Monday, July 9, 2007
Today is our second day in Nairobi. Yesterday 36 boxes of Stayfree pads arrived at our hotel (1296 10-packs). Thanks to Johnson and Johnson (J&J), these products will prevent the girls of Rabwao Secondary school from missing a week of school each month, due to lack of hygienic products (and subsequent social stigma). The meeting was a huge success, and we were provided with handouts and a large chart on the female reproductive system, to aid our adolescent health course. We’re unsure how we will transport so many boxes from Nairobi to Muhuru Bay!
After our meeting, we rode in a taxi to the Yaya Market, only about 2km from our hotel. We took a ride in a taxi, all six who had arrived thus far: Prashant, Elise, Sunny, Lucy, Patrick and me. The Yaya market was entertaining and colorful, the best barterer from our group had to be Patrick, even though he was decked out in a Kenya shirt, marked out as a tourist and teased by just about everyone. At one point, I was out of shillings, and vendors approached each of us, "friend, brother, I want to show you something, come here". One vendor said he'd trade several items for the pair of jeans I was wearing. I've been at an open market in Israel, but in Nairobi, there are no limits to what people will do. I was decent at bargaining, but that didn’t prevent me from paying 1500 shillings (about 23 dollars) for three small ebony wood animals. Patrick, of course informed me that another vendor had tried selling the same animals for 200 shillings a piece. I’m just contributing to the Kenyan economy via my naïveté.
Around 11:30 last night, our group of delayed travelers arrived: Sherryl, April, Tyla, and Kelly. They were very excited to see us, and they looked bright-eyed and bushytailed after 3 days of travel delays. Today we are all restless and ready to get to Muhuru Bay, but we must buy more supplies, so it may be a day or two until we depart Nairobi. In the meantime, April has taken possession of the guitar I brought, and is having nonstop song sessions in the room next door with the other girls from our trip. I for one am enjoying one of the last real showers I’ll have for six weeks.