The Galleria Mall

We reached Nairobi, my hometown, yesterday.  My, how it has changed even from my last visit in 2005.  It has improved vastly in its cleanliness and efficiency.  We rode in on a new multi-lane highway called the Thika Highway, and it rivalled some of the roads in Toronto.  The Kenya Government is obviously spending a lot of money in improving the infrastructure of the country and I hope it will bring in more tourism and stability to this nation.

This part of Africa is very different from what we have come through.  When I was last here, I made the mistake of comparing Kenya to Canada.  Of course, with this type of comparison, Kenya seemed like it was on its way down.  I now know differently.  When compared to the countries we have come through so far, Kenya is a modern nation with emphasis on work, education, and health. I am once again proud to say I am Kenyan born.  Once we crossed the border at Moyale, I saw countless numbers of school children in clean uniforms on their way to school.  In fact, even the smallest of villages seemed to have at least two schools each.  This was not the case in Ethiopia….nor Sudan…nor Egypt. 

We did have to transfer by bus for about 160km through Isiolo, as the TdA was concerned about the possibility of attacks by bandits if we rode through on our bicycles.  However, as that patch sitll had some terribly rough roads, most of us did not mind piling on to a local bus for the day.  The banditry in this area is largely over theft of livestock between different tribes, however, last year there were some violent incidents involving some of the cyclists. 

I have received some news of some violence in Nairobi yesterday…so I am staying away from the central part of town.  Indeed, I am parked on the floor of the Galleria Mall in Karen (sp?), which is a lovely suburb past the Nairobi Airport, on Langata Road.  It is a brand new mall and yesterday I had a lovely dinner here with Walter and Ton…and we polished off two bottles of South African wine!  BTW…Ton has lost 22kg and Walter, 10kg.  My weight is down by 3kg!

I feel like I am on new planet at the moment…sitting on a marble floor, having had a hot shower last night and the use of an actual flush toilet that works!  Woo-hooo!!!  Our tour director says that it is “easy-peasy” from here on down to Cape Town.  That is an exaggeration I am sure, but it certainly is starting to feel a little more holiday like!

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9 Responses to The Galleria Mall

  1. Welcome Home!! Yes, Kenya IS BEAUTIFUL and the locals are warm, friendly, respectful and curious for most part. Karen is a suburb named after Karen von Blixen, of “Out of Africa” fame. She loved Kenya. It is good to learn that things have improved from 2005…the Kenyans are a progressive people and have always been interprising. Your location sounds lovely, enjoy it well. We are sure your dinner was superb; eating properly should make up for your weight loss.

    Some of the banditry, particularly the altercation with the cyclists last year, could also have been spearheaded by Somalis who “moved” into northern Kenya years ago and were troublesome even then. Nevertheless, you all have got through safely, thank God and thank you for this most welcome blog.

  2. Robert Pearson says:

    Welcome home sounds like you are very happy to recahed home and that that have been postive chanes since you were last there Great photos. Hope the dirt came off. 3 kg’s well we’ll just have to fatten you up when you get home. You look great. Dirt and all enjoy. Happy St Paddies day. Remember we are all Irish on March 14th. Stay healthily be happy. Ta Bob

  3. Such a great adventure so far Gizele—the great and the not so great
    Looking forward to more entries and the exciting tales that lie ahead
    More Kenya , Tanzania Malawi …etc
    Its an amazing day here in Toronto . They are saying the temps will go up to about 15C
    Thanks for taking the time to update us and to keep us in the loop
    Enjoy the rest day in Nairobi

    Denise

  4. Karl Tuira says:

    Yee gads to think if I had had lost my mind and listened to you and joined the tour, I would have lost 20 + kg while munching fries, swilling Tusker and slurping ice cream !!
    Hmm you’re such an inspiration, that if you give me a bit more notice about your next “easy-peasy” adventure, I might …
    Beautiful weather here – Taking the tri bike off from the trainer – Hurray !!

    • jonah2africa says:

      Ya should have come along, buddy! You would have fit right in with me and and my riding buddies. There is still time to do the last leg in to Cape Town. Think about, okay?

  5. gillian edwards says:

    Happy to hear you’re now on the downhill slide to Cape Town! A little like leaving Texas on your US cross-country eh? Oh no, I’m not comparing Texas to Ethiopia, honest. Seriously, glad the roughest part was first, now perhaps you can relax a little (but not too much) and as you say feel at least a bit like you’re on vacation.
    And after reading about the poor man’s broken femur I’m not too happy with your expression “the last leg to Cape Town.”
    Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us,
    Gill

  6. Prof Terry Price says:

    Hi Gizele,
    Have enjoyed reading your blogs and Mervyn Macial was very excite dwhen I told him you had reached Marsabit- his old place of work in Colonial Kenya. Good to hear Nairobi and Kenya is showing some improvements -and we wish you sall the best on the remaining half of your expedition- I uesd to go to Arusha regularly when working for Agr Kenya. Prayers and love from Down Under. Uncle Terry and Aunty Beverley

  7. Jane says:

    It’s been a few weeks since you posted…am hoping all is well.

  8. Robert Pearson says:

    Ditto

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