Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The weather was all doom and gloom for the first few days I was here, but yesterday the sun came out and man, it makes such a difference! Nairobi can appear a bit sinister when it's all fog and drizzle, but today is pretty glorious. It seems I picked a good time of year to come; just as it's starting to get sweltering and gross in New York, it's Kenya's "winter" - if winter means warm and lovely during the day and cool at night. Everyone at the A24 office has been bundled up in their jackets, talking about how cold it is. Ah, life. One man's toxic sludge is another man's potpourri.

I've started to fall into a little routine. I try to shower in the evenings because there's only one shower with hot water for an entire dorm full of women (capacity: 16 over the weekend, currently only 4 or 5). Because I don't have a kitchen or a fridge, I can't really pack a lunch, so each morning I swing by the hostel restaurant and get either an andazi (essentially a piece of hollow fried dough) or a samosa with beef and peppers for breakfast (about 30 or 40 cents, respectively) and then run around the corner for fruit salad to pack for lunch (a dollar). Work from 9 to 5:30.

In the evening, I might grab some rice and beans from the restaurant or run across the street to the Nairobi Java House for my daily dose of fresh veggies (salad with grilled chicken is about 4 bucks) It's expensive, but in East Africa it's easy to find yourself with a diet that's like 90% carbs so it's worth it every other day or so. They play really good music there and have free wireless internet, too, so I can unwind and get caught up on Glee.

When I get back to the hostel, I try and do some yoga on the roof if no one else is up there, read a little, and study a few new Swahili words each day. The relaxed pace is really, really nice for a change. I feel healthier already. Thanks to my matatu escapades, I've been walking pretty regularly, and sleeping more plus eating very simple foods means I've already started to drop some of my J-school-induced stress weight.

I've been bad about taking pictures because I don't want to carry my camera around any more than I need to. Sorry, I'll try and get on that!

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