Kenya Update #2: Nairobi to Ngomano

It was seventy degrees Farenheit when our group finally got off the plane in Nairobi.  “Finally” is the operative word:  after a  five hour delay spent sitting on the tarmac in Paris due to a possible mechanical problem,  arrival in Nairobi took place in the wee hours of the Kenyan morning instead of the mid-evening.  And seventy degrees at 3am translates into a daytime temperature of about 95, which took some adjustment by our Pacific Northwest travelers!

Unknown-3After a few hours sleep in a quite pleasant hostel in Nairobi, the Explorations group headed out to visit a market, a giraffe reserve, and an elephant park.  America writes:

Jan 15, 2014:  Riding in the back of a van, we made our way through the outskirts of Nairobi.  Our driver Paul, full of joy and conversation, helped us feel welcome in this new and unfamiliar place.  The traffic was interesting, but mostly chaotic. There were people walking in the streets, some selling fruit and hats, and others making their trip  to work.  Most wore  dress shirts, nice slacks and leather shoes, but all were walking on dirt roads or half paved, pot-holed streets. Motor bikes loaded with cargo were flying through the people on the sidewalks and weaving through traffic.  After a while, the secenery changed: one minute it was crazy traffic with lots of advertising, and the next it was all lush greenery with the occasional outline of a monkey, or signs that paradoxically said not to litter — standing over piles of trash!

Hannah M. and Hannah C. write:

Unknown-2We ventured to the Giraffe Center in the Lang’ata suburb of Nairobi. We were each given a handful of pellets to feed the giraffes.  We were given the option of simply feeding them from our hands while standing on a platform that helped us reach giraffe-height.  But while some students did this, many students decided to take it a step further and place the pellets in their mouths and kiss the giraffes.  After about half an hour of beautiful giraffe intimacy, we dined at a nearby pavilion and watched a cheetah documentary.  A few students may or may not have wandered back to the giraffes for more tongue-tacular giraffe love… Overall, it was a good day. 

Unknown-1It took some hassle in the market to purchase a Kenyan cell phone.  We found that texting using a regular AT&T iPhone is a workable way to communicate with Bellingham from Nairobi, but the countryside is a different story.  The Kenyan cell phone offers the convenience of being able to make calls in-country to make plans, while also offering the security of having an emergency phone that will (should?) work everywhere we go.  Presumably we will only use it for the former purpose!

We were unable to send photos to Bellingham, so these are stock photos to help you envision the experience of our kids.  They are images of the actual places our group visited, though.  As of this writing, and after another (blessedly longer!) night at the Nairobi hostel, our group has left the city and traveled out to the village of Ngomano, where our service project working with students at the Clay International School is about to begin.  More stories to come soon!

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