Monday, September 29, 2008

beach boys

it's late monday afternoon and i've just woken up from a nap after our long trip from mombasa. this is going to be a long one, so i suppose i'll start at the beginning.

we arrived at our bus 'station' in downtown nairobi at about 9 pm on thursday night. we were three girls, clearly not locals, standing on a poorly lit street - not smart, but we had anticipated a longer taxi ride to pass time before boarding. sarah's host mum had just warned her not to let anyone on the bus spray us with perfume, because it would be ether, and we would go into comas. almost as soon as we got out of our cab, a man approached us with perfume. we quickly said no thanks, running around the corner to avoid any attempted ether attack. finally, it was time to board the bus, which happened to be very nice, with reclining seats and 'complimentary' bottled water. we drove for about 4 hours before stopping at a 24 hour bar for toilets and snacks.

the bus ride was FREEZING. we got to mombasa at about half five in the morning, still dark, and luckily managed to find our proper cab driver. driving through mombasa we couldn't see much, but did notice that it was far less dusty than nairobi.

we pulled into our hotel, which was located behind the expensive traveller's club and beside the very exclusive whitesands hotel. the caretaker, titus, met us in his pajamas and showed us to our cottage. it was a very white, very concrete, very damp 3 room cottage, but the mosquito nets added some elegance. the sun was just rising so marie and i dashed to the beach to get a photo before catching up on a few hours of sleep. after that, we decided to try our luck on the beach. we put on our suits, grabbed towels, and left moneyless. as soon as we hit the sand we were hasselled by vendors, 'captains,' and beach boys, all of them vowing to give us the best deal on whatever goods or services they happened to be selling.

the beach boys were particularly persistent. after about 10 minutes on the beach, two, named nicholas and solomon, appointed themselves as our bodyguards for the afternoon. no matter how cold we were, reading our books, flat-out ignoring them, they would not give us a moment alone. it was not possible to lie on the beach undisturbed. eventually we had to head back to the comfort of our own poolside, which is a bit annoying when the beautiful, clear, warm indian ocean was steps away. we fell asleep again for the afternoon, waking up at dinner time. titus found us a reliable cab driver who knew of an italian restaurant that was well-recommended. it was wonderful to get away from the kenyan food, and we enjoyed brick-oven pizza and white wine. we also got lost in translation with the manager, alberto from milan. after dinner we headed to tembo, which we were told was the place to be on friday night.

we must have been the only females who weren't prostitutes in the whole bar. mombasa is notorious for sex tourism, and the places was packed with aging europeans escorted by stunning locals. it's a very, very sad thing to see. particularly in a night club where there is a very happy, party feeling. still, i couldn't help but think about these poor women, it's hard to ignore, regardless that it is a fact of life matter for so many.

i want to continue with saturday and sunday, which became more eventful, but i have to make my way home before dark, stopping to buy tomatoes for my host sister, rachael. i hope they won't give me a mzungu price. also, i haven't been feeling too well. was sick all weekend but tried to push through it because of where i was, now it's catching up to me.

i can't wait to write about our other coastal experiences, and the train ride back, which might have been my favourite part of the journey.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

hot sun

this is going to be a quick one because i am in the very expensive 'sunny cyber,' and need to save my shilingi for the weekend. just wanted to comment on the heat. it is SO hot in this country all of a sudden. my long walk home from the matatu stage with my heavy schoolbag is getting less enjoyable.

at least the whole city smells, makes it less obvious when i do.

other than that, we had class cancelled this afternoon, and i haven't been able to think about anything but the indian ocean. we paid for our trip this afternoon, and i can't wait to get away and take my camera out again.

you have no idea how difficult it has been for me to leave my camera at home, but the MSID staff ensures us that it will be stolen in nairobi. i want to take photos of everything.

Monday, September 22, 2008

out

beginning to feel a bit more like i'm in college again, going out two nights in a row. on saturday, after an afternoon full of dry, semi-burnt birthday cake, marie and i headed back to her homestay to relax. or rather, watch two hours of awful kenyan music videos followed by a lecture from her host mum about not giving enough time to god. she even accused me of being a pagan. oh, the love. needless to say, we were ready to go out. so we quickly changed and made ourselves respectable for a night out (me in neon purple leggings, and a yellow tee, courtesy of the toi market). i rang for a cab, and the driver said he would be there in five. despite the country i'm in, he did arrive on time and marie and i hopped in the car, putting our seatbelts on immediately to avoid having to bribe our way out of arrest, again.

