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Nairobi, with friends

Written on: Tuesday February 12th, 2013

A journal entry from: Clea's Kenya

Something very excited has happened for the last two weeks. I had visitors! My friends Laura and Tatiana took a couple of horrifically long flights to come to Nairobi and the surrounding area. Which was very fortunate for me since it allowed me to do all the things I've been wanting to do but putting off! I've divided their stay into three blog postings. The first, this one, is about Nairobi.

 

The day after they arrived, we went out to the suburb of Karen to do two things I've been really wanting to do: visit my foster daughter and see traditional dances. My foster daughter, named Quanza (thanks Heather and Ashley for the great Christmas gift!), lives at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/), which is in Nairobi National Park. The Trust was established in 1977, and the major thing they do is to take in orphan elephants and look after them until they can be released back into the wild. Quanza is from near Amboseli and was orphaned in October when her mother and two sisters were killed by poachers. She's completely adorable!

 

The other attraction we saw is called Bomas of Kenya (boma means something along the lines of an enclosure or homestead). It was set up by the government in 1971 to preserve Kenyan culture. It's actually used quite frequently by school groups (who completely stole the show when we were there!), but I'm sure the government doesn't mind getting money from the tourists who also come! It was pretty cool, and according to our taxi driver John, who comes from the Kikuyu tribe, the Kikuyu clothes, song, and dance at any rate were proper.

 

Of course the other major thing to do in Nairobi is to eat delicious food. We managed to do pretty well, hitting Indian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Somali. We also had drinks at the Stanley, which used to be a major stop on the Cape Town to Cairo route back at the start of the 20th century and is the location of the original Thorn Tree (as anyone who has checked out Lonely Planet knows, this is a place to post suggestions and comments about places you have travelled to). We also had High Tea at the Norfolk, which is another colonial era hotel where all the important people of the time (i.e. Europeans, colonialism being colonialism) used to hang out, including Lord Delamere, Karen Blixen (of Out of Africa fame), and apparently even Churchill.

 

And then there was some shopping. My poor bank account is suffering, but I did get some pretty nice things!