Tag Archives: tourism

Kenya National Museum and Snake Park


Fridays are my day off so one particular Saturday Shem suggested that we go to the Museum. I said “sawa” and off we went!

Many Stuffed animals. One huge room dedicated to stuffed dead birds… thousands. Nat, maybe if I brought you here we could cure your fear of these fluffy little things!

I made friends with some wooden cut-outs while Shem retaliated against the mosquito that tried to kill him with malaria just the week before. Then we both ran into a mess with a hippo who tried to bite our head off completely… thank goodness I’m a quick thinker and I stuck a spare paintbrush in the big guy’s mouth (just so happened to have one in my purse!) to pry his mouth open and rescue Shem and I, just in the nick-of-time!

Then there was the snake park. Very cool- next time I want to go in the morning and watch them get fed!

The most exciting thing was the elephant that got loose in the museum.


Seeing through New Eyes Part II


Here are some pictures Katherine and Andrea took. Things that I do not think much of anymore and have blended into the background and yet when they took notice of various things in the city landscape it made me look twice at what I pass by.

On Kenyatta Avenue you can easily spot this advertisement!

Touts hanging out of the window in order to recruit more matatu riders.

kumi= costs 10 shillings

mbow=costs 20 shillings 

Handcrafted furniture sits outside, along the road, so that passersby will take a second look and maybe buy. Through the rain and weather the furnature just sits. I’m assuming they take it in when it rains hard but in general the fine work they do on the roadside must take a beating.

The inside of a matatu. The guy in the blue is in the “tout seat” and he is the guy to get you on and off.

Fish for dinner? Yum! Ok, it really is very good even though this poor Tilapia looks like he was pleading with the cook as he was getting deep fried. But you often will see whole fish sold like this on the streets- mathare, kibera, huruma- everywhere. Then you take it back home, cook up some Ugali, a sauce for the fish, and just heat the fish a bit and your all set! its a quick and easy meal and its so good. You eat the whole thing minus the bones- gills, eyes, and all.

Typical Reciept you will recieve from the local resturaunts. However this waiter was a little rude and wrote “Mzungu” as the name of his customer which means white person.

The windshield view from inside the Matatu. Each has a number hanging for inside, but clearly visible to people on the street. The number tells you the route the matatu is taking, and can also be found painted on the sides, with specific areas that that particular one is going to. Different matatus pick up and drop off people at certain places throughout the city – some places are obvious and easy to find but other times you have to really search for where a certain matatu parks to pick people up.

This Sita Kimya ad was taken in Kibera, but in many other places you can spot this organization against gender violence being painted on tin, concrete, wood- anything to advertise the cause. Along the road there will be mounds of trash, sometimes completely overtaking the sidewalk, because there is no trash system in place for people living in the slums, trash is either burned or dumped on the side of the road like in this picture.

To cook with your jiko you have to buy  buckets of charcoal at a place like this. One bucket will go for 30-50 shillings depending on the size.

Yes, maybe roundabouts help the traffic flow, but at rush hour I blame these roundabouts for the cause of the jam. Police will stand in the middle, stopping traffic from one road to let others go through in intervals and so you will have to wait as much as 10 minutes…or maybe more for your lane to be able to even move. And if you are way far down the road you wont get to go through the roundabout the first time the police lets your lane through… maybe the 3rd or fourth time around!

Best place to get chapati on Olympic, right up from where I work at CTM. If I have a chapati craving, (and I always do!) then I will head to this spot where the guys are outside kneading, rolling, and frying fresh chapati bread all morning and afternoon – stacking them like pancakes as they go!

Seeing Nairobi through New Eyes.


This post has been way overdue…but I never was able to reflect and tell you all about the 2 weeks that my friends Andrea and Katherine jumped, head-first, into Kenya! We decided to all stay at my friend Brenda’s place, who runs the Goldmines Foundation. The girls were already planning to stay with her and when I started feeling like I wouldn’t get to see them as much as I’d hoped, since Brenda had just recently moved to the other side of Kibera, she was so generous and sweet to open her home to me as well. Brenda is a dear friend and amazing cook, plus it was fun to discover a new side of town and play with her 2 beautiful kids, Randy and Jannelle.

It’s hard for me to summarize the 2 weeks with my friends because we packed so much in. I had a list in my head, and actually one on paper, of things I wanted to show them and so we literally were checking things off a list the whole time-haha! Monkey park, Mathare, visiting Grace, coming to Art from Below, eating scones and drinking yogurt were all on that list, plus much more. Some things, like Matatu riding, were probably overdone, but unlike where i live in Jamhuri, at Brenda’s you actually can’t get a bus and so our only option was the crazy vans!

      Katherine had been in Uganda the year before and Andrea was experiencing her first trip to Africa trip, and both gave fresh insight as I heard and saw their reactions and thoughts about the culture, people, and life here. They made a blog just for this trip so you can also check this out to hear their reflections first-hand: http://liveloveafrica.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default .

         I was also amused by my friends here in Kenya because I think they viewed my friends and I as coming from different cultures or something, though we really aren’t. But more than once I’d here things like “Kaylie, you talk with a Kenyan accent”, “Well, Kaylie’s Kenyan”, “Don’t eat the food Kaylie’s eating off the street” or “Kaylie can walk in Kibera but it’s not safe for Katherine and Andrea”. Made me feel warm and fuzzy, but it’s also funny because the culture I have grown in is obviously not Kenyan, and very much American. But truly they adjusted so well, without a phone, they rode matatus by themselves, ate cow intestines, had loads of chai, walked tons, stood up to the touts who weren’t giving their change, ect…and thats just in 2 weeks! Imagine if they had been here for longer- welp, then they’d be borderline Kenyan I think!