driving down the road, our taximan informed us that he had just ordered dinner at motherland, a restaurant on the way to town, so we were to stop along the way so he could eat it. ok. this is kenya. so, we went to the motherland, where disney's aladdin's 'a whole new world' was playing upon our arrival, and watched our driver and his cousin eat. he then took us to kevin's apartment where abby, jessie, and mike had been enjoying some tusker for a while, and we sat down for a drink with them and kevin's host family. they were great fun, and we danced to whitney, rihanna, mj, and lil' wayne with his mother before grabbing a matatu into town to meet the rest of the group.

we got to downtown nairobi, which is not recommended for us at night. luckily, kevin's host brother, mark, and his friend, fred were there to escort us. a toothless man came up to me, pointed at me, and said "i'll take that one, how much?" to fred. he immediately became my temporary boyfriend and we walked away, everyone laughing. we were quite a funny looking group. soon enough we made it to the bar, where we became the only ones on the dance floor. this seems to be a habit of mine. we danced and danced until we couldn't any more, and got a sketchy cab home. broken windshield, broke down a few times on the way back. not too out of the ordinary anymore.

yesterday, i was pleased to learn that my host dad doesn't go to church either, so now i don't feel like the anti-christ of the house quite as much. we went to lunch. ordered nyama (meat) at 2, was served to us at half four. after my first weekend out since the end of august, i was in bed, fast asleep by eight.

this week, we don't have a long weekend. however, we talked to jama and he is letting us skip friday's class to head to mombasa. he said we must keep it a secret so others don't know he's letting us do so. we're going to take an overnight bus there on thursday, and the colonial railway back on sunday. going to stay in a self-catering cottage and lie on the beach/snorkel all day. it's all i'm going to be able to think about.

unfortunately, i have lots of homework tonight, for a change, so i must be off.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

my favourite place


i have found a favourite place. it is the second-hand toi market in kibera. yesterday, after class, and after a double-espresso milkshake at the wazungu-infested junction shopping center (you'd think you were in miami, not nairobi, it's kind of disgusting), marie and i headed there. it starts behind adam's arcade and ends somewhere in kibera. it's massive, and packed full of stands selling shoes, suits, dresses, school uniforms, underwear, radios, posters, t-shirts, anything you could ever want. many of them are just piles of clothes, a sign hanging above reading 20 bob, 30 bob, 50 bob. like a very dirty, seemingly neverending dig n' save. most of the vendors sleep on their goods, business is slow in this kind of a market. none of them have liscense to sell anything, but the police hardly bother with kibera. the entire place was burned down after the 2007 election, and thousands of people still are jobless because of it. you can still see the gaps where they haven't returned.


yesterday i got 3 t-shirts and 2 pairs of neon leggings all for about 500 bob. i probably could have gotten them cheaper but there is a normal price and an mzungu price. the vendors who are selling clothes that aren't priced by a sign hanging from a string really raise the cost for us. and i hate bargaining with them, because i know i may be their only customer for the day, maybe even the week, and 350 kenyan shillings (about 5 U.S. dollars) really isn't that unreasonable for a dress. it's just that i know that a kenyan would buy the same dress for 200. it's a difficult position to be in. the school kids who live in kibera all came in as we were there. the ones whom i assume are about middle-school age yell at us and swing their fists at us, sometimes hit us as if we've done something to them. they can make you feel really horrible, but leave you confused as to why. the younger kids will just point and say "how are you? how are you?" over and over. meghann, a girl who has worked in kibera for a while calls them the howareyou kids. it's the only english they know.


we saw a lot of kids in the market, however, who clearly were not in school, many of whom probably don't have parents or homes. they walk around or crawl around if they are too young to walk), in one of the dirtiest places i have seen, barefoot, glue in their hands. today one of them approached me with a sheet of paper asking for money for his school. i had a look at the sheet, which had quite apparantly been composed by the boy himself. his eyes were bloodshot from the glue, and i would guess he was about 7, though children are much smaller here, he could have been older. i had to say "pole, sinapesa (sorry i don't have any money)." he was only asking for 5 shillings. it's not what he needs.


