Nairobi – Beyond Arrival

Accommodations are at Eldon Villas, which was mentioned in the previous post. Thankfully, IBM allowed me to fly out three days before work started.  This gave me the opportunity to pick the larger of the two bedrooms, and attempt shaking off jet lag.  My travel to Nairobi, Kenya is the 1st time in LIFE I’ve flown over an ocean to another continent, in doing so moved forward in time by eight discrete hours.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any of the WATER so it all could have been an elaborate ruse and I actually took a train that travels below or on the surface of the water.

Sea TrainRocketman

Didn’t see the fish either :-(.

The flight from Charlotte, NC to the UK was my sleepy time flight.  The flight from the UK to Jomo Kenyatta International (JKI) airport was my time to watch movies.  Flying Kenyan Airlines some of the offerings were for Kenyan movies and soap operas.  Suffice it to say, I have been spoilt in #Murica with high production quality.

Paradigm Shifts

Nairobi sports English as its language of business. What this means is that almost anyone with whom you encounter, by way of shopping and through work, will be able to understand and speak to you. Everyone in Nairobi also knows Kiswahili, and speaks to each other using this social language. Every semi-educated child or adult in this city, and probably the country is fluent in two languages. I was disappointed in myself as I know a single language, #MuricanEnglish. The integration of North American and British culture into the fabric of Nairobi was unexpected. Upon arriving at the Safaricom shop, the radio was playing contemporary Christian music in English. I began to laugh out loud in the middle of the store, for no reason to the other individuals present in the artifice.


Eating Out & Karura Forest

Some amazing people from IBM decided to hang out with the interns before work started. Shruti and Nuri wanted to go to lunch and go on a day trip. They took us to a fantastic vegetarian eatery called Chowpaty. There were several imitation meats that were presented and a few almost tricked me. I liked or loved everything I tasted. The variety of dishes was unexpected and amazing. The two women paid for our collective lunch and I was overjoyed! Directly afterward we traveled to Karura forest and went on a 5km hike. I was extra excited because I figured I would see monkeys, and that we would become fast friends! In similitude with a young child, every 100 or so meters I asked why didn’t I see monkeys. Summer in the USA is winter time in Nairobi. Temperatures end up getting as cold as 10 degrees Celcius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit (Not cold at all, that still 18 degrees F above freezing). Upon arrival the temperatures were in the low 20’s or 68-75F (what some may call perfect temperatures). The only disappointing aspect about these temperatures was that a lot of rain came with them. We hiked in Karura shortly after it rained, so we ended up getting a tad muddy.

Thankfully before the end of the hike, but toward the end, I did spy a monkey in a tree. The youngster was looking at us silly humans traveling all on the ground like it was the thing to do. Weirdly the monkey reminded me of a squirrel with how it looked at me. However, when squirrels stare at me too much I toss rocks, as for the monkey I just stared back.

The 5km hike was for the purpose of spending time as a group, and seeing the Karura waterfall…

pssh, underwhelming.

The majority of the interns had shown up by this point. The people that went on the hike were: S. Solomon Darnell, Shruti, Nuri, Alice, Lianna, Damola, Shuai, Scarlett, and Mattia.

Scarlett is shy. How cute!!!
Thanks Shuai for taking this picture!

Cool things already popping off in Africa, good times!

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