Photo by Tony Cece

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday 7/21 Arrival in Nairobi

After two long flights and several hours of travel, we finally made it to Nairobi early this morning. I could tell that everyone on the team was exhausted, but still excited and motivated. On the evening ride from the airport into the center of the city, we passed several office buildings and industrial parks, scenery that is nearly identical to the common American suburb. I was taken somewhat by surprise. But it follows suit with everything that I heard about Nairobi being the commercial and financial hub of East Africa.

Our first night, we stayed at a hotel in the middle of the city. When we arrived in the middle of the night, everything was quiet, and peaceful. The only noise I heard was that of a few birds and the soothing 5 am call to prayer from the Mosque next door. Once the sun arose, the street became congested with cars, pedestrians, bikes, and motorcycles moving in every direction as traffic lights at the intersection had little purpose. I saw luxury European vehicles and small vans packed with passengers. There were well dressed men and women walking to midday prayer and young people weaving in and out of traffic, attempting to sell their goods to stopped motorists.

Something that stood out to most everyone was the transition from the city to the country. During our long journey out to the mountain home of the orphanage, we witnessed a highly developed metropolis, an urban slum, a suburban community with large homes and a busy supermarket, and small rural towns. The rural towns were mostly simple shacks and roadside shops allowing residents to sell goods to passing traffic. There was a stark difference as we noticed the increasing poverty the further we travelled from the city.

A particularly impressive view was that of the Great Rift Valley. I hope to post photos on our Facebook page soon.


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