I did my best!

Nairobi Travel Blog

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Today I got up felling a lot better but in the mood to relax, but the plan was to go to the elephant orphanage and watch them feed baby elephants and rhinos from 11- noon, the only time they are open.  So Andrew, the Aussie Dr. who was up in Nairobi for the weekend but usually stays in Thika, about 2 hours away, really wanted to go and got me motivated.  We checked the Lonely Planet, which said to grab either Matatu 126 or 127 from Moi Road.  Well I didn’t know where Moi Road was, and it was Sunday so no one was awake to ask, but I was sure 126’s ran up and down Kongo Road, a 30 minute walk away. It was already 9:30 and public transit is never very predictable so we set off to make it to the elephant orphanage as  soon as possible.  Well last night it rained a lot.  In Nairobi, rain means mud, and lots of rain means lots of mud.  Well needless to say, especially since half the walk was through the dirt roads of Kawangware slum, the trek took some extra effort, which means extra time.  We finally made it  Kongo road, but all we saw were 45 and 46s.  I was a little concerned.  We waited a while then I asked a guy whether we could pick up a 126 here?  He said “No, you have to grab a 45 to YaYa Shopping Center and there you could pick up a 126.”  We hopped on a 45 and I asked the door main if we grab a 126 at Yaya.  He said “no, you had to go to Ngong Road and there we could pick up a 126.”  l Ngong Road is the major road right by our place so I was a little embarrassed I had taken us on this large, large detour.  After we had made it back up to Ngong road, we waited for a while and didn’t see any 126’s.  We asked a guy if we could pick up a 126 here and he said “No, you have to take a 4w or a 111 into downtown and there we would find a 126.“  Well by this time it was about 10:40 and according to Lonely Planet, you had to ride 126 for 50 minutes until you arrived at the proper stop and then it was a 1 km walk, so we were a little discouraged about our chances of seeing any baby elephants or rhinos today.  Instead we opted to go to the Nairobi National Museum.  We asked the guy how to get to the National Museum and he said, “I’m going that way right now, just jump on a 4w with me and I’ll show you how to get there.”  Well we fallowed him, hopped on the next 4w to downtown, wandered through some city streets, took a long walk along this road, and about 45min. later we arrived at The Nairobi National Museum.   We thanked the gentleman for his time.  He said you’re welcome and asked us to call him with out giving us his number, which a fair amount of people do around here but I don’t understand why.  At the museum we saw a ton of stuffed birds from all over East Africa, learned about Ahmed of Marhmit (or something like that), an elephant with tusks so massive the President of Kenya assigned two armed rangers to protect him at all times from poachers, and enjoyed an exhibit about all of the early hominid finds in Kenya.  It was a heavy reading day.  We also walked through an exhibit on the circle of life in Kenyan societies.  We were at the museum for about 3 hours and were both starving, After pathetically searching for the right Matatu to take us downtown, then fending off salesmen offering everything from elephant hair bracelets (they were obviously leather and could be purchased anywhere in the U.S.) to Safari guides, and searching for a restaurant that is open and had agreeable prices, we finally sat down to eat tacos.  After tacos, Andrew caught a Matatu back to Thitka and I wandered the streets until I found a matatu back to Kalunguari. Came home relaxed and saw that Feng had gotten a haircut.  I complimented him on it and he told me he had done it himself.  I was confused, “How did you cut your own hair? It’s not buzzed.”  “I, know…” all in an Chinese accent “I walked into a salon, and asked if they could cut my hair.  They said they only cut girl’s hair there.  I said ‘can I use your mirror and your scissors and cut my own hair, just help with the back.’”  During his retelling of the day’s events, I started to chuckle as I noticed the stray hair perturbing from his sideburns.  It all started to make sense.  The rest of the night we just hung out and watched some Simpsons. 

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