on my way to meet marie for coffee this morning (it's her birthday) i saw a woman and her daughter standing under a hose hanging out of a construction site, mouths open for a drop of water that surely is not safe. i get used to seeing these kinds of things for a while, then it hits you again and it's very hard. every day reading the paper i get more and more worried about my position here and what i can do to help. on thursday there was this article describing how the government is upset with internally displaced persons who are spending money (given to them by the govt. to leave idp camps) on drink. each family, displaced by post-election violence, was given 10,000 shillings (about $140) and asked to be out of the camps by september 12. As if this is enough for these families, many of whom have lost everything, and have not been working since december, to pick up and start all over. Many of them don't have homes to return to because they were burned and looted by their own neighbors. In the sports section, on the same day, there was a photo of president kibaki presenting to pamela jelimo, an 18 year old kenyan athletic superstar, almost 3.5 million kenyan shillings. simply for winning an interntional competition which already put one million dollars in her pocket. it's disgusting. what kind of priorities does this government have? the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.


this is all very depressing, i know, i'm sorry. might explain my mood sometimes, you understand. on a lighter note, we managed to go out last night.


we headed to westlands, nairobi's premiere clubbing district. took us a while to get there because we had an illegal number of people in the taxi and therefore had to drive around the entire city to avoid police checkpoints. went to a club called black diamond, where we ran into those mad swedes again. they're a laugh. but also a much more kenyan crowd. we did a lot of dancing. most of the kenyan men are quite polite and ask permission to dance. most. we were home by 3, normal by madison standards, but way too early here. the clubs are open til sunrise and even later. going to make it one of these nights, but we're up for school at 6!


clearly we didn't make it to mombasa, but are planning on it next weekend because we have no class friday! we're going to take the old railroad there, same train they've been using since it's construction. goes 25kph the whole way, about 10 hours. supposed to be a great ride. i'm so excited to be on the beach, and somewhere a bit clearer and cleaner than nairobi.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"any question or any point that is not clear, or some issue that requires clarification? "

this is what my country analysis professor, an animated, lanky man named fred jonyo repeats to us at least a dozen times during every two hour lecture. he says it so quickly that i could not figure out exactly what he was saying until today, despite it being our 5th or 6th lecture. this man breaks our hearts with stories of a japanese lost love who he was not permitted to marry because she was not a member of his tribe, and names one or two new ways that kenya can kill us every day.

i love all my professors here.

the head professor, jama, has one of the kindest faces i have ever seen. today he spent about 20 minutes of lecture, urging us that, if we were ever to get serious with a kenyan boy, to bring him back to jama so as not to get our hearts broken or our money taken. he says he will know that boy's intentions from a 15 minute coffee date. at least one student from every MSID program, male and female, has married a kenyan. a host brother, a neighbor, a friend of a friend. maybe i'll come back with an engagement ring, HA. don't worry. my razors were taken from my bag (at the airport, i expect), and i think the state of my legs is a fairly good defense for any sexual or romantic advances by members of any sex.

my swahili professor, whose name i will not attempt to spell, is a tiny man with crooked teeth and whose clothes are about 3 sizes too large. he is very soft spoken and patient with our 'intermediate' group.

my day was a bit better, though minnesota is still bothering me about this online orientation, and causing me a lot of unnecessary stress.

everyone is going to the red light for reggae night tonight, but the distance is so costly for me. also, i'm on the mend from my cold, it's probably not a great idea. i think a group of us might go to mombasa for the weekend, so i need to save some cash for that. i hope we can go, i need a break from this routine of school/hometvtvtvtvtvtvtvtv/sleep/school.

on another note, i have an odd nairobi observation:

so, on the main road that runs past our campus, we haven't been able to walk on the path because there are these huge piles of red dirt and rocks, set about 10 feet apart, all the way down. well, they vanished today, but in their place there are hundreds of rocks of various shapes and sizes scattered along the path. a bit of an obstacle course on the way to class. i can't imagine it in the dark. i'm really confused as to what purpose they serve.

another:

i love kenyan radio. they play chris brown, africa bombata, rick astley, and celine dion on the same station. brilliant.

