The normal program would have us leaving Tuesday evening, but we’ve decided to stick around in Nairobi for a day. After a leisurely breakfast – the first time we got to sleep late on this vacation! – we head to the Kenyan National Museum. The permanent exhibit has the required African artifacts and stuffed animals. More interesting is the exhibit of humanoid fossils that have been found in Kenya. Turkana boy and others. There is also a case with the Lucy skeleton, which I’m pretty sure is kept in Ethiopia. The exhibit does not make clear which fossils are genuine, and which are copies. There is some contemporary art, as well as a very interesting exhibit about rock art in Africa.
We continue on our walk into the downtown area. Nairobi is a merry mess: there are lots of people on the street, the vehicle traffic is monstrous, it’s crowded, and generally very noisy. But it’s good to see so much life happening, compared to antiseptic American cities. We have a cup of tea in a tiny Indian restaurant, and from our table we watch life happening in front of us. The taxi drivers parked there have no customers, but no lack of topics for conversation with each other. For lunch we go into a restaurant that advertises its genuine African cuisine. It’s upstairs, tiny and as you enter, you see a guy sitting on the roof terrace frying the meat that’s on the menu. We both order goat, which is delicious, and costs less than two dollars apiece. We keep our fingers crossed: so far we haven't had any stomach trouble or scary diseases.
At the end of the day we walk back to our hotel. Maybe we should have taken a taxi, because the weather is cool but humid, and it’s a somewhat long walk, and the diesel and exhaust fumes are overpowering. We are back at the hotel well before dark, because Nairobi downtown may be an interesting experience by daylight, by night it’s reputed to be much too interesting.
Dinner, Somak takes us to the airport, and then 8 hours to Zurich, 3 hours layover, 8 hours to New York, 3 hours layover, 2 hours to Memphis, 4 hours layover, and home by about midnight, more than 30 hours after getting to the Nairobi airport.