each and every day whether you are at home eating a wonderful bowl of oatmeal with Barney Butter or in Africa sampling new tasty treats! Thank you!!

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9 Runeatrepeat March 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I am so interested in that ugali! What’s the consistancy?
I am loving all this tales from your trip :) Thanks.

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10 sue March 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

wow! what a truly amazing day from start to finish! thank you for sharing those gorgeous pics with us (can’t wait to see the video of the plane ride) and taking the time to write such an informative post!

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11 Michelle T March 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I love eeevvverything about this post!!! The mountains really are gorgeous, and personally, I am a HHUUUUGE fan of passion fruit! I wish they were more common in the US! In Hong Kong and Taiwan, they’re sold in markets all over the place and it is SOOOO delicious on top of plain yogurt!!! :)

Keep that tummy smiling Kath!!

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12 Hil March 17, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for the great, detailed post. All of the pictures are lovely. And I really appreciate the info you passed along about Unilever and tea farming–really fascinating.

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13 FoodsThatFit March 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Kath!

Amazing photos! What a fantastic and exciting adventure and experience this is for you. I cringed a bit looking at the small plane, I get awful motion sickness and sure it would be amplified x1000 in a little plane like that.

I am so excited you are getting a chance to meet the people and be part of their community. I would love to do a medical mission trip someday to a place like that.

I loved that you added pics of the hospital there. It really makes me think we take so much for granted here in the states all that we have accessible to us in comparison to these other countries!

Enjoy the rest of your time there!

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14 Rika March 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm

this is so amazing! thanks for sharing your experience with us :D

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15 Jenn (eating bender) March 17, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Kath this is absolutely incredible!! Truly, I feel privileged that you are sharing this with us – the information you provided is fascinating and the pictures are breathtaking. Thank you so much for taking the time and care to post about your amazing trip! Keep enjoying yourself to the fullest :)

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16 sarah (ghost world) March 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

sign me up to work at that clinic, i want 2 hour days!

all of this is breathtaking — and your ‘blogumentary’ is amazing! loving it all!!!

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17 Flutterby March 17, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Simply beautiful…Beautiful…BEAUTIFUL!!!

Humbly, I thank you…Thank You…THANK YOU!!!

(And that goes for you, too, Matt!)

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18 Saima March 17, 2009 at 11:48 pm

WOWW!! sooo in AWE!!

Kath–I don’t think those are empanadas….they look more like samosas (an Indian snack)!! i found it really cool that quite a bit of your food is either similar or is Indian food!!

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19 amber March 18, 2009 at 12:07 am

WOW! looks like such an amazing experience!! Take it all in=)

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20 Kailey (SnackFace) March 18, 2009 at 12:38 am

Wow!! Kath, I think I gasped about 20 times while reading this. Everything is so incredibly beautiful! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your trip in such detail with us! I’m sure you’re pooped by the end of the day, but this post really brightened up my night!

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21 Rachel March 18, 2009 at 12:51 am

Thank you for this post, Kath!

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22 Moran March 18, 2009 at 12:54 am

This is all so fascinating to read!!!
Amazing pictures!!!

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23 Jen A. March 18, 2009 at 12:55 am

Wow, the guest house looks pretty nice…I wonder if the free housing the workers stay in is quite as nice. I’m wondering if you’ll get to see that? Also, I’m curious to know how the tea plantation has affected the forests. Do you know if they cut down a significant amount of forest to build it?

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24 Sarah (lovINmytummy) March 18, 2009 at 1:08 am

Absolutely fascinating and beautiful. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful information, food related and otherwise. I hope you are soaking up every minute of this amazing experience! I certainly am soaking up your posts.

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25 EatingRD March 18, 2009 at 1:29 am

Wow, thanks for such a great post! The scenery looks amazing, and I’d love to try all that dynamic food, so interesting and fun!

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26 Anne P March 18, 2009 at 1:52 am

wow! i am loving these africa posts! so beautiful, interesting and informative! wish i were there, too!

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27 amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) March 18, 2009 at 2:40 am

Wow! Everything looks so amazing! I am so so so jealous! :) Glad you’re having fun!

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28 Rachel March 18, 2009 at 3:26 am

WOW – best. post. ever!

