Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Last Day

Our last day in Kenya consisted of a return to Nairobi, shopping, dinner with a friend and then the long journey home.   Lisa and Angie both enjoyed visiting the bead store again.  Lisa picked up another new necklace that wasn't featured on the first blog post - pink coral and turquoise.  In fact, there was another run to the ATM to get out more cash for super extra necklaces.

Our second stop in Nairobi was Artcaffee.  It's a beautiful little french-themed restaurant that looked like it was picked up and transported from a city in the US.  Everything decked out in black and white with exposed natural wood finishes.  The men's bathroom didn't even smell remotely of urine.  The food was fantastic as well with real chewy french bread for sandwiches.  We even got three take-away kits for dinner since we knew we'd be trapped in the airport.  The favorite sandwich of the bunch was a parmesan aioli tomato.  Sounds pedestrian compared with what we have access to here, but is a real revelation for Kenya.

One of the best things about visiting Nairobi was being able to hang out with our friend John.  He's studying Health Systems Administration at a college in Nairobi.  He's got plans to become a lecturer (professor) after his graduate work, and is working on getting married.

You've heard us complain about driving in Kenya on the blog before.  Mostly about the quality of the roads.  However, driving in Nairobi, even where the roads are good presents a new host of challenges.

1. Stoplights - there are few and where they are installed they aren't obeyed unless there is a police officer present.
2. Lanes - they don't exist.  If you can fit four cars wide, they fit five. 
3. No shoulders - since there aren't lanes shoulders don't exist either.  We saw several cars driving on what would otherwise be considered sidewalk.
4. There are more than just cars on the road - added to the above are bicycles, motorcycles, push-carts, pedestrians, and livestock.  All weaving in and out of traffic.

Driving in Nairobi rush-hour traffic compounds all of these things into one stressful 15 km trip that takes about two hours.  Luckily we had left in good time anticipating traffic and got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

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