Monday, July 26, 2010

Girrafe Drool and Mt Kenya Blues

Sunday was another amazing day in Nairobi. After having lunch with Elizabeth on Saturday, we were convinced that the Giraffe Center was a must-do before we headed back to Kiirua.

We woke up at the ACK, the hostel where we are staying at, to a church sermon blaring over the loud speakers in the breakfast room across the hall from our room. The ACK stands for the Anglican Church of Kenya, but the hostel is clean and safe and where Henry wants us to stay whenever we are in Nairobi (assuming we don’t want to spend mega bucks and stay at the Fairview again). The crowd that stays here is pretty predictable. Mostly missionaries here from the states or the UK. Breakfast was really quiet since most of the guests were in church but we were still full from Carnivore on Friday night to eat more than some fruit and an egg.

Ronald picked us up and we loaded all of our newly acquired goods into the combi and headed to the Giraffe Center. The Giraffe Center is basically just a raised wooden platform a few feet shorter than the average giraffe. On the grounds, there are 12 giraffes that just roam free. Not exactly wild but it’s a tourist attraction and the proceeds go towards giraffe conservation or something like that. When you climb up onto this platform, there are buckets of giraffe food that you can take to feed to the giraffes. I should have asked what giraffe food consists of, but it never occurred to me at the time. It looked like giant guinea pig food; large green pellets. While we were there, only two giraffes were at the platform, and there weren’t very many tourists there either, which was kind of nice. We fed the giraffes from our hands, and then we got adventurous and decided that kissing the giraffes would be a brilliant idea. We put the food pellet between our lips and the giraffe took it right off our faces with his tongue slash lips. There were huge strings of giraffe drool hanging off our faces and we were covered in giraffe slime but it was awesome! My camera died on Saturday while taking pictures of the elephants so we were relying on Christina’s camera for all the giraffe pics. Unfortunately, her camera was randomly dunzo and none of the pictures turned out. They are all blue-ish in colour or have giant stripes through them. Looks like we’ll be going back next time we’re in Nairobi in order to get some good pictures!

The drive back was long and boring. But the combi was much better for car-sickness than the Toyota corolla was that we took into Nairobi. At least this time Christina didn’t have to barf into her purse, and I felt a lot less nauseous. We stopped in Karatina at the market to buy some fresh fruit and veg. We bought tomatoes, bananas, a watermelon, and (drum roll please!) fresh green PEAS!! My all time favorite veg tied with beets. I was contemplating making creamed peas on toast with them as soon as I got back to the compound but it was too close to dinner. Plus I’m the only person on the planet that actually likes this food so it would be mean to Christina to make her eat it. We also stopped into the Starbucks to grab some take-out lunch. Not sure samosas and chapattis can be considered lunch but it was better than nothing. Plus I can now say that I’ve been to the Starbucks in Kenya.

Our second stop on the way home was at the lodge that Henry suggested we climb Mt Kenya from. We went to figure out how many days it would take to summit so we could get an idea of the cost. Bad news bears though because it takes 4 days to summit, plus there is a bunch of equipment that needs to be rented on top of the fees to climb. Meaning that it would cost us about 700 dollars US each to climb. This is WAY over our budget and so I think we’ve had to give up on the dream, which is really extremely disappointing. I was really excited about climbing it, and had not anticipated it would cost so much. Elizabeth recommended we do an all inclusive on the coast for a few days instead, so we’re looking into the Turtle Bay Beach Club which so far sounds pretty awesome and somewhat reasonably priced. We’re still working it out with Henry though, because getting to and from the coast might be an issue since it’s kind of far away. We really want to do something fun for our last week though.

It sounds as though all I’m doing here in Kenya is fun trips but I guess the day in and day out work just isn’t quite as exciting to write about. But we've successfully convinced 2 schools to switch from polished to unpolished maize, and 3 schools to soak their beans and maize overnight before cooking the githeri. Small steps but very very exciting! The current and future students of these schools will officially be better nourished when we leave then when we got here!

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