Another weekend, another adventure.
On Tuesday night I jumped on the train to Nairobi, Second Class, and despite a rocky start (the engine car was missing, but it eventually showed up almost two hours late), things went pretty smoothly. On Wednesday I got my Swine Flu shot while visiting the Peace Corps office, and then I had meetings on Thursday and Friday, during which time I burnt a number of DVDs which will be used as samples in the near future for this project.
My coworker on the project was kind enough to let me stay with her instead of paying for a hotel (since Peace Corps only covers travel costs for medical issues, required events, and anything involving HIV/AIDS, and my trip doesn’t meet any of those requirements). I didn’t take any pictures of the inside of the apartment, but trust me, it was pretty cool, since it had been painted with a lot of green, much like the apartment I left behind in Santa Monica. Just like home, except with a bigger kitchen and rationed water. Here’s the outside:
While in Nairobi I also saw a volunteer who was a day away from hopping on a plane back to America. Sad to see her go (again), since I actually went to Malindi last weekend to say goodbye, but then we ended up being in Nairobi at the same time for a second goodbye. We went with a group and ate a good dinner.
I left for Mombasa by bus on Saturday morning, which, much like the train, was pretty uneventful, and involved much sleeping, but it unfortunately had an obnoxious end to it. As I stepped off the bus in Mombasa, I realized that my phone wasn’t in my pocket! The bus had already started moving so I immediately grabbed some transport to follow the bus to the station, but by the time I got there, they told me the bus had already gone to another station, “not far,” and then I ended up leaving Mombasa island completely as my quest led me out past the airport. The employees at the bus office were completely unhelpful, and my gut feeling is that they actually stole my phone when I told them where my seat was, since they wouldn’t let me check for myself, and the guy I talked to first made a mysterious disappearance after he “looked for it.” I wasn’t surprised—I figured it was as good as gone as soon as I realized it wasn’t in my pocket—but it was worth a shot. Asking the bus people if they saw it is like asking the lions in the zoo if they found the steak left in their cage. “Really, a steak? Where exactly did you say you left it? I’ll go check…” Oh well.
To top it all off, I didn’t have enough to pay the driver who followed the bus “not far” to the distant outskirts of the suburbs and back, and I ended up giving him some Tanzanian shillings to calm him down. What a stupid night.
So anyway, don’t bother calling my old Safaricom number, since it will just connect you to some local thieves, so try the Zain number (listed at right) instead. I’ll be using it for the time being on my backup phone.
Here’s the last picture I ever took while I still had my trusty Nokia 6300 in my pocket. We had some good times together, me and that phone. Despite the fact that I lost it in Mombasa, I blame Nairobi anyway.