Published: October 31st 2008
October 31st 2008
I took this in the morning. We couldn't see the summit last night. There is snow on the right side.
We left Nairobi Thursday morning for Nyeri. The school sent a driver to pick us up....we had 11 boxes and bags by the time we left! We shopped for the basics here since it is a long walk from the school to town. We have been told that we will have a two bedroom apartment at the Upper School!
We traveled in a school matatu (van) from Nairobi, and the driver took the more scenic route out of the capital, passing the ambassadors' residences just outside the city. I was leaning out the window, trying for a photo of these grand mansions when I realized I was pointing my camera towards the US Ambassador's home and the guard was looking very unhappy with me. I quickly put the camera down and hoped we wouldn't be pulled over later up the road (we weren't).
We next came to farmland: first coffee, then pineapples, bananas, rice, some mango trees, and back to coffee near the school. The soil is brilliant red-orange and the vegetation a deep bright green. The photos don't due it justice.
All along our route, even on the four lane highway, people were walking, bicycling, pushing wheelbarrows,
Shopping in the mall for food
There was an Obama table there, and pins, but no T-shirts. The Spanish woman in front me here at the checkout stand noticed my pin and added her hopes for his win to the many wishes of others I have heard here.
pulling carts, and driving carts pulled by oxen or donkeys. Huge loads of grass for cattle feed, sticks and charcoal for cooking fires were being transported by human power. There were also immaculately dressed men and women, wearing suits or dresses, walking along too.
Schools were getting out, so these people were joined by children of all ages, in uniforms that varied in color and style by school. Even tiny children traveled along these busy roads without sidewalks, laughing and playing. Every half mile or so, another group of cattle, goats, or a mix of both was grazing along the road. Some were staked and others tended by men, often wearing sports jackets. We saw a few donkeys in the herds, which ranged from a few to two dozen or more, but no horses.
There were a number of combination bar/butchery shops along the way. The 'Safari' cellular network has ads painted on buildings in every town.
As we got nearer to Nyeri, Mt Kenya came into view, clouds obscuring the snowy summit.
The school is beautiful, nestled by coffee plantations, with Mt Kenya in the distance. A student soccer game was in progress outside our
apartment as we unpacked.
As night fell, the insect hum grew louder, bright stars shone in the sky, and the smell of cooking fires drifted by.
What a wonderful day!
There are more photos below