Travel to Nairobi

Trip Start Apr 10, 2008
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This morning after breakfast, and after seeing off the dental team with our best wishes, Dr. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Mundeli and I headed to the airport for the flight to Nairobi, the first leg of our trip back home. Before leaving us, Mr. Mundeli presented Dr. Kirkpatrick with a Rwandan shepherd's cane as a thank-you gift for his visit and his service in the area both through his sermon, his advice on the possible dental supply project as well as his ongoing assistance in the Good Works projects in general.
It left at 11:50 for the hour-long flight to the capital of Kenya, which passed without incident. On landing we made the long walk through the terminal to the visa desk where we obtained tourist visas for 50 dollars each. We picked up our luggage and caught a taxi directly to the Langata Giraffe Center, which I wanted Dr. K to see before it closed.  This center exists to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe. The giraffes who are protected here so that they can reproduce, will come right up to a platform built around a large tree and can be hand fed. After placing a food pellet directly onto a giraffes outstretched, 18 inch (50 cm) tongue, Dr. K discovered that giraffe saliva is extremely viscous and rather unpleasant. (I would have told him that but I was taking photos....) This experience, I observed, led him to feed the giraffes by throwing food pellets into their open mouths from a short distance. One of the handlers was not so fastidious; he put a pellet in his mouth and let the giraffe lick the morsel right out of his mouth. We decided not to try that fascinating experiment.
After learning quite a bit about giraffes from the teaching center, we started back to town to our hotel, driving through the thick rush-hour traffic of Nairobi.
After checking in we had dinner at the famous Norfolk hotel, one of the 2 famous old hotels in Nairobi. When it was first built, guests could sit on the terrace of the bar and shoot game on the savannah out front, even lions sometimes. Now the savannah has been covered by the University of Nairobi. The interior of this old hotel still has the woodwork and the columns of former days and it's a walk back in time to stroll around the grounds or have dinner in the dining room.
Starting tomorrow, we're going to take a few days off at our own expense to see some of the exquisite wildlife of Kenya out on the Masai Mara Reserve. I'll be out of Internet contact and so won't be able to post an update on the blog until at least Friday, perhaps Saturday.
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