Friday night our IBD team made it to Nairobi after a long journey via Amsterdam. We decided to arrive a couple of days early so we could have the weekend in Nairobi before heading to Kisumu on Sunday. Kisumu is a town in Western Kenya on Lake Victoria, where our project will be based, working on water filter distribution at the Safe Water and Aids Program (SWAP). Here in Nairobi, we stayed at a cool little backpacker place called the Milimani Backpackers and Safari Centre. We just had a simple 4 bed dorm, but it was all we needed. We could walk to the city center, and the staff were friendly. Saturday was our only full day in the city, so we started by getting up relatively early (luckily we managed to sleep through the night despite jet lag) and wandering in to the city to setup a safari in the Maasai Mara for next weekend. We then headed out to an area called Kilimani, where we had coffee with a friend who works at a mobile payment tech startup called Kopo Kopo. We then headed back in to the city on a fun little matatu (public mini bus) that had hip hop blaring and cost $0.30 for the 20 minute ride. After a quick stop for a bite to eat at a simple little local food place, we wondered around town. The city center wasn’t overly exciting for a tourist, but it was fun nonetheless! We decided to spend the afternoon heading a little out of town (where most touristy stuff is) to go to a Giraffe Center where they work on conservation, and you can see the giraffes at eye level, and feed them. It was really interesting there, and the ride out there was fun too – it was about a 45 minute journey with traffic but we were in another matatu, so we got to see some of the suburbs including the more colonial Karen. After a little rest at the hotel, we headed out to Westlands for some dinner and drinks. Our taxi driver recommended an Indian place in the Westlands Mall which was a little pricey by Kenyan standards, but our meal including drinks was still under $20 each. It was also delicious and we were all stuffed afterwards. Given it was our only night in Nairobi, we decided to walk across the road to Gypsy’s which was a bar/club that had been recommended to us. It was a little empty when we got there and seemed more sports bar than club, however as it approached 11, it really started to get going and filled up and people started dancing. It was a lot of fun, and we started contemplating trying somewhere else too, however jet lag kicked in and we decided to call it a night.
Today we got up bright and early and are headed to the airport for Kisumu, where our project at SWAP begins tomorrow which we’re looking forward to!
We’ll let you know how the project is going soon!
Ben, EB, Kota and Rodrigo