Tuesday, November 9, 2010


This is probably not the conclusion of me talking about Africa. I just feel the need to talk about the final part of our journey. It was.....how do I say......terrible yet amazing? At the same time.

I have to start at the beginning. Which takes us back to Ethiopia. We got to the airport at the crack of dark which is like 6, 6:30 tops. Our plane didn't leave til 1. ONE A.M. Rough. So we get through security and the KLM lady was like, "What airline are you waiting for?" Us: "Kenya Air." Her: "Oh my. You're early." Yeah, thanks. So we all plopped ourselves down on the hard, dirty ground and waited. For. Ever.

We finally got the idea that we should get in line so we didn't get stuck behind the 400 other people on the plane. So we did. Probably about thirty minutes early. This guy sees us in our big long line and decided he was too good for the line so he cut. In front of all of us. He didn't even us the first class line. He just walked around all of us and stood in between the line and the counter. Rude people know no boundaries. Our fearless leader, Ron, told this man what was up. And let me tell you, I feared for my life. He was a big guy. And he looked hungry. Fat people are usually rich in other countries. They can afford to feed themselves, therefore rich.

Our plane went in a circle constantly. It went Nairobi to Addis to Djibouti to Nairobi. That's all. Over and over and over. So I jokingly said (about the fat guy) "He's the king of Djibouti. So he can cut." (FYI. Djibouti is pronounced Ja-boo-tee. We think it is a fine name for a rapper.)

Anyway, we finally board the plane and Evan and I were in the very back. Like there was one seat behind us back. Ug. And guess who I see coming my way. The king of Djibouti. FML. Seriously. FML. I knew he was destined to sit next to me. So it went King of Djibouti, me, Evan. And I hated my life.

The arm rests on planes are like this: l l right? Well his were like this: \      / . And so I basically had to share my seat with him. And he kept touching me. And he kept doing that thing you do when you're falling asleep where your muscles relax and fall and then you wake up? Most people do it with their heads. He was doing it with his hands. And they kept falling on my lap. LAP. I am not a touchy feely person, so I was not impressed.

Not to mention the fact we were in the back of this freaking 200 degree plane and we had to sit in Djibouti for 45 minutes while people got on and off. Obnoxious.

I was pretty pissed at Kenya by the time we actually landed in Kenya.

Then, we had to pay for a visa. Ten dollars. The ten ones I gave the man were not good enough. He rudely said, "Give me something else. I'm not taking this." Oh okay sir. It's MONEYYY.

By now, I hated Kenya.

Don't worry it gets better. We exchange money and I was dying of thirst thanks to the hottest plane ride from hell. We exchanged one hundred dollars and got back seven THOUSAND shillings. Score! I was like this place is amazing.


I found a vending machine and tried to purchase a water. A WATER. That is all. The smallest bill I got from the rude money lady was a 50. The cheapest water was 60 shillings. So I put in a hundred. It spit me back a million coins and was like "please give correct change." So I gave it correct change via all the change it spit back. And it still said it was wrong and refused to give me water. I wanted to kick the stupid machine and scream. But I couldn't because my mouth was so dry.

Then, our tour guide forgot about us. So we were stranded at the airport. With 7000 shillings. With no where to go.

Finally. Finally I got something to drink. Finally. Then we found our tour guide. Who also came with a van. A VAN! For 16 people. And all our carry ons. I luckily got a spot towards the front so I was not smashed between six people in one of those teeny tiny back seats.

This really does no justice to how tight it was.

You can kinda see Andrea's backwards facing head. She was on a cooler. Not a seat.

We pulled out, which was another challenge, and he tells us to get out because another car had come to take us away. So we piled into two cars and off we went.

Ahhh! New car! Much better!!
On one side of our car was a field covered in mist and morning fog. All of the sudden Evan wordlessly shoves a fing in my face and I turn to see giraffes, WILD giraffes. Just hanging out next to the airport. Amazing. I was finally not so pissed at Kenya.

However, we did have to stop at a gas station and wait. And wait. And wait. Because we needed a different driver. Our new driver was only good for like 20 minutes. So we waited for probably close to an hour.

We finally got a different driver who took us to breakfast at this adorable little cafe. It was pretty much the equivalent of Starbucks but it was delish. And the closest thing to American food we'd had in two weeks.

After lunch (and another! driver change) we ventured to the elephant orphanage. I was so, so excited for this, so it was kind of a let down when we didn't get to touch or feed or even get that close to the elephants.

This is the babiest elephant that they can let out. Heshe is adorable <3

All they did was play in the mud and push each other around. For like an hour...

The little babies had to go to make room for the bigger babies...

Here come the bigger babies!
Now, I love love love elephants. But I was seriously hoping to feed one. Or touch one. We were "allowed" to touch them but only if they came to you. Which they did not. They were more concernicus with the mud. They were super cute and I heard amazing stories about how they were rescued from poachers, or wells, or whatever. But they didn't do anything. It was fun for 15 minutes. And it was also not worth 500 shillings. (Ok that's like 6.50 USD. I guess it was not that much.) The orphanage also had rhinos, but whatever. Those weren't that great because they were in intense cages so you could hardly see them.

