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On the off-chance that someone I donít know may stumble across my site, I figure I should provide a little bit of information about me and why Iím doing this.

 

My name is Gerard.Iím from Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S of A..Iím 27 years old and currently living in Kisumu, Kenya, and plan on living here for two to three years.I moved here in December of 1999 for the sake of love and adventure.No really, Iím not kiddingÖlove and adventure.Sounds corny, I know, butÖwell, let me explain.

 

I met Kim in the summer of í99 through an Ultimate Frisbee league (and the machinations of mutual friends, Brett and Heather).At the time I was managing the State Theater in Ann Arbor, and she was putting the finishing touches on her PhD in Public Health (Epidemiology).

 

The first time we met, I only noticed her as the attractive woman in a sports bra on Brett and Heatherís team that was tearing up the field.Give me a break, itís hard to hold a meaningful conversation with someone while youíre diving for a Frisbee!My buddy, Goody, went out with them that night (I had to go and change the marquee at the theater) and had a long conversation with her that he duly reported.It turned out that she was planning on moving to Africa for a job with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as soon as she finished her dissertation defense.He said that she was really interesting and very nice, though.It figured.I had just briefly dated someonethat had moved out of the state, and now someone that seemed really interesting to me was moving out of the hemisphere.

 

The second time we met, a month later in August, she didnít even recognize me.I didnít help very much that in the meantime I had bleached my hair blond.O.K. so it wasnít exactly blond, as my friends would leap to correct.It was more orange than blond.Hideous.(As a digression, one of my buddies thanked me for having done it, because he had been considering it, and I had saved him the embarrassment.)At the end of this particular evening, the whole group went to someoneís house and had a very pleasant evening sitting around and talking.When it came to an end, Kim and I walked, alone, down a quiet residential street back to our cars.The conversation was going well and the atmosphere was perfectlyromantic.Couldnít ask for a better opportunity to casually ask, ďSoÖwhich like to meet sometime for coffee? Or maybe dinner?ĒI donít remember what we were actually talking about, all I was thinking about was exactly how I was going to ask her out. Should I settle for coffee (which I donít even like) or she I go all out for dinner or a movie?Was there a better, more personal alternative? Trying to get the phrasing just right. All right, so it wasnít the phrasing I was trying to work up, it was really the courage.Inwardly I felt like Woody Allen in a full neurotic splutter.We got to the cars, I paused, hesitated, she paused, I hesitated some more, and then quite lamely said, ďsee you laterĒ, got in the car and drove off.

 

Two days later we had an almost identical experience.We met with a large group of friends, played Frisbee and talked for hours afterwards.Except in the course of this group conversation, someone tried to buy drugs from me (which I donít use, let alone sell.I donít even drink!).The evening ended without opportunity for a one-on-one conversation and things looked very grim as she was walked to her car by another man, and I was walked home by a man that I swore was hitting on me (Iím not gay either).

 

The next day we all ended up going out to a bar to celebrate their teamís victory over the Slimy Limes (in which Kim scored the winner, I might add!).She and I sat next to each other and talked the entire time.I told her about the guy that had walked me back home and how unattractive I found him.Later I found out that she took this to mean that, while I was not attracted to this man specifically, that I was attracted to men in general.Add this to the idea that I was a drug dealer and a bottle blond, and her double-take when I finally asked her out makes sense.Iím not sure why, considering what she thought must of me, she agreed, but itís changed my life irretrievably for the better.

 

It wasnít a month into dating that we had decided that I would quit my job, leave my (perfect) apartment, and move with her to Africa.After all, we only had four real choices: she stays in Michigan or we try a long distance relationship or we give up on it or I go to Africa.Which would you do?

 

If Iím to be honest, I must admit that there is another for moving to Africa besides Kim. And that is adventure.I know that sounds cheesy as all get out, but itís true.Before I met Kim I had been living in the Ann Arbor area for twelve years (four in Saline, eight in Ann Arbor).I had wanderlust like you wouldnít believe.At the same time I had a job (and perfect apartment) that I really enjoyed.Although I had been vaguely planning on leaving in the summer of 2000, I donít know if I would have been able to pull out of the yoke by myself.And for that I will always be grateful.

 

So here I am in Kisumu.Although Iíve been here for almost seven months, I have yet to find a job.Of course, for a good portion of that time, I wasnít exactly looking either.Iíve spent a good amount of time traveling around East Africa, the evidence of which is the Entries and Pictures sections of this site.I did almost have a job onceÖand Iíll be looking again soon.But for the time being Iím mostly a house-husband, without the husband part.

 

So I hope you enjoy yourself and if you have any questions, complaints orsuggestions donít hesitate to contact me.

 

Gerard

p.s. I feel like I should briefly explain the title of this site also, as I am slightly embarassed about it. www.angelfire.com provides up to 30mb websites that you can edit on-line for free. The only catches are: the pop-up advertisments, the fact that they dole out disk space in 5mb increments, and the fact that the name for your site has to fit in there naming system. You have two choices. You can either do it by state (www.angelfire.com/MI/gerard, boring) or you can do it by subject. For example www.angelfire.com/pokemon/gerard or www.angelfire.com/boybands/gerard. Wrestling seemed the funniest subject to pick and, given the fact that I was moving to Africa, with lions seemed a logical match. That and it made Becky laugh when I thought of it...