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Old Entry: Nairobi

March 8, 2010

After arriving at the airport an hour early from Paris due to a ridiculous tail wind, exhaustion and gross-ness started to set in. The flight itself was pretty enjoyable – a Boeing 777 but only ½ full so lots of room to spread out – AND hot towels. The first few moments in Nairobi, however, were interesting and some what culture shocking. I learned that despite the lack of signs, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has multiple buildings separated by roads that each serve a different purpose. Thankfully, all my luggage arrived safely, I made it though immigration (no check on vaccinations obviously) and I finally fond the right building to get a boarding pass and check my luggage at. Feeling rather cocky, I decided to find one of the 2 cafes in the airport and wait out my now 12 hour layover. Obviously sticking out, I was approached by a nice man who worked at the travel/tour agency in the airport – taxi ride and hotel stay during my layover for a good price was the offer. I was intrigued, so I went to their offices and was giving a package deal offer of $200 US (inc. 2 taxi rdes, continental breakfast @ hotel, warm bed and shower.) Haggling is a beautiful thing and I took the offer at $115 US or KSH 9,100. Normally this would be way out of my price range, but I decided to make the gamble and at least see some more of Nairobi. The hotel is nice (not by US standards) but clean, polite and safe – 3 things that I’ve already come to value a lot. Definitely a place where local Kenyans stay as I haven’t seen a white person (Mzungu) since pullin gout of the airport parking lot. This doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it might – we’ll see how this holds up. Breakfast was ok – I expect good by Kenyan standards, the shower was excellent, the bed was flat. It’s amazing how the little things in life add up. I finally managed to fall asleep around 10 am – spelt til 1 pm. Somehow I feel worse after sleeping – probably just overheated and dehydrated and exhausted. The city of Nairobi has a certain beauty to it – despite its being ridiculously busy since it’s Saturday. Pedestrians definitely rule the streets here – I’m glad I wasn’t driving. I’d like to go buy a drink, but that would mean exiting backwards through security and in again so I think I’ll stick with the too warm bottle of water from the hotel. I feel like everything FSD said so far was spot on – yay Preparation!! I’m looking forward to getting settled in Kakamega a lot.

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