BTW, those are not “chips” – they are chips! ;)

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29 Jemima March 18, 2009 at 4:13 am

Hey there,

Just started reading your blog about a week ago and have been hooked ever since! Your trip seems amazing so far.

I’m from New Zealand but over Jan – Feb I was in Costa Rica and we had the passion fruit cross fruit! I don’t think it has an english translation but they called it Granadilla! I loved it lol! I think there must be a different variety in Africa because the sort we had were orangey yellow when ripe but apart from that it looked the same!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip,

Jem

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30 Leah March 18, 2009 at 4:25 am

Oh my gosh kath what a great post! Loved ALL of it! Your foods have looked so good! The breakfast buffet was heaven!

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31 Sara March 18, 2009 at 5:40 am

kath,
sounds like an incredible trip– keep safe and as excited as you are!

i do fear, however, that you guys are being fed the cool-aid (tea) about unilever. i hope you will use this amazing opportunity to ask some really tough questions …

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32 Sidi March 18, 2009 at 5:58 am

God bless you, Kath!

Take care!
Sidi

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33 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 18, 2009 at 6:02 am

Kath, your trip looks unbelievable amazing! I am so excited for you and your adventure!

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34 Marisa (trim the fat) March 18, 2009 at 6:16 am

What a trip of a lifetime!!!! I love reading about it – I feel like I’m there with you!

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35 Sammie March 18, 2009 at 6:38 am

What an amazing trip you are having. All the pictures are absolutely breathtaking.

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36 yadi March 18, 2009 at 6:48 am

All the tropical fruit reminds me of home… Fabulous – especially the passion fruit and mango – so good! Terrific job on your post – you are amazing.

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37 VeggieGirl March 18, 2009 at 6:49 am

MAGNIFICENT!!

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38 zestycook March 18, 2009 at 6:53 am

So, I have only been blogging about 7 months now and I am loving it. I met a lot of nice people and read a lot of interesting posts….. but I have to say that this is both the longest and best post I have ever laid eyes on. Absolutely fabulous Kath. Breathtaking and so educational. Thanks for sharing.

zest!

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39 Justy2003 March 18, 2009 at 7:01 am

Wow, everything looks and sounds amazing! SUCH an awesome experience! So glad you’re enjoying it!

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40 Becca A March 18, 2009 at 7:09 am

I’m impressed with that estate and its care of staff but its sad to think how workers on other places probably live and work.

They are definitely giving you all some great food choices.

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41 Sarah March 18, 2009 at 7:13 am

This is amazing. By far, the best post you have ever written.

Global nutrition sounds fascinating. I hope you pursue that in some way.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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42 Susan March 18, 2009 at 7:20 am

Wow, GREAT post Kath!!! The photos are gorgeous. I had no idea tea estates covered so much ground in terms of education and health care! And you have me drooling over all that fruit! :P

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43 Jenny March 18, 2009 at 7:22 am

Kath,
Incredible post – thank you SO MUCH for all your effort to give us a taste of the experiences you are having. I learned a lot!

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44 JENNA March 18, 2009 at 7:27 am

Kath,
Thankyou so much for sharing all of that in detail!! It’s so great!! The things you have seen and learned sound A.mazing!!! I hope you continue to have a great time!! Have a safe trip home.

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45 Nicole March 18, 2009 at 7:27 am

Wow, Africa looks breathtaking from your photos. This was such a great post, I can’t wait to read more!

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46 TC March 18, 2009 at 7:28 am

Amazing post, Kath!!! It looks like you’re having such a wonderful trip. By the way, you can get Tusker in the US at specialty beer stores. We had some in our fridge over Christmas so you could probably find some for Matt to try when you get home. Happy travels!

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47 Priyanka March 18, 2009 at 7:31 am

Kath, you sure are having fun on this trip. Have a great time!

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48 Kath March 18, 2009 at 7:44 am

o my goodness Kath, this makes me want to be there RIGHT now!!! The pictures are beautiful, along with the people. Can’t wait for more pics :)
-Kath

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49 Alyssa March 18, 2009 at 7:44 am

Those photos are great! You must be having such a fun time, it looks beautiful there!

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50 tina March 18, 2009 at 7:46 am

KATH! THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to hear all about it– I might need a phone call! :)

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51 rhodeygirl March 18, 2009 at 7:47 am

wowowowowowow!

kath that looks soooo beautiful and natural. LOVE the pictures from the airplane!!!!!

can’t wait for your full recap when you get back!

