.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

.:: The Daily Cowbell ::.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

My first time in Nairobi (in daylight)

NAIROBI, KENYA – I’ve been here one week today. Today, however, was my first real day in Africa.

After a relatively quick staff meeting, Mr. Thomas drove Valerie, Honey (the cook), and I drove (on the left side of the road – remember, Kenya used to be a British colony) to the Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, a private facility inside Nairobi Game Park. As soon as I got there, I saw a baby rhino, a year old! Pretty cool. I used to think of them as big cows with giant horns on their faces, but not at all, now. The babies are incredible active, and they love to play around. After he was done being fed (baby formula from a giant baby bottle, of course), he ran around to the workers and tried to play with them. Well, of course, since he has the massive tusk sticking out of his face, the workers would either run away so they wouldn’t get stabbed or they’d smack the thing with a shovel.

After that, they brought out 5 baby elephants, and they were super cool, too. They like to play at a young age, too, so they’d beat around a soccer ball with their trunks or they’d all run around and try to get the attention of the workers. The boy elephants would run around to the other boys and steal their food and push each other and horseplay around. Weird, they’d never come close to touching the girls though. If there was pushing going on and a girl came by, they’d back off until she went away, and then they’d start again! More than I could say about when Ariel and I grew up together.

Next, we made our way into Nairobi, passing the city of Karen, the namesake of the star from Out of Africa. We also passed a few baboon, playing on the side of the road. I didn’t have fast enough reflexes to get the shot while driving, but I was reassured that seeing the primates again would definitely happen. Eventually, we stopped at an incredible Italian restaurant called Medeterraneanos. We were served an incredible meal, featuring minestrone soup, 4 different kinds of pastas, and an evil tiramisu for dessert. All in all, it was a very successful meal – the kind that makes you want to stand up and cheer, if it wasn’t that you felt like you’ve been shot in the stomach. Immediately afterwards, I wanted to celebrate the food with a small siesta. However, I was more lucky than that, because our next stop was the city market.

We dove down few little streets, we showed up at the market, not much different than the kinds you see in Dominican Republic, Peru, or probably any other Third-World Country. They sold everything, from hand-carved masks to Masai Shukas (blankets used by the native people) to jewelry of every kind. I didn’t buy anything, but I plan on investing in a few of the trinkets sold down there the next time we head that direction. My day off is Tuesday, so I’m thinking I’ll need to pull out some more money to get my place really set up.

On the way out of town, we stopped at Nakumatt, east-Africa’s Wal-Mart. They sell literally everything, from bananas to laundry detergent to computer cords. I picked up a SIM card for the cell phone I hope to buy tomorrow from the Hartzells. And it cost KSh 299/-, the equivalent of like $4! For a SIM card! Anyway, in case anyone (crazy) in the states wants to call me, I get free incoming calls (and free incoming text messages). Now, only to buy minutes…

Right before we got back, we stopped at another, cheaper Wal-Mart clone called Tusker Mattress, in Rongai. Not as big, but three stories tall. I’ll definitely take advantage of all the cheap food there. We got back on campus a few minutes later, and I unloaded and put away my few purchases in town. The rest of the night looks to be emailing my parents from the computer lab and maybe popping in a movie. Tomorrow is our final work day without kids, and then I’ll spend Sabbath at Nairobi Game Park. Then, Sunday, registration, and the whole thing begins! Can’t wait!



Post a Comment

<< Home