With a very decent 19 hours flying, I reached Nairobi on time ! The warmth I felt as soon as I entered the Jomo Kenyatta Airport was just wonderful. You see smiles everywhere.. the people so friendly and full of energy.
Within few minutes of my trip to hotel, two Giraffes and four Zebras were just grazing near the field next to the airport – The perfect Kenyan welcome, I guess ! Just couldn’t believe that I was really here and the mind starts thinking about the team – who has already arrived, who is coming next etc..
One of the things that amazed me was the cars – you see so many Lexus, Merc along with the various models of Toyota, Nissan & Honda (I was told 80% of cars here are Japanese !). This on one side and the people walking kilometers in a stretch to their work place on the other made me think of the vast gap between rich & poor. You see people selling goods in a very heavy traffic filled junction where you have vehicles going in all directions in more than the number of lanes you could ever imagine – oh yeah, it’s marked for 2 lanes only !! If you are talented enough to get your vehicle through in a space, you create a lane for yourself !
You can see Kenya’s growth in the number of new shopping malls that have sprung all over and the beautiful building structures you see around Nairobi. Thanks to the economic growth, all major brands are trying to get their market share here. There are Coke banners everywhere with a twist – Coke is in their good-old bottles rather than what you get today in other parts of the world.
After meet & greet with the team, we set out on a day tour around Nairobi. First was “The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust” – a haven for elephants and rhinos (www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/) ! There were number of cute little orphaned elephants being taken care by the staff 24×7 and the way the elephants behaved was superb. They only open for 1 hour each (11AM to 12 noon) and you can see them getting fed. They just gobble the milk from bottles and curiously look for more.. when they know it’s it, they roam around entertaining the audience. They are so intelligent and made sure we all got the enjoyment we went there for. They also provide opportunities for public to adopt an elephant.
Following the ‘biggest mammal’ session, we went for the tallest ! Yes, it was the Giraffe centre. There was atleast 5 we saw that you can feed to. It was fun to watch their long neck coming down all the way to get the feed. They were very friendly too. I was told that their saliva is antiseptic and hence don’t have to worry too much about them licking the hand when you feed them ! (Guess what – The first thing I did was wash my hand !!
We set out to do a quick trekking next to the Giraffe center, had a quick mediation session enjoying the running water in the creek, got lost for sometime and finally got out of there !
We finished our hectic but fun filled day with a nice team dinner.
One word I learnt today – Hakuna Matata (No worries)
Asante Sana !