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52 Elina March 18, 2009 at 7:51 am

What an amazing trip!! Thanks for your recaps. Everything is incredible :D

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53 Anne Marie March 18, 2009 at 7:53 am

wow! it looks like you are having an amazing time!

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54 Sharon March 18, 2009 at 7:54 am

Wow, this is such an amazing adventure!

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55 Betsy March 18, 2009 at 7:55 am

I have to echo everyone else and say what a wonderful post this was! Beautiful pictures and food.

Also, the first time I ate plantains I thought they tasted like potatoes too!

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56 Lisa March 18, 2009 at 7:58 am

I gasped out loud at the first shot of the Rift Valley. That region has a lot of significance for anthropologists.

I’m glad the tour is giving you a chance to go “behind the scenes.” I bet meeting the students was a blast!

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57 brandi March 18, 2009 at 7:58 am

Wow – what a trip! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this while you’re still there! The pictures are beautiful, and those children are so precious.

Can’t wait to see more :)

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58 Sara Kaiser March 18, 2009 at 8:07 am

You know – it’s kind of sad to think that while you all are being treated to such opulent food and drink, there are so many others in that country and on that continent who are some of the most poverty-stricken and malnourished people in the world. Quite a dichotomy.

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59 skinnyrunner March 18, 2009 at 8:15 am

wow those pictures are amazing. truly a once in a lifetime experience!

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60 Danielle March 18, 2009 at 8:18 am

What an amazing adventure you are on! Thank you so much for sharing these pictures and all that information! I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

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61 fitforfree March 18, 2009 at 8:28 am

Kath, this is just amazing. I’m amazed by the school/hospital/etc. all on the estate — it’s wonderful that they support their community. Can’t wait to hear more!!

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62 Joanne March 18, 2009 at 8:39 am

That was a fantastic post. So much information. You offered some interesting facts. Keep enjoying. Take care.

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63 polly March 18, 2009 at 8:55 am

Thank you for sharing this amazing trip with us, Kath! Love ya! xoxo

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64 Rachel March 18, 2009 at 8:59 am

Great post! The mystery citrus fruit looks like a pomelo.

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65 melissa March 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

amazing post, pictures, commentary! thank you for sharing. an interesting fact I learned from Runner’s World is that Ugali is not only the main staple of the Kenyan diet but also the food most consumed/coveted by the marathon runners and is said to be the best source of energy…I don’t think anyone would argue that kenyan’s do know what it takes to be fast and stay well fueled for all those miles :) happy travels!

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66 WendyF March 18, 2009 at 9:02 am

The pictures are so beautiful, especially the flowers. How about those mini bananas, are they not awesome or what?

You can bring beer back in your suitcase. When I work in the Netherlands I lug back hard to find Belguim beers. Just wrap a couple of shirts. After 5 years I have yet to have a bottle break :-)

Have a safe trip back.

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67 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) March 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

i am just so speechless. everything is gorgeous, breathtaking, etc. (and my dream job would be working in that maternity ward with new moms. i wish i were there!)

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68 Sarah March 18, 2009 at 9:07 am

This was such an amazing post! So beautiful and informative!

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69 seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) March 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

this post is one of your best yet. i agree with EVERYBODY-i am SPEECHLESS–kath! As your readers, we get to benefit from your trip abroad. it is so awsesome! thanks for sharing everything xoxoxox!

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70 Rachel March 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

Amazing, amazing post. Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Enjoy the rest of your trip!!

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71 Lori March 18, 2009 at 9:21 am

What in incredible trip and opportunity to be there! Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed posts!

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72 Allison March 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of this. I’m really enjoying living vicariously through you :)

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73 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 18, 2009 at 9:34 am

What a wonderful post, Kath. What an amazing time you are having! Enjoy it!

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74 Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) March 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

Kath,
What an amazing AMAZING adventure for you. I truly have a feeling that are many reasons why you were chosen to go on this trip. Perhaps it does have something to do with global nutrition – I don’t know. But, I am glad you are in Africa and learning so much. I know you will take away more than you bargained for from this trip.

Glorious eats! I wouldn’t even know where to begin. So, I’ll just say this: I am SO JEALOUS of your fresh avocados straight from the trees!

