Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Kenya Experience

Wow.  Kenya.  What can I say?  This is a place unlike any other place I've ever traveled to before in every which way possible.  I am thankful for the experience and it was certainly a huge eye opener for the simple things we take for granted such as water, food, shelter, etc.

For 3 weeks I was in Kenya on assignment for a field trial of my company's alternative energy product.  I got to interact with the locals and visited many homes in different regions.  I experienced the city life in Nairobi, road-tripped to the northern rural farms in Kisumu, and ventured through Kibera, one of the largest slums in the world.  It was a trip I couldn't easily forget so here are some unforgettable pictures.

Nairobi, Kenya

Scary HUGE Marabou storks hanging out in the city!

Random building on the road

Our apartment kitchen

Spacious with lots of windows

View from the rooftop

Nice and warm dryer

Our entertaining neighbor was an Indian temple with lots of drumming and singing on Saturday nights!

Hanging out at our friend Marc's apartment

Nairobi National Park, Kenya

I was able to spend a day at Nairobi National Park, just a few miles from Nairobi center with only a fence separating all the wild animals from the city!  Marc and Nina picked me up in the early morning so we could catch the animals at their most active time.  Lucky for us we encountered a lion that walked right by our car and it was heart-pounding!  The not so lucky part was that we got a flat tire right in the middle of this vast land and had to change it hoping no cheetah was going to rush us!  Though not as famous as the Maasai Mara National Reserve, we had a very fun safari adventure of our own and in our very own car!

Right at the front entrance

Giraffe in front of the Nairobi skyline

This lion started coming towards us and walked right past my window!

It was too close so I closed the window and messed up the recording!

Whew! That was close!
Photo courtesy of Marc

Photo courtesy of Marc

A little too close?
Photo courtesy of Marc

Airplane overhead

Itchy zebra

Photo courtesy of Marc

Viewpoint to the entire park

Too far to see

Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Visiting this slum in Nairobi was perhaps the most mind-blowing experience of my entire trip.  Kibera is the second largest slum in Africa, and third largest in the world!  First or third, it's not a fun place to be.  Homes are extremely small, trash fills the land and sewage flows freely through it all.  Be thankful of where you live and what you have!

Oh, just school kids playing in the playground is all.

Nakuru, Kenya

Photo courtesy of Marc

Charcoal vendor

Steven's family

Eldoret, Kenya

Crossing the equator!

This was not the most comfortable road to be on for 2 hours

Abandoned gas station

My favorite neighborhood; always happy and smiling

Typical store front

Vendor selling corn and veggies, fruits

Typical vendor stalls consisting of nothing more than tarps and sticks

Vendor on the side of the highway selling potatoes and veggies
Photo courtesy of Marc

Selling live chicken on the side of the road
Photo courtesy of Marc

Kisumu, Kenya

Some of the skinniest cows you will see

A common kerosene lamp made from a used canned food

Another great, friendly group

Kericho, Kenya

Looks delicious right? Filling but no flavor whatsoever.

Beautiful tea country, Kericho

We passed by a sports day festival drawing a huge crowd

That's a lot of bananas!

Sugarcane fields

Overall this was an unbelievably unique experience that no tours could have ever arrange. It's been a blast and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!  To sum it up, here is a video I made of my road trips around Kenya.

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