Day 2 – August 30
We arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International airport about 2:45 PM. It took about an hour to get through customs, exchange dollars for shillings, and to get our bags. My back pack finally arrived so I went out to find Michael. I looked around for a while and then hear my name. We give each other a big hug and I meet Tommy Allen, another walker and the Proper Walk’s technology man. They take me to the airport cafe for my first Tusker beer.
After another 40 minutes of waiting, Michael goes to see how Steve is doing. We learn that his bags did not make it. His flight out of Portland was late into Las Vegas, maybe not enough time to exchange the bags. His bags have the hike’s first aid kit, many items for the Makindu Children's Center along with his hiking and camping gear. Cathy’s bags didn’t arrive either. Two out of six walker’s bags lost, unbelievable.
Michael arranged to use a Land Rover owned by the Baraka School for Boys. He needs to do some work for Baraka while in Kenya. In exchange they allow us to use their vehicle. We load my packs and head into Nairobi. As we get into the city we run into quite a bit of traffic and rush hour hasn’t even started. I’m struck by how much busier it seems than when I was in Nairobi before, of course, that was a long time ago. Then I notice the air; it is foul. Gas and diesel fumes fill my nose and lungs. Thank god for the catalytic converter back home. Good thing we are not spending much time in the city.
We head to the Kenya Continental, a comfortable moderately priced hotel that Michael has been frequenting for over 25 years. It costs about 2,000 shillings ($29 US) and is pretty basic but safe. We are reminded not to drink the water, brush our teeth in the water or swallow any water while showering. Good reminders.
A restaurant across the parking lot will serve as our rendezvous spot for the evening. I had not met three of the walkers, Tommy, Phil or Cathy before today. We ate goat, drank many Tuskers, told stories and laughed a lot. Phil claims I pinched him – well, he said, “pinch me so I know I am really here” and I did. We hadn’t met before so I thought I should break him in right away.
I had slept only 4 hours during the previous 2 days. I am running on fumes but having a great time, a very fun start to Proper Walk ’06.