Sunday, October 17, 2010
Journal Entry #2 pt.1
Feet down in Nairobi!
It wasn't too difficult getting through customs. It seems that there has been some technological advances in the past few years. They took my photo, my fingerprint and asked me where I was going. The gentleman also asked if I were driving and I told him no. He said good luck, and I went about my way. Good luck? What the hell do you mean by that, I thought to myself.
I exchanged most of my U.S dollars before leaving Jomo Kenyatta airport which was in the form of American Express travelers cheques, thanks to my lovely wife(be sure to stay tuned for the follow up on Amex Travelers Checks). Bro Bry, and David C, had gotten things sorted out and were out looking for our transportation. It is obvious that David has done this before and does a great job of taking a leadership role in all of this. Taxi drivers are all working outside of their cabs to get us in a car. "Rasta, Rasta, where are you from?" It didn't take long before I realized that it wasn't conversation that they wanted. I explain to them that we already had a driver and they move on, a few linger out of curiosity. We find our driver, which was a lovely Kenyan woman named Purity. We pack up the SUV, and head out from the bustle of the airport.
I have never seen so many people on foot. Where are they all going? People walking in groups, it looked like the Million Man March, a huge concert, something serious. Children walking alone. The driving is intense, its like the forced inhale/exhale of a strangulated breath, and the quality of air at this point is similar. I will take a hot summer drive in New York, without A.C any day.
The Matatus, minibus public transportation is serious business. They are everywhere. Loud hip-hop music blaring, packed with people going about their daily business. We finally make it to our hotel, The Kenyan Continental. This is a place where Michael has stayed for years, and I can see why. It has a certain African charm to it, and no tourist. Michael and Dave Brooks greet us in Swahili as we pull up. All you can see is teeth! Everyone is smiling! We are shown our rooms and meet in the beer garden for a proper debrief. I am still processing that I am in Africa!