Habari yako? (That’s Kiswahili for How are you?) I am sorry for the long hiatus from this blog. For the past two weeks I have been away on a business trip to Kenya and unfortunately had very little time to dedicate to blogging. It was an intense period with many meetings with key stakeholders in the Kenyan healthcare system and site visits to hospitals and health facilities. More often than not these engagements began early in the morning and lasted until well into the evening. In spite of this, I still found time to squeeze in a few relaxing activities which made the trip quite memorable.
Among the highlights of the trip was running in the highlands of Eldoret, located in western Kenya, which is at an altitude of over 7000ft (2300m). Eldoret is in fact a sleepy town surrounded by lush forests and steep rising rills, which is the lifeblood of mostly rural Uasin Gishu County. It is also the hometown of my favorite runner, Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for the Men’s marathon. I had hoped to bump into him while I was there, however, luck was not on my side this time. Nevertheless, running in Eldoret felt like treading on hallowed ground. It was truly a spiritually uplifting experience that I will cherish for a long time.
Another high point of my Kenyan safari, was feeding the giraffes at the Giraffe Centre on the outskirts of Nairobi. I never expected to be able to get so close to the giraffes, let alone to feel their sharply prickly tongues as they gobbled up delicious pellets of food directly from my fingers. I also learned several interesting facts about these elegant, lanky beasts. For instance, did you know that giraffe saliva is anti-septic? Or that giraffes sleep standing up, for just thirty minutes each day?
Of course, no trip is complete without sampling the local cuisine. Although this was my fourth visit to Kenya, I still managed to find several local deliciacies that I had not tried before. You have not really been to Kenya if you haven’t eaten nyama choma (barbecued meat of all sorts from chicken to goat) with kachumbari and ugali, which is a staple of the meat-loving Kenyan diet. Also, on the more exotic front, I tried crocodile meat for the first time. It was a lot better than I expected. Crocodile meat is quite ‘fatty’ and tastes very much like beef.
As for writing, I had very little time to indulge in my craft. I did manage to do some editing and rewriting of Children of the Ocean God during the 8-hour flight to Nairobi. However, I couldn’t keep that momentum while in Kenya due to my grueling itinerary. Hopefully, I will find some time to get back to it soon, in between my travels.
Till next time, stay well!