Touchdown and first days in Nairobi

March 19, 2012. Nairobi, Kenya.

We are in Nairobi now for almost a week and found the place more or less unchanged since we left two years ago. This time, we didn’t plan much in advance so we are now looking for places where we can help. We will go back to the Rainbow Center in Kisumu and probably visit a community in Nakuru on the way there.
Finally: Nairobi. Our evening flight from Frankfurt had to return due to a torn oil bearing, as the captain announced about twenty minutes after takeoff. It was delightful to look at the long German faces as they were being read the offer of the airline: free four star hotel, dinner and breakfast included. It served as a nice reminder that we were leaving Europe and indeed, the contrast could not have been bigger when we got off our airport-to-downtown bus and stepped into the sweltering heat of Nairobi, our ears punctured by loud beats as we waded through the crowds to get to a matatu to our couchsurfing hosts.

Our first days were good, we had time to breathe. We saw a Nairobi middle class neighborhood for the first time, just west of the center; we walked up a hill in nearby Machakos and had delicious water and stunning views at the top; Kamiel visited Joy Valley, the mismanaged orphan home that unfortunately didn’t accept our help as it doesn’t come in the form of a blank check; Yeon was hit by a slow car but got away with only some bruises (Kamiel reprimanded the female driver in front of the instantaneously formed crowd); and we’ve met Jean-Michel, our friend and founder of ChildEd International, seizing an opportunity that was simply beautiful that gave us just enough time to exchange smiles over a beer.

We are preparing for our activities in Soweto (a slum in Nairobi, not to be confused with the Soweto in Jo’burg), Nakuru, and of course ‘our’ Rainbow Center in Kisumu. Stay tuned.

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