To hell and back


Surreal hiking in Hell's Gate National Park

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A Nairobi night: incongruous and awesome

A short note. Last night at a Nairobi bar I was:

  • staring on and off into a fireplace with a chimney painted like a giraffe
  • listening to American hip hop (a CD I burned) blared over the stereo
  • talking with a German couple
  • occasionally reading a book about failed Norwegian attempts to help the Turkana
  • eating a Mexican pizza
  • drinking East African (Kenya/Uganda) beer

Incongruous? Yes. Awesome? Absolutely.

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Other travelers, cards, beer make for great conversation

Meet Steve, a wandering Brit, who beat me at everything we tried — Rummy, Scrabble, Nomination Whist and Hearts. (I challenged in Scrabble and Hearts, but couldn’t quite come through.)

Steve is a 24-year-old former science and math teacher who spent the last months in Africa, climbed Kilimanjaro, headed home to England last night and will head to South America next week. He uses the phrase “cool beans” repeatedly  and describes many things as “cheeky.”

He taught me a fantastic drinking game — Tell Her — and a great new word: Fitty (no, not slang for fifty).

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