Eclipses and elephants


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Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi
January 15th 2010
Published: July 28th 2010
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Hi all

Well, my first full day in Kenya has been an experience... from viewing the annular solar eclipse to feeding giraffes in a refuge, to watching baby elephants guzzle milk and warthogs snuffle dirt on their knees...as their necks are too short to bend!

I managed to meet up at the ungodly hour of 630am with Professor Baki at the University of Nairobi... a specialist in astrophysics and a man who sports quite the most spectacular piece of facial hair I have ever seen.

Although the cloud cover was v low, we got some excellent glimpses of the eclipse. Pics here http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=187691&id=691995235&l=949d3718de

Kenyan radio were also there (on top of the roof of the Department of Physics!) and they asked to use one of my images to illustrate their web piece... http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Kenya-marvels-at-solar-eclipse-7119.html Cool huh? I am currently chasing up the fact they have not credited me, as that was part of the deal! Intellectual copyright and all that....

Bit of a crazy day.... ever been licked by a giraffe? Nor had i until this afternoon. Amazingly viscous sweat.....and their tongues are obscenely long. I visited the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and got very up close and personal with these quadraped giants....http://www.giraffecenter.org/

I didnt realise just how cute baby elephants were til i was up close to them in a rescue centre for orphaned ones today. eeekkkk! Sadly, poaching and the terrible drought in Kenya towards the end of 2009 has caused many babies to be orphaned but the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does amazing things....http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/. Did actualyl come rather close to fostering one of these cuties.....

My photos from today are here if you are interested http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=187769&id=691995235&l=c44454e16f if you are interested

Have absolutely adored being by myself here for these few days...the people are so friendly and i feel utterly safe here even though 'Nairobbery' has the reputation for being the most dangerous city in Africa.

However, rest assured i have no intention of leaving the hostal after dark past the armed guard at the gate....although that said, did manage to meet up with Vish, a chap from South America who lives here. He picked me up from where i am in Milimani and so i was able to hand deliver a tshirt he had had commissioned in Peru - we went for a Kenyan Coffee and a drive last night but avoided the quieter roads in case of hijacking and robbery! Joy!

Im planning to visit the Kibera Slums (http://images.google.co.ke/images?q=kibera+slums&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=nJdQS6L4G4bW4garuZWXCQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBAQsAQwAA) tomorrow...part of me feels somewhat voyeristic in doing this. However, the money it costs goes into charities and NGOs working there helping to improve the lives of the estimated up to 1.2million people living there, in an area the same size as New York. Film fans - remember The Constant Gardner...well that was filmed there.

Tomorrow evening, I meet up with the Intrepid group (fingers crossed they are as good a crowd as some of the Dragoman gang!) and the day after we depart Nairobi for Lake Nakaru National Park... where flamingos flock and rhinos ..umm...rhumba?!

I promise i wont be on email constantly....but today has just been such an incredible day and i have easy internet access in the delightful hostal Im staying at that i just couldnt help myself!

Hope all is well...and the big freeze is coming to an end. Suffice to say, its hot and sunny here and Im back in shorts and a vest top!

Love hannah x

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one comment:

Hannah Great photos of the eclipse. Like the picture of the roof lab door! Still cold here but snow gone - more promised on Wednesday!
Nick and Celia (email) - 18 01 10 - 09:05



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