Jambo from Kenya

Trip Start Sep 14, 2007
Trip End Oct 13, 2007

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Saturday, September 15, 2007

I have arrived in Kenya!  I had a good flight over, although I only managed a couple of hours sleep so was pretty tired by the time we arrived in Nairobi at 5.30am.  Luckily I was greeted at the airport by local guide David from i-to-i who helped me to get some Kenyan shillings before driving me to my hotel for the night.  The other volunteers arriving today aren't coming until the evening so I had the drive to myself.  On the way to the hotel I chatted to David about Kenyan culture and politics as well as their notoriously bad driving.  My hotel is simple (looking a little like a prison block inside) but it's comfortable.  After checking in I decided to take a quick nap but woke up 3 hours later! 
By midday I was ready to explore the city.  Nairobi is a relatively small city for a capital - I walked around most of it in one day.  It is also quite a modern city, built largely in the last 100 years, and is surprisingly free of pollution
I started my exploration at the National Archives (where else?!?).  It houses an interesting museum on African history so seemed a good starting point.  From there I found a little cafe for lunch (shamefully Western I'm afraid to say) and then continued to the city square which houses the Parliament building and the Kenyatta Conference Centre.  I paid a guard to take me up to the top of the conference centre, where there are supposed to be great views of the city.  She took me up the 30 floors to the helipad and I wasn't disappointed.
Afterwards I found a fantastic arts and crafts market, which took all of my willpower not to buy anything (time for shopping later) and then wandered around some more of the city's streets and gardens, taking in the city mosque and the Thorn Tree Cafe (inspiration for the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum).
The Kenyans have so far lived up to their friendly reputation - everyone smiles and welcomes you to their country.  I got chatting to one man in the street, a teacher at the University, who told me he had read lots of books from an Oxford Press.  He was very excited when I told him I work there!
But apparently it is not too safe to walk around Nairobi after 7pm (especially for a single white female) so I am going back to the hotel shortly for my complimentary dinner and some relaxation.  Orientation begins tomorrow morning...
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debbie_laybourn on

Glad you have arrived safely
Hi Bev,

Great to see you blogging again. Your blog is as entertaining as ever. It sounds like you are about to experience another adventure. Thanks for the Birthday text all the way from Kenya. I had a great birthday. Keep the updates coming.

Love you pet!


jaqson on

Hi. My name is Jackson Kabiru, a Kenyan by all rights. I have seen your latest blogs and I envy you. I am a Computer Professional doing Consultancy Work and have also entered into Civic Politics. I will be vying for a Civic Seat in Karatina (about 125km North of Nairobi) my home place in the General Elections later this year.

On behalf of my Kenyan Community, I take this opportunity to welcome you to our beautiful country and wish you all the best is in your stay. You can always get me on my phone 0203500460, or email: jaqkabiru@yahoo.com

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