Sunday, August 19, 2012

                I managed to sleep in until about 5am this morning…and then turned on the light in our room which made me slightly unpopular with Kendra.  The gym only opens at 6am, but after playing cards on my computer, I gave up and headed down around 5:30…I was able to turn on the lights  and do some weights before the staff came down and started up all the machines for me.  They were definitely surprised to see me there…oops!  I had a great work-out, however, the altitude here is 5,500 feet, so I definitely noticed the altitude!

                Breakfast was awesome.  There was a huge buffet to choose from including passionfruit, which I love!  It was a good thing we ate a lot for breakfast because lunch was quite late.  The restaurant has a bunch of paintings on the walls which are really colourful.  I am tempted to buy one before I return home. We’ll see.

                We had a briefing where we met some of the other people on our tour.  There are 23 people in our group, which is a little bit big, but I’m sure it’ll all work out.  There are 6 people per bus and we are with a couple named Carolyn and Frank from Minnesota.  At our orientation we were given colourful blankets and tilly-type hats!  I love being dorky!  J

                  At 10am this morning we went to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.  They are only open between 11 and 12 daily and it was such a cool experience.  There are currently 21 elephants there, the youngest one being only 2 weeks old!  They were all so cute.  The workers there fed them bottles of milk and the elephants played in the water hole and in the red dirt.  It was super cute and a really awesome opportunity to see elephants so close at such a young age!

                Before heading to Tamambo at Karen Blixen for lunch we did a short city tour.  We are right in the centre near the parliament building.  We also saw a couple of parks.  En route to lunch we saw HUGE storks sitting up in the trees along the boulevard.  Already in the city the birds are awesome.

                Lunch was nice.  It was a beautiful, calm spot that was surprisingly lush.  There was an artist painting here and had many of his paintings displayed.  It was tempting….but not on the first day!!

                After lunch we headed off to Karzuri beads.  It is a business that was started to create work for the less fortunate.  There are approximately 340 workers, most of whom are single mothers, which walk from the neighbouring slums to come to work there.  The beads are beautiful and are sold all over the world.  I ended up buying a couple of strands and mom bought a bracelet. 

                We went to the Giraffe Centre right at the end of feeding time.  We lucked out and the giraffes were right at the platform when we arrived.  They took the food pellets right out of our hands!  We got a tonne of pictures with the giraffes – they were awesome.  One even stood still long enough so we could get a family picture with it!  Yeah!

                Before dinner we visited the Blixen Manor.  The movie “Out of Africa”, based on the book and life of Karen Blixen, was filmed here.  It was neat to visit it because I watched the movie before Christie came here.  One of the rooms had a fur blanket made out of Hyrax – which mom and I saw one of when we were at the elephant orphanage!

                Dinner and lunch were a tad close together…but dinner was a unique experience, regardless!  It was at a place called Carnivore and was a similar style to melting pot where we had dips and sauces on the table and men came around with large stakes of meat and cut what you wanted onto your plate.  It was all very good, but a lot of meat!  Kendra tried the ox balls and dad just couldn’t get his head around it!  I think my favourite thing was the potatoes!  Go figure.

                Nairobi has about 4 million people.  I guess we were in the city on a Sunday, but it really didn’t feel as busy as that number suggested it should be. 

                Tomorrow is a bus morning…hopefully I sleep well tonight so I don’t completely crash in the bus!

Later

-Allison

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