AND, tanks a mil for your comments and emails, love to hear from all of you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

week 2

so, it's the first day of the second week of class here in nairobi. we had a full day of class today, which means i have just enough time to hop on a matatu and beat rush hour.

i've been sick all weekend, and was seriously thinking about skipping class today. however, i think having a panadol-head in class all day beats being bored at home. when i arrived, late as usual, everyone was discussing the weekend. some were more eventful than others.

poor marie had her bag stolen downtown after mass yesterday. she put it at her feet at a sit-down restaurant, and in less than 20 minutes it was gone. luckily, most of her money was in her bra, where we've all learned is the safest place for our valubles. i suppose having a lumpy chest is better than having all my money stolen. the thief did manage to snag her phone, raincoat, and ipod - at least everything is replaceable.

in other sunday adventures, sarah and david were hanging out in a jamhuri salon where david was getting his hair dreaded when two boys burst in with a gun, went straight for the two of them, and felt them down for money. luckily, all they could find was a bag of sugar cane in david's pocket, which they ran off with.

both situations could have been far worse, but it's not very encouraging for the rest of us. we're only in the country 2 weeks!

i'm still having difficulty adjusting. apart from our host families and the MSID staff, i haven't felt very welcome. the locals seem to be confused as to why we are here. and as i learn more about the post-colonial history of this place i have to wonder myself. there is so much corruption, the country is just in so deep. it's hard to even think about how i can start to help. there is so much to be done.

take the police force, for instance. in any state, it is their duty to protect the citizens, more or less. and i know we complain about the police in the states, but here they work with the criminals. and not because they want to, but they are so poorly paid that they have to. in 2002, there were all these public transport laws passed because the matatus were out of control. an alarming number of people were killed as a result of poor conduct. 30 people in a 14 person van, no speed limits, no seatbelts, etc. so apparantly public transport was great for a couple years, but it's falling now. and the police will stop the matatu drivers for violating the laws, but after the exchange of a few hundred bob the matter is resolved. policemen will also "hire out" their guns to criminals when they are off duty for a few thousand bob, removing the marked bullets that identify the weapons as those of a civil servant. it's awful.

i could go on and on about things i don't understand in this country, but it will probably just come out as mixed-up as i feel.

i don't know. i suppose i'm just really overwhelmed, really confused. thus far, this is definitely a different experience than i had expected. i hope that with time i will settle, but i worry that it will take far longer than 3 and a half months.

anyway, all of you - please email me. i spend a lot of time on my own because i have to leave the group quite early to get home before dark. and i must admit i'm homesick, a feeling i've been unfamiliar with until now.

missing you all,
aisling

Saturday, September 13, 2008

oh, and...

the camera that the cute boy had around his neck wasn't even his.

strike two.

nilicheza dansi

last night, i finally went out. after one morning class marie and i wandered around the ngong road area, got coffee, sweets, etc. i headed back to langata for an hour or so to get ready for the evening. i had to leave fairly early to avoid walking after dark.

so much for that idea, the traffic was awful and it was incredibly busy trying to get on a matatu. i finally managed to squeeze my way onto one that reeked of the marijuana that the tout was smoking out of an emptied cigarette. i got off at the right stage, a fairly well-lit area on the busy ngong road. i felt okay. but i had to walk about half a mile to my friend sarah's house, on a main, but very dark road. it was seven and i couldn't see the ground i was walking on. i was terrified, with everything we hear about this city, and i stayed on the phone with sarah as her and marie walked towards me. i made it, my kicks caked in red mud as i didn't know where i was stepping.

relieved, we had a few drinks on sarah's porch with her host brothers duke (who wears a cape and prefers to be called nigel: boy genius) and james. we rang a taxi to take us to the club at about 9, and were picked up shortly after. on the way to the club there was a police checkpoint (a few police hanging out on the side of the road), and we were stopped. we didn't have our seatbelts on, which we were surprised to find even existed in the taxi. the policeman said he'd have to arrest us. that killed any buzz we had going for us. luckily, nairobi police can be easily bribed, and 200 bob did it. that's less than a dollar for each cop, but that's how desperate and underpaid they are.

finally, we made it to the club; casablanca. it's connected to an italian restaurant and our taximan, joseph, snuck us through the restaurant to avoid any cover charge. it was a very posh club, full of expats and well-dressed locals. quite a few of our group were already there, and clearly having a good time. we danced all night, the dj even played "i wanna dance with somebody (who loves me)." that one really brought this hilarious group of swedes to the dance floor.

i had my eyes on this skinny boy in cheap mondays and a long underwear top with a camera around his neck. marie was nagging me to make a move, but i wouldn't have it. so she went off herself and began to talk to him (eric). turns out he's on a trip with his high school from sweden, 17 years old. they all looked about 25, and all beautiful. ha.

i probably shouldn't have gone out.

i haven't been feeling too well, got a bit of a cold, and now i'm feeling miserable. hope a nap will do the trick. i think i'm going to take it easy tonight...worrying about how i'm going to avoid church in the morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ndiyo, mimi ni mzungu!

