After arriving at Nairobi airport, the African sun welcomes me: a pleasant 22 degrees and this only at 8am. After meeting Stephen, who will be my supervisor during my time in Kenya, we are on our way to run some errands in Nairobi and to meet other people of the organization where I do research.
Nairobi is a very crowded place, millions of people live here, and where we were going (downtown Nairobi) the people looked surprised when they saw me. Maybe because during the whole day I only saw two other white persons, especially in downtown Nairobi seeing a white person is entertaining. Nevertheless, all the people were nice; they smiled and started to chat with me.
After doing out business, we went to Narok where we spent the night in a hotel since it was getting late and travelling at night to Naikara (where I will be staying) is not the best idea. Next morning we did some shopping and we were on our way. We had to stop at a Christian missionary hospital in a small village since malaria is present where I will be staying (I was too stubborn to take any precautions) but Stephen advised me to buy tablets so I did.
I saw many elderly masai people, dressed up like you see on the television. Red drapes around their shoulders, colourful decorations in their ears and around their necks and earlobes stretched to their limits. I think it is cool to see these people are still living according to traditions. When we continued our journey, I had a new lifer (animal you see for the first time), a Thomson’s gazelle, and I saw zebras wildebeest and impala. Interestingly sometimes, these wild animals were grazing together with livestock.
Finally, I arrived in Naikara at my accommodation. It is very basic: a small house made of concrete with cracks of 20cm and spiders of 15 cm as roommates, a bit different from the Netherlands. The toilet is a hole in the ground and the shower is a bucket. I am used to the African bush, but still this needs some time to get used to.
Overall, I think the people are friendly, the weather is great, the animals are beautiful (as are all animals in Africa). I can’t wait for the research to begin!