Nairobi, Our Last Visit

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Nairobi: Our Final Two Days

The train trip back to Nairobi is relaxing as the train is very comfortable and, when passing Tsavo Park, there are quite a few animals to be seen. We arrived in Nairobi in the early evening and found our way to an Airbnb place we had booked in Spring Valley.

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It was an older colonial home in an area of Nairobi which is quite beautiful as it has a deep valley and lots of very large trees. I was struck by the amount of security that there was there — it is just a fact of life in this city which has earned itself the nickname Nairobbery (not that any of us experienced anything other than kindness, friendliness and respect during our stays there).

We had two days in Nairobi before we were all leaving, Yazi going back to Canada and us heading off to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. On the first day, we paid a visit to a lovely gift shop called Spinner’s Web where there is a great assortment of wares made by a large number of artisans and craftspeople.

After that we headed back to the main tourist market in the centre of town to buy a few more gifts and souvenirs.

Later on that day, we headed off to Westlands Primary School where Chris had attended grades 1 to 3. We were given a very warm welcome there and were able to visit some of the teachers and classrooms. It was great to see Yazi conversing with both the teachers and the students. We were remarking that some of the chairs and desks that were in the rooms were so old that they easily could have been the original ones that Chris sat on. Even though Westlands is currently considered one of the top primary schools in Nairobi, the facilities themselves are quite run down. It made us appreciate the quality of Canadian schools.

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The front entrance of Westlands School

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Our visit to the school office where we met some of the staff of the school

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Chris with one of the teachers

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Yazi talking to some of the students that she met

We ended up at an Ethiopian restaurant that night. The experience became interesting when my cell phone battery went dead and I wasn’t able to access Uber to give us a ride, nor the address of the place that we were staying at. We were so grateful to one of the staff who managed to call us an Uber without having a destination address and then magically the driver happened to have a charging cord that fit my phone. All we needed was ten minutes of charge and I was able to obtain the instructions about how to get to where we were staying. It is amazing how things work out even though it is not clear that it is going to happen.

The following day, our last in Nairobi, we had William pick us up and take us out to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage once again to see the elephant orphans. We remembered it as being a rather small event eight years ago, but it had really grown in the number of tourists visiting. Each of the orphans was introduced and if they happened to walk around the edge and you were close you could touch them. It is a cool experience for sure. There is something so touching about seeing these beautiful creatures, who have all had a very difficult life in the beginning but now are thriving and will within 8 to 10 years probably integrate back into the wilderness. It truly is amazing the work that is being done to protect these animals.

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After our visit, we went over to a local bronze gallery, called Matt Bronze and marveled at the work that is produced there. Some of the pieces are huge, impressive, beautiful and expensive! We had lunch at a lovely little café in the garden with yummy food. There were lots of guinea fowl running about in the garden which were quite entertaining.

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We also visited a very successful local bead shop that was started as a project back in 1975 and is now thriving. It employs about 250 local women who are involved in all aspects of creating ceramic beads and jewelry. We toured the workshop and discovered just how much goes into what they produce.

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This woman, who I believe was named Elizabeth, was one of the three original founders of Kazuri Beads. She made us each a little clay bird as a memento of our visit. It was amazing that she was still working there proudly after all of those years.

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Though we had hoped to do a few more things that day, with Nairobi traffic being unpredictable, William thought it better to stop at a local mall for supper before going back and picking up Yazi’s bags and heading off to the airport. It was not exactly the supper that we hoped to have, but the food was decent.

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William our lovely taxi driver in Nairobi and Chris

Once we had seen Yazi safely to Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta Airport and said our goodbyes as she started her homeward journey, we headed back to our hotel and once again performed magic packing all of our stuff into our bags as we were departing the next morning to Addis Ababa to spend the next month in Ethiopia.

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I will continue on with our journey to Ethiopia in the next post.

This featured blog entry was written by danjali from the blog East Africa Adventure.
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By danjali

Posted Wed, Apr 10, 2019 | Kenya | Comments