I took a number of pictures with the animals because gpa they were already accustomed to human beings. I must admit a photo i took with a cheetah and a cub were the most unique because never did I think in my life i would pose with a cheetah; leave alone a cub. The drive from the Animal orphanage to the national park was bumpy and dusty. Except for a few streets in the city, most of them were narrow and very congested both by pedestrians and cars. George reiterated that many people walked because cars were very expensive for a large majority of the people. Most of the people who owned cars in the country were either politicians or government officials. Nonetheless, i was perturbed by the level of poverty eminent in the population. Handcarts littered every corner of the street, especially as we drove in the outskirts of the city.
Nairobi national park was an hour drive from the hotel but we made two stops before arriving at our destination. The first stop was at a giraffe centre, an animal conservation that exclusively kept Giraffes and Warthogs. Needless to say, the attendants at the centre were even more accommodative and informative than the locals I met the previous day. This was my first encounter with wild animals. I fed the giraffes with a few pellets (I had no idea what they were) though it was a good experience because the giraffes fed from my palm. Tall but harmless little creatures, i wondered silently. The experience was the same at the Animal orphanage which was our second stop. Here, they took special care of most of the weakling animals in the wild, such as the Elephants, dears, Cheetahs, cubs, hippos and the likes.
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I must admit, this came to me as a farm surprise because, i expected a hostile reception because of the racist and prejudice attitudes i expected from the staff. Nevertheless I was glad to be in the country for the first few hours of my arrival. I retired to bed around 10:00. Day 2, the following day, i met my tour guide, a young, tall man by the name george. He understood English quite well and I must admit; his was impeccable. This was probably from the British influence in the colonial era.
After striking a conversation with him, he brought to my attention that many of the people who worked in the hospitality industry were workers from white farms. Not many people are educated here he added. The country is just establishing social institutions like schools and hospitals, after the demise of the white settlers he clarified. Anxious to see the sites in the city, i nodded quickly as we walked to the car. We boarded a blue suv after he packed a few snacks as we prepared to leave the hotel for a trip to the national Park. We set off at 10:00am for nairobi national Park. I was excited for the trip because Id never heard of a national park in the city.
Welcome to kenya, a young man said as he took my luggage from the car. I handed the cab driver a dollar and followed the hotel receptionist into the lobby. Inside the hotel, there were only a few locals. Most of the people who were present at the hotel were exclusively Italian and British tourists. I could tell from the Italian and British accents. From that point, i remembered Kenya was previously a british colony and was just embracing their independence.
Nonetheless, i could notice the foreign patrons at the hotel felt at home and the attendants were treating them exceptionally too. While i waited for the receptionist at the lobby, i noticed another striking feature among the employees; there wasnt a single female staff in the hotel. This was quite different from America because it seemed like kenya was still under gender discrimination. The entire time, before i was allocated my room, i never encountered a single kenyan woman, even at the airport. That just hit me when we took the elevator to my third floor room. From there on, i knew my experience in the country would be full, of new experiences because i noticed a lot was different; especially with the culture of the people. The hospitality i got from the hotel staff was very surprising.
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A small group of about five people littered the streets around a pile of burning firewood. Welcome to review kenya the cab driver said after a long silence. Thank you i replied, surprised by his language. After a few attempts to converse with him in English, i noticed Welcome to kenya was the only sentence he could utter on English. After a few moments of awkward silence, he switched on the radio to a poor reception. I could barely understand what was being said on radio because in addition to the poor reception, i barely understood Swahili. We drove a few more minutes through well lit streets, dotted with a few cars until we arrived at the hotel. I was taken aback by the warm reception of the hotel attendants because they received me quite exceptionally.
There was a huge language barrier between the driver and I because he was communicating in Swahili and i in English. He understood that I had to get to Intercontinental writers hotel where i was booked for the night though we couldnt agree on the fare. I noticed he was negotiating in terms of shillings but the only currency i had was the dollar. I was also confused on how I would negotiate with him because i had no idea how much the kenya shilling was exchanging with the dollar. Nevertheless, with the use of sign language, we understood each other. He packed my luggage in the trunk and ushered me into the car. I noticed the man was very respectful and hospitable, almost similar to the welcoming dancers at the airport. The drive to the hotel was short. I didnt see much under the cover of the creeping darkness though I noticed nairobi was dotted with a number of hand pulled carts and bicycles.
Airport in nairobi, kenya. I was surprised at the number of people in the airport to welcome the visitors who had just arrived in the country. Dressed in traditional African regalia, a group of about ten traditional dancers sang a song by the name hakuna matata which I later learnt, meant welcome to the county of no worries. My first reaction was that the people were very welcoming because they treated us with much respect and courtesy. Indeed, my first few minutes in the country were characterized by gratuity as one short but stout man came to help me wit the luggage all the way to the parking lot where there was a waiting cab. After helping me to the cab, the man went back, leaving me with the cab driver.
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