However, I did learn that the elephant trainers get to sleep with the elephants every night. Jealous, much? Yeah. I want that job.

However, I will require a more comfortable bed. And some sheets or a blanket or something. And a night light.

Next, we drove to the giraffe place. I was not looking forward to this place because of how the elephant orphanage was. I expected it to be just like a zoo, and a lame zoo at that.

FALSE. Giraffe place was amazeballs. By far the best part of Kenya. (Minus the Jacaranda...) Anyway. The giraffe place is just built right on Kenya's national park and the giraffes are just free to come hang out. Not only did I get to touch a giraffe, but I got to FEED one. And by one I mean like six.

This was my first time. I thought it was going to bite me and then it had a cat tongue. Weird.

Yes, that sure is just what it looks like.

A baby!! (Oh, and Evan.)
Fact: Giraffes tongues (and maybe spit, too?) are a natural antiseptic. That's why they let you feed them. And feed them out of your mouth (see picuture 3). And they give you kisses. Awwwww.

Fact: The giraffes live here and here is also part of this mansion called "Giraffe Manor." It's seriously the biggest house I've ever seen. Google it. It costs like 360 USD to stay there. One night. Per person. Yikes! But they open all the windows and the giraffes stick their heads in and it's pretty awesome. And if I was a millionaire you better believe I'd be all over that. However, I am not. So I must resort to dreams.

And this pretty much ended our amazing adventures. We finished by going to Kazuri, a bead shop. It was cool, but the jewelry was not me. And it was expensive. So I passed.

Then, we went to Karen Blixen's house slash managers house and toured them. We ate at one of the restaurants and it was so. good. My steak was sub par because you should probably never order steak in another country but that was my bad. So I probably ate ostrich or wildebeest (yeah, apparently that's how you spell that.). I don't know. Nor do I want to. It was pretty tough and chewy. If it's possible to be both? I just wanted something non vegetarian so SO bad. My mom got these amaaaazing nachos. I think they were called cachos? I can't remember now. But they have guacamole in Kenya (and the best avocados I've ever had in Ethiopia, if you were wondering) and I was in Heaven. I loveee guac. And those nachos were bomb.com. Plus I had fresh squeezed juice and I was a happy camper. Minus my mystery steak, but I gave most of that to Evan. So whatever.

Karen Blixen's house was....................................................................................neat. I suppose I should watch the movie because I know nothing about anything. So it would probably mean more to me if I could see the movie and what she did. Rather than pretending to love it while I walked through her house and see her nasty outhouse toilet. (It was super gross.)

And that was that. By the end of the day, I decided Kenya was alright. But most of my day was not great. However, Kenya has the most amazing tree I've ever seen: the Jacaranda. A. It is the funnest name to say. B. It's amazingly gorgeous.


Aren't they just lovely? I'm in tree love. And it's purple!!! Favorite color, win win! I'm definitely going to need to plant my own indoor Jacaranda bonsai tree. It's going to happen and everyone is going to be jealous.

Kenya was also weird because it was so Americanized. It could very easily have been a city in America. I didn't see a poor part of town until we were leaving. There weren't cows and donkeys crossing the road at will and there weren't a million people begging on the sidewalks. Everything was nice. It was clean. There were gigantic mansions everywhere. People were driving Range Rovers (and I was drooling), BMWs, VWs, Mercedes, and tons of expensive not-your-average-third-world-country cars. However, when we did drive past the slum, it was def third world. People living in gutted out cars, tents, shacks made of tin and cardboard, and very very poor conditions. And apparently that's how it is there. It's either shanty town or a mansion. There is no inbetween. It was so different from Ethiopia and it was so different from how I pictured the rest of Africa to be.

I definitely expected it there to be much more poverty than we saw (and maybe we just weren't in the right part...) and more people on bikes. I don't know where this preconceived notion came from but I was pretty sure everyone rode bikes in Kenya.

And I didn't see one bike. So that's that.

Also, the Nairobi airport suuucks. Seriously. I think I hate it more than Dulles. It's like one long hallway with a million people and a million duty free stores. But at least it is smoke free, unlike the airport in Addis. And probably another reason I was so cranky when I got to Kenya.

And I think it's time to probably stop talking because no one is going to read this far annnnd now I'm just rambling.

P.S. I didn't take a picture of dindin. It was delish. But we were too hungry to wait for pictures. And I am seriously pooped. It's bed time, I have an interview at 10 am. Fingers crossed!!!


6 loves:

  1. I read every.single.bit of it, so shut up. =]

    I loveeeee your stories!!

    And seriously, that really is the coolest tree in the world. It's gorgeous.

  2. You get the prize for being the ONLY one. hahah jk

    And I know. I freaking love it.

  3. I read it too, mainly because you make me laugh.
    So, I don't know if this is a touchy subject, but did you get to see Rooza?

  4. haha thanks. And no, not touchy. I keep trying to make a post on her but I can't find words haha. But yes, I did get to see her and it was amazing.

  5. Good! The first post that you did about Ethiopia sounded kind of...I don't know what the word is...devastating. Like something had happened that completely upset you. When you hadn't mentioned ANYTHING about seeing Rooza, I was worried that something had happened to her. But I'm glad you got to see her!