Kenya

24 Hours in Nairobi

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It’s been a while since I posted here and I wanted to get back to it. I miss Africa and I miss blogging about it. So here it goes – my brief guide to Kenya’s capital for those who are looking to spend a day in the city.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust takes care of baby elephants and rhinos
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust takes care of baby elephants and rhinos

Thousands of tourists pass through Nairobi every year on their way to safaris in Kenya’s numerous national parks, eager to spot the “big five” game animals of the beautiful East African savannah. Not many realize, however, that the country’s capital has a lot of its own charm to offer to visitors who fit it into their busy itineraries.

Stopping by the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is a great way to start your day in Nairobi. The David Sheldrick Animal Trust takes care of baby rhinos, elephants and other animals are rescued from the wild when their parents die from the hands of poachers, or as a result of drought or disease. Check the trust’s website for information on fostering one of the recently saved orphans.

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A Gift

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“If I know a song of Africa… will Africa ever know a song of me?”
– Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

I miss you, Eunis

(From Fri., Nov. 7)

I was on my way home for a lunch break when halfway through, on a reddish path amidst a bunch of thorny trees, I heard someone calling my Kimaasai name, “Naisoi!”

I turned around and saw a girl running after me. I recognized her. She was the one who grabbed my hand Wednesday and promised that she’d bring something for me today. (We had no school yesterday because of the “Obama day”).

She caught up with me and pulled two colorful strings of beads off her wrist. She then put them on mine, twisting the two together into a pretty shape, a sea wave of every possible color. Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteering Q&A

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A bunch of us, volunteers, with the kids at an orphanage in Nairobi
A bunch of us volunteers with the kids at an orphanage in Nairobi

Do you want to know what volunteering in Kenya is like? Would you like to do what I did? Are you wondering how? See if my Volunteering Q&A can be of any help. Check them out under one of the tabs in the blog’s header. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be more than happy to help if I can.

I Bless the Rains Down in Africa

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We took a long walk during my second day in the Maasailand and met some boys who showed us their dogs. I never left the house without water and sunscreen again.
We went to a nearby village during my second day in the Maasailand and met some boys who showed us their dogs. The two-hour walk was somewhat of a survival lesson. I never left the house without water and sunscreen again. The dog lost balance and fell. And yes, the boy wore my shades upside down : )

To experience true rebirth of your world, wait for the rain in Kenya. Wait just long enough during the intolerably hot dry season and you, too, will be reborn.

We had a week of the most impossible, scorching heat, when the back of your neck feels like a skillet, and the tiny drops of sweat emerge just under the tip of your nose. Read the rest of this entry »

Kibera

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Here’s a quick video I put together using the pictures taken during my very first trip to Kibera. I found it extremely hard to comment on any of them or add anything. I believe a lot of these are stories in their own right, though, and it’d be hard to describe things better than they do.

Ngong Hills and Little Blue Uniforms

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Grade 4 in Saikeri Primary School, Ngong Hills, Kenya
Grade 4 in Saikeri Primary School, Ngong Hills, Kenya
…or some of my most memorable Kenyan moments

* A forth grader with a beaming face jumps up and hits himself in the chest, shouting out loud, “She’s my teacher! She’s my teacher!” as I’m introduced to one of my classes.

* A tall girl from my team hits the ball my direction and yells “mzungu” (a white person) so loud that all eyes turn to me. Volleyball is not my game, but these are my seventh graders and I can’t let them down. I feel my knees shake under pressure as I score. Read the rest of this entry »

Guardian Angels

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Bright afternoon sun was wondering through the open door and along the floor of our living room, to the simple but comfy blue couches Simon picked, on which out guests sat. It was a sweet, relaxing Sunday, and the conversation revolved around motherly love.

Suddenly, I heard Maggie sob on the chair to my right. Read the rest of this entry »