Goodby Nairobi, Hello Arusha

Mon, 28 Jan 2002 00:46:44 +0800

Yesterday was my last day in Nairobi. Who knows when I will every return. Not on this trip, anyway. All totaled I was in Nairobi something like 8 days. On the last day, I didn't expect to see anything new. I had survived the experience and knew pretty well how to deal with the town.

In my last couple of hours, my luggage was already stashed at the shuttle service, I did some Interneting and had my lunch. As I was walking back a couple of street children seemed very interested in the water bottle I was carrying. I had seen similar behavior in Uganda. I assumed, like the Ugandans, these children wanted the bottle. I tried to explain that the bottle wasn't empty. I was still using it. Then one of them cupped their hands together. It wasn't the bottle they wanted. It was the water. Now I generally don't give to beggars as it often does more harm than good. But it is hard to deny a child that just wants water. I gave him two hand fulls. Given a few more seconds to think, I probably would have him the bottle.

So that was my last experience in Nairobi. I am typing this message from an Internet cafe in Arusha, Tanzania. Arusha is a much smaller, less developed town. Monji's Guest House, where I am staying, is on a dirt road. There are many in this town. On the other hand, Arusha is a place where you can actually walk at night without fearing greatly for your life or property. Like Nairobi, the streets are filled with tauts hawking safaris, but I can deal with those. [Jennifer: if you are reading this, now would be a really good time to pipe in with the name of the name of that safari operator you thought was really good].

The guest house is maybe half occupied. I seem to be only muhzoon there. The rest are locals. If there is a backbacker scene here, I haven't found it. It would be good to find it.

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit behind in my trip updates. The gorilla overlander left little opportunity to write email. There is much to report. I'm going to try and fill in the gaps over the next day or two, likely out of order. I've been keeping a diary part of the time. It helps me remember when I can't get to an Internet cafe in a reasonable time.