so, it's my third day in a row that i've been able to access the internet, and i've found the fastest connection yet. it's in a room that is just a bit bigger than our bathroom in 51 last year. and there are usb hookups, so i know i can write my papers here!

i don't like to use the internet so much, it's nice to be disconnected for a while. but the last few days we've been done with class early, and if i go home i'll be subjected to more hours of television than i can handle. the tyra banks show is particularly popular at my homestay.

yesterday on the way home from the internet cafe, which was quite a long walk, i had an interesting experience. we've done most of our walking downtown and around campus, which is close to downtown. in these areas there is a bit of diversity, a sizeable expatriate population. however, in the area near my house, i seem to be the only one. the main road near my estate is packed with fruit and vegetable stands, unliscenced bar shacks, and various other vendors. it's extremely dirty and smelly and loud and wonderful. i'm sure that everyone who owns a space on the road is barely scraping by each day. anyway, as i was walking, the street children gather and point at me and shout "mzungu!mzungu!" mzungu literally means wandering person, which is what european explorers were called when the country began to be colonized. so, over time, the meaning has changed to 'white person.' the children will point and laugh at me, say "how are you?" and "give me money.", two comments exclusively associated with caucasians. with the little bit of swahili i do know, i can understand that the men and women on the road are talking about me, and they will all turn and stare. it's an odd feeling, and i can't really figure it out. it's just weird. i am a total outsider here, and it's completely clear. no one smiles as they stare at you, as if you've done something horrible to them, as if you are not welcome. then there are people who will be incredibly friendly, but you have to question their intentions. it sucks because you have to be very careful about who you converse with. many of them will come up to you and start a conversation; "hi how are you? welcome to kenya, do you like our country? where are you from? how long are you staying? where have you visited?"...and being the person i am, i can't just ignore the person, so i smile and reply. eventually, you will be told of their sick brother, or child who can't afford to go to school, and beg you for money. it's awfully sad.

the walk home was weird.

today i made it to school ON TIME for the first time. wow. our professors, professor jama and professor jonyo, are wonderful. they are incredibly animated and really get you interested in the course content. we are mostly studying the history of colonization in kenya, which can be extremely maddening. so much was taken from these people and so little is left. i'm excited to learn more though, we're only scratching the surface.

we had a half day today so i explored the area around campus. it is much more affluent than the neighborhood i live in, and we had lunch in a westernized mall. i had my first brewed coffee in almost two weeks (everyone drinks instant here). it was wonderful, but i didn't want to stay there too long. it was nice to use a toilet that flushed, with toilet paper available and all! found a supamarket with moro bars, brilliant. though with all this colonization talk i really shouldn't be supporting british companies. can't say much about the kenyan chocolate though.

anyway, that coffee went straight through me, and it's lovely and sunny outside. time for my walk/stare-down home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

internship

i forgot to mention i found out my internship! i'll be working in kibera, africa's largest slum, at a girls school. they don't seem to be too sure about specifics, but i hope i'll be teaching. ok, more to come on that. look up kibera though, it's fascinating.

hapa hapa

so, i think i've finally found an internet cafe with a good connection. i suppose it could have been the horrendous weather we had last night affecting the connection, but it was frustrating nonetheless. so, to pick up from where i left off yesterday...
we arrived in lake nakuru national park on tuesday evening. everyone was exhausted, as most of us hadn't slept for 3 days at that point. we had to hand over our passports for inspection, something that seems to happen far too often here. it's scary to have it leave my hand. we drove into the park, which we soon found out is overpopulated with baboons. they are EVERYWHERE. we took it easy for the night, had dinner (and tea, of course), and headed to bed. i didn't want to risk another sleepless night, and mam's ambien made sure the monkeys would not bother me as i slept.

the next few days were spent being oriented, which basically consisted of scare tactics. according to our orientation, we should not be out after 6, will probably get malaria and typhoid multiple times, and will be mugged weekly. i know they just want us to be careful, and i will be. every night we went on a game drive. we were lucky enough to see the same simba (lion) 3 times. he was very lonely, and very dangerous, and very close to our camp. as for the other animals, there were loads of buffalo, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, impalas, 30 some species of birds, waterbuck, rhinos, and hippos. oh, and 1.3 million lesser flamingos. one of the girls, sarah, picked feathers off the beach, cleaned them, and sewed one into my hair. after she chopped it all off, a quick, messy job that would have made lance wince to watch. it looks good though, i promise. i wish i could post photos of the camp, but the connection is too poor to think about uploading anything. it was a beautiful place but i also didn't feel very settled as we were confined to this tiny commune and could not leave without being eaten alive.

