Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Africa Bound

After our walking tour of Amsterdam we boarded our plane for Nairobi, Kenya.  This was another overnight flight and I actually did sleep off and on for most of the flight.  Though the sleep was not continuous or as restful as in my own bed it did help me feel a bit more human.  When we arrived in Nairobi it took us 2 hours plus to go through customs, get our visas and collect our luggage but we were all so grateful and excited to be in Africa.  For 10 years I had wanted to place my feet on the ground on the continent that had stolen part of my heart and once I did, it felt great.

The first thing that surprised me was just how African it felt to me.  Nairobi is significantly larger than Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and so I was expecting that it would be far more developed and less like what I had experienced 10 years prior but there were so many similarities.  The streets, houses, buildings and people lived in a similar environment and I felt at home.  The one nice difference was that Kenya's national language is English so there was very little language barrier.  As we drove from the airport to our hotel we were easily able to converse with the driver and ask about the sights we were taking in.  I enjoyed that drive and loved seeing the deep red clay streets, tin roofs and miscellaneous goats and chickens along the streets.

I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our hotel.  It was so nice! The accommodations were great as we had access to bottled/clean water, hot showers, nice cushy beds, flushing toilets and even had WiFi in the hotel lobby.  Our team decided to shower and take a nap before eating and having a team meeting.  This was both a good and a bad idea.  It felt great to take a nap but it was so incredibly hard to get up!  While my roommate set an alarm for us to get up we were the first and only ones who did get up.  In fact, we ended up waking everyone else up as they all over slept.  This was the first indication that we were now living on "African time".  As the trip progressed we all learned that time is relative to relationships as relationships take precedence over any time constraints.

First sign I saw after leaving the airport.

Our bedroom at the hotel in Nairobi.

Breakfast we ate before taking our nap.

Random goat roaming the streets.

Nice view of houses.

Hotel lobby.

A van (Matatu) is what drives people where they need to go.

Street shot.

Another view out our window while driving.

City Streets.
Tomorrow I will share about our first night in Kenya.  We attended a Young Life Club and it was great.

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