Kickin’ It in Kenya

Good morning? Good afternoon? Good evening? My body has no idea what time it is, but ‘Africa time’ seems appropriate. Currently sitting in a café at the airport in Nairobi and awaiting my fourth and final flight to Entebbe, Uganda. I’m in hour 5 of an 11 hour layover and so far I have done the following:

  • Obtained a Kenyan transit visa to leave the airport (neat passport sticker to show for it!).
  • Found a taxi, a lovely man named Collins.
  • Went to The Parani Hotel and ate breakfast with a new friend, Jeff.
  • Showered, sat in the steam room and had a 1 hour Swedish massage – which was amazing.

I’m back at the airport a little early as Jeff had an earlier flight than me, but it feels good to be settled. Taking a little time to write, and study for my class back in the US. The adventure of today’s layover has really fueled my spirit. The kindness we encountered from the Kenyans we met – the customer service rep at the airport, our driver, Collins, my masseuse, Brenda, assured me that I am full, always. I could feel it when I stepped off the staircase of the plane. Feel the corners of my mouth turn up, my shoulders settle in. The humid, warm air. It smells like Africa. The excitement in simply leaving the airport, totally unable to predict what one might experience next.

Jeff encouraged the adventure, and I was happy to have a companion with a spice for life. Jeff is a medical student and works in an HIV clinic in Mbarara, Uganda. We investigated each other’s passport stamps and shared stories over a big breakfast at the Panari hotel. It is so pleasant to be with someone who appreciates the small victories while traveling! Positive energy.

I’ll arrive in Uganda at 6:40pm where a driver from the US Embassy will take me to my new home for the next 9 months! I’m most excited for the letter that I will be allowed to open upon my arrival. Jake and I wrote 20-25 letters and gave them to each other to open 1 per week until we see each other next – some long love letters, some short silly notes. He specifically has a letter for me to open when I arrive at my apartment, so the anticipation is killing me as it sits untouched in my carry on luggage. Perhaps a nap before the real studying begins. Updates soon on the living quarters! 🙂


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