Normally, we would have loved to while away time at the National Archives, just a few blocks from our hotel. However, this photo had to suffice on this visit.
Just as in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, shoe shiners did a booming business in Kenya's capital city, even in the rain.
World War I Memorial:
The National Library:
We didn't have time to taste any Swahili dishes as we wanted to spend our very limited time at the City Market instead.
The aged Art Deco styled City Market, our intended destination, since we had such limited time in the city! Plus, we were glad to be inside for a good while as it had been raining most of the morning.
The market, spread out over two levels, was crammed full of compact and very colorful stalls. Fruit and vegetables were stacked high in mounds but both Steven and I were far more interested in the huge array of crafts and curios.
I had first seen and admired these kiondoo bags at the souvenir shop/rest stop en route to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve a couple of days ago. A kiondoo is a handwoven handbag made from sisal with leather trimmings. It is indigenous to the Kikuyu and Kamba tribes of Kenya. Those Kenyan weavers begin by stripping the sisal plant's outer layers, leaving the plant still able to grow. The weaver uses threads from the pale colored layers, that have dried out for a day, to make a bag.
Once the weaver boils the threads to be used with water and dye to set the bag's colors, the weaving begins. Two single threads are twined to form one strong thread. Many such threads are woven to finally produce a sisal bag. It takes between two and three weeks to complete a bag. I couldn't resist buying one even though I am not sure when and where I will actually use it. Steven normally asks that of me when I am about to buy something on one of our trips!
Strangely enough, there were ads everywhere in the downtown core for Juicy Fruit.
I smiled when I saw this sign when I read the hot dishes were 'just like Mum's' as my siblings and I always called our mother 'Mum' in deference to her English upbringing. Our children also call me Mum.
If we ever return to Nairobi, I hope we will time to discover the Arboretum, City Park and the National Museum in addition to the Archives. Our takeaway from our very brief visit to Kenya: Just like the people we had met in Ethiopia, the Kenyans we interacted with were exceptionally friendly and always wanted to make sure we were happy with the service we received. The hotel manager in Nairobi made sure one of his employees accompanied me to not just one, but two, grocery stores prior to our going to Maasai Mara so we could take snacks for the brief trip. His concern for my not getting lost was very touching and was a service we've never received anywhere else in the world.
So many Kenyans welcomed us to their country and said, in a seemingly very heartfelt way, how very glad they we were had come to Kenya. When I apologized to the hotel chambermaid for inconveniencing her for checking out of our room late before going to the airport, she immediately said she was there to help in any way and that there was no problem at all.
We had been forewarned the drive to the airport could take as long as two hours but it only took 40 minutes once we got out of the city and away from all the Sacco minibuses. About a mile before reaching the airport itself where there were eight lanes of traffic, there was a security checkpoint. Passengers were required to exit all cars and vehicles to go through security. Meanwhile the cars were each wanded and searched before being able to later pick up their passengers just a few minutes later. Our driver told us it was part of the safety measures enacted in response to Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group. I wonder when other airports around the world will adopt similar measures to counteract the horrible acts of violence we have all read about recently at some of Europe's airports.