Things that are not “child-safe”

Today Ian and I needed to be ready to leave our temporary apartment at 7:15am to head to immigration to finish the application process for our work permits.  This is the process that was begun at the end of October 2008.  There was no worry about being late, as again, not only were Ian, Eli and I all wide awake at midnight, but we were by 5am as well.

I will digress here for a moment.  It’s funny what can get said by small children at 5am.  Eli announced as he held an American dollar VERY close to our faces:  “Look, Obama is on my dollar!  And also a statue and the golden pyramid (thank you Little Einsteins).  He has really taken to having an affinity for mentioning Obama.  That will go over well here in Kenya.

Anyhow, we were off early to Immigration.  The process involved sitting in traffic (cause when cars make their own random lanes in traffic, that slows things down), waiting for our Immigration expert, stopping by Java House for coffee (rivals Starbucks btw), and then walking to Immigration.  We sat in 3 separate  offices, filled out more papers, were fingerprinted, and ended up with a little piece of paper that is our permit.  I was a little disappointed that the permit wasn’t more official looking.  I guess we’ll get our “alien” cards in a few weeks, and those look a bit more “official”.

Anyhow, on our walk to and from the Immigration house Ian was stealth and snapped some pictures of things that were not child friendly:

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And speaking of pictures, you have to be really careful of that here.  On 2 occasions now we wanted to snap a picture and were advised not to.  Even in Java Hut.  We ran into a girl from Boston at Immigration who snapped a picture of a military exercise in western Kenya and was subsequently jailed for 14 hours.  Something in my “follow the rules” nature just tells me that you probably shouldn’t be casually snapping pictures of men in uniform carrying guns.

Guns.  Which there are a lot of here on security guards and the like.  Multiple occurances per block.  And don’t even think of walking by a bank security truck as they are stopping by the road for a pickup/drop-off.  Big no-no.  You walk WAY around….the truck and the man with the gun.  I’m no gun expert, but it looks like some type of machine gun or AK-47.  I’ll have to check into that.  Either way, it is big and does an appropriate job of scaring me off!  I am told though that only the people who need to have guns, have guns.

Tomorrow we leave Nairobi for Thika.  I’m excited to get to our new home and meet our neighbors who have been living on the property alone for quite some time.  They sound just as excited to have some company as well.

Kwa heri (good-bye) for now!

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Pic giving you an idea of downtown Nairobi

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Eli yesterday with some boys who played ball with him

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lindsey on May 5, 2009 at 5:38 am

    I’m glad you found a coffee shop already! Hopefully there will be one close to new place too. How far is Nairobi from Thika? Am loving keeping up on your blog. I check several times a day to see if there’s an update! I think I’m one of the few that still doesn’t have a blog….I guess it would be cool for you guys to keep on us and our exciting life in Beaverton!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Erin on May 5, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I just saw you!!! I love you and will pray for sleep.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Grammy on May 5, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Also, glad that you took the expresso pot…your own original recipe and what a landscape! Thanks for all the news.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Er on May 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Don’t sit on that fence.
    So glad the caffeine addiction/coffee time can continue, even internationally…
    How much does a grande vanilla latte cost?

    Reply

  5. Posted by Jenn on May 5, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Coffee should be great there…. here we pay $15/pound for good “kenyan” coffee.

    And that fence? Yikes?

    Reply

  6. Posted by Ron Stull on May 6, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Ian, & Ann

    Glad to see you made it over there finally.Please let us know what you think of your new accommodations. I hope the new home works out as well as we thought during the renovation process. Hope all is going well. Thika is a nice little town compared to Nairobi, yet can still have its challenges. THere is a nice little resturant called the Coconut Grill on the way into town, has a nice little buffet if you ever feel like a night out on the Town!

    Please let us know if there is anything we can bring you when we come over, not sure when that will be but I will let you know.

    Lindsay Goldman gave your blog address so keep blogging away to let us know what you are up too.

    Ron Stull

    Reply

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