It is time to share the first impressions that Nairobi has made on us. Below the text you can find the pictures that I will describe here.
We have been to the arboretum a number of times, that is a park with a lot of trees that are home to some monkeys. The arboretum was established in 1907 to provide wood for the railway. At that time, they planted some fast growing exotic species. By now, there are also a lot of indigenous species, labeled with signs. Especially in the weekend, the park is very popular as a location to picnic and relax.
We visited a church called Mavuno Downtown. The minister found it hard to understand how David fought with lions and bears to protect just one sheep. This thought led him to another amazing phenomenon: white people. “I don’t have a problem with white people… but you guys have a problem! If I turn on Discovery Channel, I see people running after crocodiles and snakes for fun, and hugging lions. And they’re all white people. Did you ever see a black person do that?”
So that was quite funny. As for us, we only saw the wildlife in stuffed version. In the National Museum they had a lot of these, and a skeleton of elephant Ahmed (more about him maybe in the future). There was also a lot of information about the history of Kenya, to a great extent dominated by the colonisation and its aftermath. The struggle for independence got very violent in the end.
The armed fight agains the British is commemorated by the statue of Kimathi, a leader of the Mau Mau movement. The statue has only been put there some years ago, and it marks a change in how the Kenyan government views the Mau Mau. For more about this I recommend the book Britain’s Gulag, from Caroline Elkins.
We saw some more history at the National Archive, found ourselves on a tourist market, and enjoyed the reggae music in the bus. The last picture is the place across the road from our compound. We often had dinner here, at the red parasols. It was very expensive, when you look at the cars you can tell only very rich people come there. But since we are students no longer, we should start looking for our first hummer ourselves of course…
This week we travelled to Nanyuki, where we hope to settly for the next three months. We will be going to Nairobi regularly, for example next week. The main office of ACT is there, and other offices where Freddy is going to interview people.
So: “Sawa, sawa” (good, good), so far!