Perspective

Nairobi Travel Blog

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View from my hotel room in Nairobi
Sept. 15: Today was shrouded in a haze of jet lag. I woke up and felt fine, wide-awake and I slept very well (except for when I got up to go to the bathroom and ran into the door). Dad and I ate breakfast at the hotel at 8:30 because we were supposed to meet Kakuta at 9. We ended up waiting for at least half an hour, but it was fine. I guess time for the Maasai is not as rigid as for westerners. Then we all went to the hospital to visit Kakutas father who has neck cancer. It was very sad, he has a massive tumor on his neck and there isnt very good treatment. Kakuta was trying to figure out how to get him to the better hospital in Nairobi, so we had to wait a long time. I think that is the theme of the day. Waiting. In the hotel room there was a TV and it had the weirdest shows. There was some bizarre British movie with Arabic subtitles and some crap American 80s movie. We finally got to the other hospital. Oh, by the way, never drive in Nairobi. It is crazy! There are no street lights or signs or anything and people drive very fast, passing each other very close, making their own lanes, not to mention there are pedestrians J walking all over. And yet, somehow, everyone gets through alive. Its like everyone has ESP and everything flows very well, despite the lack of direction.
The hospital was very unnerving. The condition of everything was scary. It was dirty, unsanitary, and chaotic. They have no real organization for anything. Kakuta had to push very hard to get his dad to get good care, and even so, there ended up being no room for him. And when they were given his x-rays and CT scans, they just chucked them in a cabinet. The worst part is that this is the best hospital in Kenya! It makes me feel very glad for our medical system. So then we waited some more. By the tine we got out, it was about 3 and none of us had eaten. It was a very hard day, and jet lag really blows.
Kakuta took my dad and me to an Italian restaurant in downtown Nairobi. It was cheap but good. Its confusing though, 400 Kenya shillings is only about 7 or 8 dollars. While we were eating, protesters walked by and we heard shouting. I though a riot was breaking out and got a little nervous, especially when I heard what I thought were gunshots. But it was just tear gas. Thats how Kakuta said it, like its totally normal. I am definitely in a different place. We went to a cyber café so Kakuta could check his email and then back to the hotel.
Finally we got in the van to go to Merueshi, the Maasai community. I cant say too much about the trip because I slept a good portion of the way there. I can say that the road was terrifying. Its like a two lane highway with no lanes and people doing whatever they want. I did wake up when we got a flat tire. Kakuta made dad and me stay in the car because apparently white people are popular targets for robbers or hostages. Ah. Good. Scary. We kept driving, stopped for gas and I used the bathroom, or really a hole in the ground. We got off the highway onto a little dirt road, which was nice because I had been suffocating on the air pollution in Nairobi. But then I just inhaled a bunch of dust instead. Oh well, at least dust is natural! I swear, the drivers here are insane. We were cruising at about 60 mph down this little dirt road. My dad said something about little rabbit things called dikdiks that occasionally come by the road so I looked for them. After not seeing any dikdiks for a while, I was fairly disappointed, but then I saw ZEBRAS!! Real, live, wild zebras crossing the road. So cool. When we got to Merueshi, there were more Maasai to greet us and we all had Maasai tea (very tasty chai) before going to bed.
The night sky is amazing. Theres very little light so you can see everything and the constellations are different since were in the southern hemisphere. Speaking of southern hemispheres, it was so cool today around noon when the sun was out, I hardly had any shadow! The sun is directly overhead here.
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View from my hotel room in Nairobi
View from my hotel room in Nairobi
Nairobi
photo by: easyjobrob