Nairobi Travel Blog

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We are officially in Kenya!

Today was a crazy day! We landed in Kenya at about 6:00 a.m. local time, and Don and Pat were at the airport to pick us up! We had no problems going through customs, and nothing missing from our bags. We were quickly introduced to Paul, a Nairobi local, and reasurred he was a great driver (which he definitely is!) After driving about thirty minutes we arrived at the HEART Compound where we are staying tonight and tomorrow night. The HEART compound is a beautiful facility currently hosting med students working with the children, as well as a few other volunteers. HEART, I found out, is an amazing organization working to boost the communites with programs such as WEEP, empowering women who are HIV/AIDS positive, and many others.

Lots of new friends. And stickers!
The compound is great! My dad and I are in a room with three twin beds and our own bathroom with a flushing toilet and a shower! We had a few minuets to get adjusted to our room before we had to head down to breakfast. I'm usually not a breakfast person but everything was so good! There were really yummy potatoes, and some eggs and the best papaya I have ever had. I also tried a passion fruit and loved it! Passion fruit is really ugly looking in a greyish shell, then it is cut in half and the insides don't look much better. They are green-ish and slimy and have lots of seeds, but when you scoop all the insides out with a spoon its delicious! After breakfast I went to change into pants because I can not wear shorts outside of the compound and we met Pat and Don back by the van.
We loaded up and headed to Kibera.

Kibera is the largest slum in Africa and the 2nd largest in the world. There are over 800,000 people living in a 5 square mile radius. I really don't know how to even describe Kibera. I have never seen anything like it in my life. When they said slum I pictured little houses made of cardboard spread out over a pretty big area. There are buildings half built everywhere, and the other half of them is made of corrigated tin. Everything is crammed together, and the buildings are tiny. There are people everywhere, and people selling things. There were a bunch of stray dogs just hanging out in the shade, and a few chickens and roosters running around. I remember seeing a lot of butcher shops, they all looked the same.

Pat, Rosemary and Don at the Brydges Center
There is a big glass window out front, and the meat of a whole cow hanging from the ceiling right inside of it. It looked a lot like the slums in Slumdog Millionare.

After a very round-about drive down muddy streets, we met some of the families living in Kibera. The kids were adorable! They were so interested in us! Whenever we drove by they would all chant, "How are you? How are you?" in the cutest sing-song voices. We got out at the WEEP Center and had some time to interact with the kids. None of them were shy. They would walk straght up and just hold my hand. I had a pack of stickers that I handed out and they went crazy over! They were so funny sticking them  to their foreheads, giggling, and then begging for more. They love love love to have their picture taken, and they love it even more when you show it to them afterwards. They would push eachother out of the way to be infront of the camera. When we were getting ready to leave a group had followed me out to where I was waiting for the car, and they were getting the biggest kick out of holding mine and my dad's hands and then jumping up and down. They are the cutest kids I have ever seen and I will never forget their giggles or them asking me how I am.

Next up we went to a Boarding and Day School for boys. To get there we had to drive through another smaller slum. Although it was basically the same as the first you could tell the people in this slum were a little better off. There were goats running around, the streets were wider, and there were less people. The Boys school was a lot better off than a lot of other places. They do not have flushing toilets, but they are lucky enough to have a great science lab, a computer lab, and a lot of really passionate staff! It was interesting touring the school, especially since it was a high school.

After this we took a lunch break, we went to Java Hut and I had a salad, and Dad had a roast beef sandwhich. Everything was really good! After lunch we headed up to a orphange of a Child Center called Brydges. I fell asleep on the way there and when I woke up it was pouring!! Pat and Don wanted to take us to Brydges to see the first library that they had built and they also had some buisness to take care of with Rosemary, the head of the Child Center. I am so glad we went to Brydges. Rosemary was absolutley amazing and it was great to hear stories about how the kids come and read books to help the learn. The public classrooms are tiny and have forty kids crammed in with one teacher, so getting everything out of the lesson that is needed is difficult. One lady we met said that the children (a lot of whom came from Kibera) are actually doing better in school than most because they see where they come from and the opurtunity they have, and also because of the great resources available to them at the library. At Brydges I had a cup of Chai tea, and was informed that it wasn't a trip to Kenya with out it, and I bought some great jewlery made by the kids there.

When we were finished looking around we headed back to the compoud, and made it home just in time for a dinner of chicken, and mashed potatoes, and corn, and spinch, and carrots. Everything was really good again!

Well I am completley exhausted and in major need of a shower. Tomorrow we are going to the Maasi, in the Saraha to visit some libraries out there. I am having such a great time and I can not believe I have only been here one day! Everyone is so nice and welcoming, and I cant wait to meet more!

alex_cheer says:
I MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!
im so so so jealouss you get to experience all of thiss!!!
it sounds absoolutely Phenominal!!!!!!
can't wait for you to be home! :D :D
Posted on: Jun 12, 2009
kelleeoo says:
So glad that your blog was featured because I got to read about my home away from home...Kibera. Thank you for sharing your experience with the TravBuddy readers.
Posted on: Jun 09, 2009
Real_PeaceWarrior says:
Sounds absolutely awesome and a fantastic experience, you can almost feel your excitement and enthusiasm in every word :)
Posted on: Jun 09, 2009
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Lots of new friends. And stickers!
Lots of new friends. And stickers!
Pat, Rosemary and Don at the Brydg…
Pat, Rosemary and Don at the Bryd…
photo by: easyjobrob