Monday, June 7, 2010

Settling in

I’m starting to feel a bit more like myself after sleeping an insane amount the first few days – partly because of jet lag and partly because I was all Benadryl-ed out with my nutso allergies. Red eyes, constant sneezing, the works. I’m adjusting little by little. Two naps on Friday, one on Saturday, none yesterday. And this morning, I was finally able to put in my contacts without yelping. Onward!

It looks like finding a place to live is going to be harder than I imagined, and I’m actually okay with that. My backup plan of staying at the hostel for the duration is looking better and better. It’s cheap – just a little over a hundred bucks for a month. It has hot showers, lockers for my valuables, wi-fi if I sit on one corner of the roof with my fingers crossed, a restaurant where I can get chapatti and beans for roughly $1.25, a coffee shop and a bank across the street, and delicious fruit salad for less than a dollar right around the corner. It’s a five-minute bus ride into the center of town and about a 30-minute bus/matatu commute to the A24 office.

View Nairobi in a larger map

And best of all, there are interesting people! Since I came here by myself, I don’t want to be holed up in a one-bedroom in a leafy but remote part of Nairobi, crying into my Konyagi that I have no one to talk to. The beauty of the hostel is that it has a good mix of local people and fellow travelers, and there are a good number who are staying for a month or more. Yesterday, I went to watch a rugby tournament with a Tanzanian guy and a Korean guy, teamed up with several Kenyan women in the dorm to help our Chinese roommate (an adorable little dynamo who, fittingly, goes by the name "Smile") distinguish the letter "n" and the letter "l," and had a long chat with another grad student from New York who's here studying nutrition at three local hospitals.

The instant bond two people can make when they're both thousands of miles from home is one of the best parts of traveling, and at the same time, I didn't come all the way to Kenya to hang out with other wazungu. This place has a good balance.

Internship starts today. Here goes!

1 comment:

  1. Holy Mango! This sounds mad interesting... rugby tournaments? Didn't know they had 'em in Kenya. Good luck with the internship =D