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  • Rebecca J. Hopp

Nairobi before Kakuma


Marti and I began I journey in Houston, traveling to Minnesota where we met Trevor and continued on to Amsterdam. 8 hour flight, watch a few movies and slept! In Amsterdam, we had a short layover and picked up Josh. After some tiny poffertjes (mini dutch pancakes!), we were on our flight to Nairobi. After another 8 hours we arrived in AFRICA!

Leaving the airport was truly a mini adventure as we have our suitcases and 5 large boxes full of photo and art supplies for our refugee students to use in our workshops. They took a bit of convincing to get through customs, and lots of loading and unloading to get into our hotel. Yet, all made it safe and sound!

We are staying at a very nice hotel, in fact its the hotel from the movie Out of Africa, which I now need to watch I guess! We had a lovely dinner at the hotel's Thai restaurant and headed to bed! I was so tired.

This morning we were up early to visit the Nairobi National Park. Lions, Zebras, and Pumba Oh My! This was such a treat! I've probably seen all of these animals before but always in a zoo, it was amazing seeing herds (?) of zebras (Zeb-RAs as they say in Kenya) and even two lions! It was also a great treat to be traveling with 3 other photographers! Kendi, a Film Aid employee, also joined us for the day, she is so much fun and amazing- thankful for a new friend! Our driver/tour, Peter, was awesome and knew all the hot spots to take us to see the animals.

We also visited the park's orphanage, where there were so many animals we could get so close to, but the wild monkeys stole the show! One even stole Kendi's box of biscuits and ate them up in the trees! We also all got really fun selfies with the various monkeys. A very nice volunteer at the park showed us around as he fed the animals and there were so many families enjoying the park, many the young girls were dressed up in puffy formal looking dresses most were tattered a bit but they were beautiful!

From here we took a taxi back to the hotel. Oh the traffic here... there have been plenty of "holy crap" moments, traffic lights are a suggestion, roundabouts and lane changes are a free for all. Cars stopped in the middle of the road as cars zoom by, people walking wherever. Its quite crazy, I'm thankful I will never drive here! Bless the cab drivers!

After lunch we did the Maasai Market. We were followed in by several men already trying to sell us things. It was overwhelming, everyone was VERY VERY eager to sell us things. My first attempt at purchasing something didn't go too well. I picked out a pair of earrings and a necklace, and the guy wanted me to pay him 4800 shillings. Heh. Thats 48 dollars for something work MAYBE 5 dollars. I offered him 5 and we proceeded to follow me around continuing to try to haggle with me, I was done even when he met me at 5. Though this wasn't so fun, I did make some much more pleasant sales folks and some good finds. I got a few pairs of earrings, some scarves, and a few gifts- giraffes, shoes for Tom, and an elephant for Hailey (our neighbor).

After the market, we relaxed at the hotel. The swimming pool, on the roof top, was heated and wonderful and I also took a micro-nap in the sauna. More Thai dinner with great company, we laugh a lot, now off to bed. UN flight (on a very old plane apparently with guarded by men holding AK47s) wait us in the morning. We leave the hotel at 5am.

After a fun and restful day I'm ready to get to Kakuma and get set-up for our LTP program.

#Kenya #NationalPark #Zebras #Airport #photography #Nairobi #hoppart

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​© 2014 Rebecca J. Hopp Photography & Design

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© 2015 Rebecca J. Hopp.  All images and video content are strictly copyright. All Rights Reserved.