Can’t wait to read more!

P.S. – I had no idea that was what a passion fruit looked like. Crazy!

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75 Kelly Turner March 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

holy in depth post- that must have taken forever!

Thanks for sharing this with us- looks like the trip of a lifetime!

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76 Lauren March 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

Superb post, Kath – we all appreciate how much time and effort you’re putting into the blog while in Africa! The people, food, and scenery all look amazing… keep on having a blast!

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77 Ally March 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

Wow, absolutely breathtaking scenery Kath. It’s insanely beautiful I’m so jealous of your plane ride!! I’m glad you are making the most of this incredible opportunity!!

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78 Bec March 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

omg all the pictures look so amazing!

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79 Paige March 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

This was sooo interesting to read! Thanks for the beautiful photos and commentary! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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80 Greta March 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

I have been a KERF follower for quite some time, but this post rocked my socks off. It took me my entire breakfast time to scroll down through it. And by the time I’d finished my oats and coffee, I felt as if I had been to Africa and back. I think I’m going to go buy a papaya now.

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81 Jennifer March 18, 2009 at 10:32 am

So happy that you tried the Ugali and liked it! Now you MUST try the chipati…even better! Also, you must try masala and tangawizi (ginger) teas…or at least bring them back to try. They are incredibly flavorful and have replaced my plain old everyday tea. Also, try some Tangawizi soda..it’s like the best gingerale in the WORLD!

I’m curious to know how the local tea growers are compensated? Are they paid well? I know that coffee growers make very little money because the processing plant does little more than clean the beans and then exports them for further processing. This means that the bean doesn’t really have much value till it’s processed. I wonder if it’s similar with the tea process? Let me know if you find out anything more about this. Glad you are having fun!

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82 Liz March 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

What an AMAZING adventure you’re having! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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83 Abby March 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

What great photos you’ve captured! Thanks for the bit about Rainforest Alliance Certified farms! Can’t wait to read about tomorrow’s adventure.

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84 Lala March 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

Wow, this is SO interesting. What an incredible trip!! Thank you for all your posts!!!!!!!!!!!

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85 Sarah March 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

what an amazing and beautiful adventure you are on! I’m so glad that you have been able to share your experience with us, I love reading about your trip!

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86 Andrea (Off Her Cork) March 18, 2009 at 11:16 am

Oh goodness this experience is so exciting! I love the updates and the pictures are amazing. :D

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87 Sara March 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

Wow O Wow! I love reading about your trip! I’ve never considered wanting to go to Africa…but now I just might. It looks amazing. :)

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88 Kara March 18, 2009 at 11:20 am

Oh my gosh– so beautiful! I’m glad to see some public health efforts!

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89 laci March 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

Now I want to visit Africa- everything is amazingly beautiful- -+the land scape, the children, YOU, the flowers, the food… looks fantastic, so glad you’re enjoying your time! ;)

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90 Lara (Thinspired) March 18, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these with us on your trip! The scenery is truly beautiful and the food looks lovely! What an amazing experience for you.

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91 Jess March 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Jealous beyond belief. Thank you for taking the time to write such amazing vacation posts. I’m living precariously through you. ;)

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92 Jennifer March 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Holy Cow, what a great experience!!

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93 The Duo Dishes March 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

This is amazing. A great bird’s eye look into your trip. So lucky you are for this experience! We wish we could do this!

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94 Jana March 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm

This is such a unique experience, you must be thrilled! Thank you for taking the extra time to share all those pictures and stories while you’re there, your readers sure do appreciate it. :-)

And by the way, I love your outfit!

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95 Erin March 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I loved this post and your recaps are amazing. What a beautiful experience with the scenery and the beautiful people of Kenya!

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96 jackie March 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Excellent post. The pics are gorgeous. Continue to have fun.

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97 Emily W. March 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

AWESOME! I would have never been able to pick what to eat off of that buffett! And that tea IS amazing!

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98 Anne L March 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Kath, your trip and subsequent commentary is inspiring–thank you SO much for putting in the time to share this amazing journey with us. Keep enjoying your experience!

