Whenever I talk about going to or having been to Kenya, the responses I receive in return are a bit jumbled. There’s a lot of “wow!” and inquiries about safety, as well as the occasional “oh cool…and where’s that?”. Maybe it’s just on my radar more-so than others because my friend Zaneta lives there, but I’m going to take this opportunity to fill you in on the facts of where my recent adventures happened!
Kenya is in East Africa, sharing borders with Somalia, Ethiopian, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and the Indian Ocean. The country’s principal languages are English and Kiswahili (which I now know four words of, woohoo!) and their main exports are flowers, tea and coffee. The country is in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, so despite being there during Nairobi’s fall-winter time, it was about 70 degrees most days.
Whenever traveling there is the obstacle of safety. Yes, Kenya shares a border with Somalia who they are at war with. Yes, there was a bombing across Nairobi from me while I was there. Yes, al-Shabaab held Westgate Mall hostage for multiple days where they killed 67 plus people last September. Yes, I was aware of my surroundings and no, those things did not stop me.
Please do not misinterpret this as me telling you to go wherever you feel and risk your safety recklessly, because I am not. I’m simply trying to say that you can’t always let fear get in your way. There is always going to be something to fear no matter where you go, be it pick-pocketing, Mantazuma’s Revenge or something military focused, but I knew that I would be in good care with the Pereira family. Always keep in mind the advice your parents drill into you “keep your eyes open and head on a swivel” and follow your gut.
Now to answer the cliché question: no, there were not monkeys running around everywhere. I probably saw more elephants than monkeys over the whole trip.
Also, henna is temporary, for any customers at my place of employment who stare wide-eyed at the designs on my hands and gaped, “wow, just wow…”. I am too indecisive to commit to an actual tattoo, not to mention a wimp.
As for where my travels will take me next, I’m clueless, although I am open to any reader recommendations, so send ’em my way!
I will be going to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in August for a family vacation, but September means school, and free time will unfortunately be sparse. After taking a two year break from college, going back and having a schedule to keep and homework to stay on top of will not be something I welcome with a smile. But with a major in something I love, photography, hopefully cool opportunities will come around, some maybe including travel!
Thank you for tagging along on Kenyan adventure, and I hope to see ya’ll back here come August for Cabo!
Thoroughly engaging blog, Michelle. Thanks for sharing it. We look forward to hearing all about an hurricane-free Cabo in August.