Nimefika Nairobi

I have arrived, safe and well. The flight wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought that it might be. It was pretty bumpy all the way from Amsterdam, but I passed out a little ways in, after watching some movie which I can’t remember now.

After a long line at the airport getting my transit visa taken care of (only $20 US instead of the normal $55 for full Kenyan visa), I headed out, braved an airport bathroom which was actually really clean, and then headed out to find a teksi to take me to the Panafric Hotel. Some woman locked eyes with me as I was walking outside, and came up to me asking if I needed a taxicab to head into Nairobi. It was as if she was the driver’s agent, and she motioned for some guy to go grab his car.

I hopped in, and took a very relaxing 25 minute ride, about 15 kilometers, into the Panafric Hotel which is very close to the city center on Kenyatta Avenue. The moment I walked in the front door to the hotel the power went out, and it didn’t return for about an hour. So, that put me in a quiet place, with the big sliding glass window/door open to the Nairobi night. It was a bit cool, which was nice, and just what I needed. As I was walking down for a late dinner, the power returned. I ate a quick meal, headed back upstairs to watch soccer highlights from the day, and retired.

I couldn’t sleep long, and awoke at about 4 in the morning to sit up and watch a little TV, write, read, and just be still watching the sun come up over the city. I’ve had a large breakfast, am about to shower, and then head back to the airport to catch my flight to Dar-es-Salaam (port of peace). My friend Wilbert had to take an emergency trip to the base of Kilimanjaro to help out with his father’s business, so he won’t be around. As a result, I’ve decided to head out to Zanzibar early, as in tonight. I’m going to surprise my family and Kathryn, unless of course they read this blog. Then I won’t be surprising them much.

So, thanks for all of the words and the mail, it’s greatly appreciated. I’m feeling quite comfortable and well though, so anyone who might’ve been worrying, rest your thoughts. I’m in my dreams as we speak – it’s been about 8 years of scheming, planning, and talking about something, and now it’s happening much better than I could’ve ever planned.

By the way, I have to mention how great the smiles are on the faces of the Kenyan folk when they realize I speak Kiswahili, even if poorly. My taxicab driver started laughing and said “I am so happy you speak Swahili bwana! Now we can talk.” And then he didn’t say anything.

Alrighty, in need of shower.

Kwa moyo mmoja,

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