on friday we went into the city of nakuru. as a crowd of 30 american students, we really stuck out. wazumgu, they call us here, white people. we paraded through the market and were harassed by the vendors, who of course expected us to buy and buy and buy. it was extremely overpriced, as compared to many of the markets in nairobi, so we didn't...a major disappointment. a onepiece on a rack, however, did catch my eye. i bought it for 200 bob (about 3 dollars), only to find a value village tag on it. regardless, it's wonderful, and will debut at an iQ soon enough.

friday night we tried desperately to get a crate of beer back to the commune, but failed. the muslim heads of our orientation would not have it. instead, we had a late-night sing-a-long, which concluded with me, adam, and marie singing la vie boheme (rent), almost all the way through, alone. the others left when we outed journey with the sound of music.

saturday we were up before the sun to head back to nairobi, to meet our families.

we arrived to campus in nairobi at about 11. some families were there on time. most weren't, as expected. mine arrived only about 20 minutes late, but i wonder how long others were waiting.

my family is lovely. mercy, my host mum, is 29 years old and a communications/sociology major. she listens to salt n' pepa and knows every word to 'heartbreaker.' she's brilliant. my host dad is a vet and i don't see him often, but he's very nice. when he asked me who my favourite musical artist is and i told him, he replied with "oh, she's a very good dancer." which makes him great in my books. my host brother, ian, is 4. he's very, very loud, laughs at my swahili, and is a fantastic dancer. and he only eats cakes. seriously. my host sister, rachel, is 22 and studies forensic science. she's nice, but very quiet. i think she doesn't have a lot of friends in the area we live in because they moved a few months ago to avoid post-election violence.

the house is nice, i have my own room. sometimes we have running water!

school is ok. it's hard to get back into the swing of things, and 4 hours of swahili a day is not really my style. i have to take a matatu very early in the morning to get there. matatus are these 14 person vans that usually have huge lil wayne/rihanna/britney spears/looney tunes/jesus stickers all over them and blast rap music through pimped out sound systems. a tout hangs out the side yelling where it is headed and how much they are charging (which varies hourly, daily). you kind of have to push your way through to hop on. to avoid traffic they drive on the paths, in the middle of the road, on the wrong side. yesterday ours broke down in the middle of a jam and the guys (of course, because women do nothing here) got out and pushed until it started up again. i haven't had a matatu-induced bruise yet.

we haven't been out yet, rather i have not been out yet. everyone else lives so close to each other so they can meet at a local pub. hopefully i'll be able to stay with someone this weekend and experience some nairobi nightlife, i can't wait to make friends with the prostitutes.

i'm running low on shilingi so i have to sign out, but at least i know there is an internet source not too far (3 miles) from home. i have to set off before it gets dark as well, don't want to be caught on foot at night.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

HAPA

so, i've finally gotten to a 'cyba cafe' in kenya. i've been here for about 25 minutes and the internet connection has given me enough time to write one email and load this page. i can't access facebook at all, so those of you who are sending me facebook messages, email me instead. PLEASE. because i do want to reply to you.
well, it's been kind of a whirlwind week. we arrived late last monday night, pulling into our wildlife clubs of kenya hostel at around midnight. after about 24 hours of travel, all i wanted to do was crash, but in kenya 'anytime is chai time,' and we were directed to the cafeteria for tea. we had to wake up at 6 the next morning so as to beat nairobi traffic, but didn't end up leaving the hostel til about 8. i've quickly come to learn that nothing will ever be on time here, which is just my style. we charged quickly through immigration offices in downtown nairobi, getting our passports stamped for kenyan residency (as a resident you are entitled to discounts on travel, museums, national parks, etc. within the country). from there we headed to the supermarket, which, i was pleased to learn carries digestives, ribena, smarties, and snack bars. from there we hit the road for lake nakuru national park, where we
unfortunately the computer keeps freezing and disconnecting, and because i spent all my cash at the hospital getting my infected knee wound dressed, i can't sit and wait and be charged. i'm dying to tell you all about everything that has happened here, but i'll have to find a cafe with a better connection.
this is all very frustrating. and there is a torrential downpour outside. can't wait to get home and take a nice, cold bucket of water on my head.
don't worry, i am loving it.