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Published: November 30th 2008
Vicki and I arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to the driver and van provided by the school. Mary, a teacher and our across-the-hall neighbor, came along to deal with text books for the school.
We first went back to to the Sarit Center (http://www.saritcentre.com/about_us.htm), the shopping mall where we had bought supplies when we arrived in Nairobi, so that Mary could go to the Textbook Center, and I bought a small rolling pin and round board for making chapatis at home. Then we were dropped off at our hotel (the beautiful Fairview), where we checked and then met two friends of Vicki's who were former teachers at the school. We sat by the pool and had dinner, entertained by a very loud cat....
The next day, we relaxed by the same pool, swam, and then walked downtown through the newly safe park, to get a matatu to the wealthy suburb where a friend of Vicki's from Seattle works in the library of a school for missionaries' kids (and other children). Downtown Nairobi is very clean and safe now...litter has been picked up, beggars banned, and supposedly plain clothes tourist police keep a close eye on you as
you walk around.
The school is the Rosslyn Academy and has been around for a long time. http://www.rosslynacademy.com/home_history.html
We met Donna at the local mall, which is very upscale and filled with people from all over.
The American Embassy is near as is the UN headquarters for East Africa. We had dinner with Donna and her family in their beautiful home on campus, visited the library, and then were driven home by her husband. He had told us how recently he was stopped at an intersection in Nairobi and has his head light lens broken by a kid and the bulb stolen in a matter of seconds....and when we were stopped at an intersection in Nairobi that night, a kid tried to do something to car in front of us, but the driver accelerated and the kid ran off....
On Thursday, Vicki had hired Simon to take us around to several sights before going to the airport for our 10:50 pm flight home. He brought Humphrey, the driver from my safari, and I was glad to see them both again! Vicki had also invited Beatrice (who was the librarian at MT Kenya when Vicki had
been there previously) and her son Preston.
We started out at the David Shedrick elephant rescue center run by his wife in the Nairobi National Park.
As we neared the entrance, there were bored looking baboons sitting on the power lines by the road! Inside, we were able to watch two groups of rescued elephants being fed their bottles, and to touch some of them. A guide gave a talk and explained how they came to center, and how they are reintroduced to the wild. You can read about this at their website above. Sponsoring an elephant makes a great Xmas gift...!
Next we had lunch at a crafts center, where I bought a small mask and a bowl, and then we drove the the Giraffe center. This is a breeding program that has restocked many herds of giraffes all over East Africa. You can feed them at the center. http://giraffecenter.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
Then we drove to the Karen Blixen House, and had a tour. http://www.museums.or.ke/content/blogcategory/13/19/
Our last stop was the Kazuri Bead Factory, where local people (mostly single mothers) are hired to make beautiful beads and pottery from clay. We toured the factory and
then visited the shop. http://www.kazuriamerica.com/story
We returned to the hotel where we picked up our luggage, then dropped off Beatrice and Preston and Simon's assistant, Liz. Simon then had us driven to a restuarant for dinner (where I bought us all Kenyan cocktails called "Dawa" which means medicine in Swahili and is made from honey, lemon, lime and vodka). And lastly to the airport...and farewell to Kenya...
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