Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My 15 Hours in Kenya

On the way from Seychelles to Mozambique, I had an overnight layover in Nairobi, Kenya. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to leave the airport because of visa requirements. Sarah's friend from Nairobi was traveling and so she couldn't host me, and so I sent out a couchsurfing request just in case. The woman who responded told me that I could just pay $25 for a "transit visa" and leave the airport no problem.

However, she couldn't host me either because although she lived close to the airport, traffic is so bad that it would have taken me two hours to get to her place and two hours to get back to the airport and there goes my good nights' sleep. 

SO -- I had no plan except plan B: Sleep in the airport. I have done this. It is no fun. 

On the little bus that takes you from the airplane to the airport I met Jackie, the nicest person in the whole world. She told me that I absolutely had to get to the game park and then physically walked me through customs, (VIP line - she's a diplomat), and then waited for me to go to the bathroom which included brushing my teeth and washing my face, brought me out of the airport, arranged for a taxi service to take me to the game park, then to a famous restaurant called "Carnivore" (think Fogo de Chao) and then back to a hotel near the airport and THEN in the morning from the hotel to the airport. I keep forgetting to email her a thank you note. This reminds me I GOTTA DO THAT.

Everything went pretty swell, except traffic IS really bad and so we got to the game park 10 minutes too late and they wouldn't let me in, no matter how hard I told them that I was from Minnesota and we don't have elephants there and I only had one night and all I got was a mean mean lady saying "it is impossible."

So my poor driver just took me to an animal orphanage instead, and that was really really fun because there were lots of cute kids there and we played and played.

And my driver taught me how to speak Swahili...the important parts anyways:

Jambo - hello
Mishkuru kutana nawewe - nice to meet you
Asante - thank you
Tuko salama - we are ok
Kwaheri - goodbye
Tafhadali - excuse me
Sina pesa - I don't have any money

I am in this picture -- can you find me?

Check this out. The older boy was running back and forth and the lions were copying him! I about died at how cute and awesome it was and then his little brother and I got involved and the driver took a video. Pretty cool.


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