24 hours in Kenya

Arrival in Kenya was sleep and uneventful. The hotel is charming and quaint — what appears to be an old manor house set on high-walled grounds. The first night I stayed in a permanent tent, built on a wooden floor with an indoor bathroom and electricity. Today, I moved to what were probably once servant quarter — a spartan room with a shared bath.

The morning was spent doing a bit of shopping — cell phone, blank CDs, a beer — and attemtping to reconnect with the world. I also took a few casual photos — nothing fancy — with the point-and-shoot Canon.

A few notes to explain the photos:

  • Kenya, like much of the developing world is a paradox of juxtapositions. Along the road from the airport, new hotels and business parks are constructed even as goatherds whip their stock along with long poles. Another example: A ten-minute walk from my hotel is a 24-hour shopping center/cinema complex. Next to it is an open air market where people that hawk everything from produce to charcoal to women’s shoes.
  • Kenya is also in the midst of a drought, meaning crops have been destroyed and food prices are higher. Water and power (from hydroelectric dams) is being rationed in many places, my hotel included.
  • Though the theater nearby has first-run movies and the country is pioneering cell phone use, Kenya is also behind technologically. Internet speeds are dismal, high tech nearly unaffordable to the common Kenyan, and musical entertainment still is very sad (note the cassettes featuring Celine Dion next to MJ).
  • Nairobi is cool right now — probably 50s at night. I was bundled in a heavy blanket as I slept, and the guard at my hotel wears a parka for twilight duty. That keeps many bugs at bay, though there are still some mosquitos. And where there are mosquitos, there is a natural insect defense system — geckos.
  • Last: I’m sad that ESPN here is the international version, meaning I’m missing the Illinois-Mizzou game now. (Though I hear I don’t want to watch it anyway.)
Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “24 hours in Kenya”

  1. Robert Cohen Says:
    September 5th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    illinois got whacked. you’re in a better place. enjoy nairobi. don’t let anyone take you to The Carnivore. how long you staying?

  2. JC Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Final score was MU over ILL 37-9. I enjoyed the game almost as much as I’m enjoying your updates from Kenya. Keep ‘em coming, sargin’ buddy.

  3. ADAM JADHAV » Blog Archive » A year-in-review Says:
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:01 am

    [...] went to Kenya, got stalked by children, played with wild animals (including a kick-ass leopard), followed an NGO [...]

Leave a Reply