Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nairobi...first day

Interesting day, to say the least. I went to the gym and then, took a power walk, which two separate African ladies told me I should NOT do. Seems it is Sunday and there are relatively few folks on the street, so dangerous "for people like you." Anyway, had a ball, but couldn't take any photos. Had my backpack covered but made it to a supermarket so I have wine and Kenyan coffee to bring home.

I wanted badly to take photos of some of the families in the street this morning because everyone was dressed in their finest clothing...lots of silks, taffetas, ruffles and tons of color. Hopefully, I will be in a setting where I can do this discreetly.

The treadmill at the gym was interesting. I turned it on to 4.0 speed which is a good clip...15 minute miles more or less. Machine was so slow. And after I jacked it up to 6.5, I realized I am dealing with kilometers per hour...duh. Felt pretty stupid.

Then, hit the outside pool but couldn't go in. Sunny but about 70 degrees here. But, I met a consultant who is the facilitator at three seminars here. So got his info but more importantly, met his boss who is a Kenyan former cabinet minister and someone who would like to expand his training into Central and South America. We shall see...have to have a meeting with him.

Rachel and I went to dinner at the Talisman restaurant outside of town and I ate ostrich for the first time. Delicious...kinda like the texture of veal and the spice they added was sublime. Coming back to the hotel, I commented on the driver's staying in the wrong lane...seems we drive on the left here, as they do in England. Now, I came here last night from the hotel and then we drove to the restaurant and I hadn't noticed it...I am the hired observer??? Well, I have been gabbing and getting to know Rachel.

I have only learned two words...asante which is "thank you" and habari ako which means "good morning." Most everyone speaks English...not like we do, but some form of English. And everyone has at least one or two other African languages...tonight's cab driver was speaking in Kukuyo (forgive my spelling...all words are phonetic so I can repeat them!) which was interesting to hear.

Went to an African Art caps cuz that is it's name! Beautiful work...huge animals, saw a lion chair bigger than I am and some Giacometti like African sculptures of tribesmen and women. Incredible. Will have to buy a mask for our mask wall at the cottage up north. Rachel will take me to a place she knows has local artists' work at good prices.

The bed is calling...almost midnight here and am not tired yet. Weird. But having an early start at work tomorrow. Folks are coming in early for me and we will begin at 9 a.m.!


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