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99 Jessica March 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

kath! I love getting to see all the foods you choose when eating at a resort buffet!
All your picks and meals look sooo amazing and perfectly well-rounded and yummy!!

seeing these pictures makes me miss my last summer in cancun, I got to stay an all inclusive hotel with my family just like that too!!

looks like you are having a great time!

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100 Jenn Hains March 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I just stumbled upon your site through another blog I follow.
I love what you have put together here. And, so envious of Africa. It’s on my list! Have fun!!

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101 Sara March 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I am totally living vicariously through you, and loving it! I don’t know that I’ll ever have a chance to go to Africa. Your pictures are amazing.

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102 Diana March 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

WOW! What a fantastic post! Thank you so much for putting so much time and information in to it! I can’t wait to read more about your travels! Enjoy!
Diana

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103 K March 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

I am in AWE of your trip! Every picture and every description made me more and more amazed with the country. I said I would never go to Africa but now I’m taking my words back – what a beautiful country! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us!!

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104 girlatastartup March 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Thanks for all your hard work on posting all this, Kath! I can’t to visit Africa in the future.

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105 girlatastartup March 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Sorry, I mean, “I can’t wait to visit Africa in the future.”

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106 laura March 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

AMAZING amazing amazing… i was wondering if you hear of Finlay Tea Estates? I work for Finlay Tea Solutions and I know we have tea estates in Kenya. just asking.. it would be cool to see some of our estates.

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107 Mel March 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Kath – sounds like an amazing trip; I especially enjoyed the description of the hospital and health system at the estates. And the food looks fantastic – looking forward to learning how to cook ugali

I’m actually in the global health field (not nutrition specifically, but child health – and malnutrition is a major underlying cause of child mortality). If you’re interested, I could send you a couple of review articles on international nutrition.

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108 Heather March 18, 2009 at 8:28 pm

All I can say is WOW! Thanks so much for taking all this time to share your adventure with us. Everything looks so amazing and beautiful! Glad to hear your body is holding up well in a foreign area. Do you have to take a motion sickness pill (like dramamine) for flying?

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109 Oh She Glows March 18, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Kath thanks for taking all that time to type out everything you learned…I found it really fascinating! I know blogging is probably the last thing you want to do in such an exciting place, but we really do appreciate it!
I find global nutrition so interesting too…it will be neat to see what you do in the future.
Enjoy the rest of the trip!!

Angela

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110 Erin March 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Kath, what an amazing opportunity you have been given!! Just glorious.
And Tusker! Aww…so cool. Those masala peanuts look right up my alley.
Have a wonderful day tomorrow.
Erin (walkinthisworld)

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111 Sami March 19, 2009 at 5:52 am

The photo of you by the school, it’s my new favorite. Beautiful, Kath. :)

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112 Katie March 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

Wow, Kath! I’m speechless.

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113 Maggi March 19, 2009 at 9:46 am

Oh wow! Your trip looks amazing. My mother was looking over my shoulder and she recognized the South African Pinotage wine immediately. She says she gets it here in MD and likes it quite a bit. Says it’s economical too. :)

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114 NAOmni March 19, 2009 at 10:07 am

Uh, I miss Kenya so much! Tusker is delicious and I found a place by me that sells it, although it’s pretty expensive. I had a lot of Kenyan friends who enjoyed mixing Tusker and Coke, and I’m not sure where they learned that from…did you eat any chapati? I don’t think I saw it in your pics, but I could have over looked it. That’s the food I miss the most…

NAOmni

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115 NAOmni March 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

Oh, I also think it’s funny you had coffee since the coffee most Kenyan’s can afford tastes like chalk water, although Dorman’s isn’t bad. Did anyone brew you any chai?

NAOmni

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116 Ellie March 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

re. Sara Kaiser’s post about the dichotomy between opulent food and living conditions on the African continent– this dichotomy definitely exists, but it exists in every country and continent as well. There are abjectly poor and hungry people in the United States, too.

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117 Paula January 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

Oh my goodness again I am from Zimbabwe but we have the same food like the plate with the veggies and the cornmeal, although we dont have two types of carbs we usually eat ours with the carpenta. so cool Sadza, matemba nemuriwo.

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118 Laura B January 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I’ve been working my way through your travel posts because I think they’re really fun to read, and I thought it was a really funny coincidence that I’m currently drinking the same Lipton vanilla caramel truffle tea you had! I love it with a generous splash of milk :)

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