Well, I definitely do not recommend international travel (or any travel, for that matter) when incubating a cold. Luckily, I have both Sudafed and Dayquil and am using both as prescribed.
Last night, I made a meal of the fresh fruit in my room: purple seedless grapes and two very fresh oranges. There are other fruits and I have no idea what they are. I’ll have to ask someone!
This morning it was raining and very humid. I wandered around the lobby area. This hotel is like a Kenyan cultural museum! I took photos of different textiles, head rests (yes, carved pieces that people use to place their heads to sleep on- see attached photo), kitchenware art (made of melted down pots and pans), wood sculptures, beadwork, etc. The gift shop was like its own work of art. The man there kindly let me take photos of everything.
I noticed what looked like cat sculptures- He explained that these were Benin leopards that people put on either side of their doors. I asked if they were intended to scare off evil. He laughed and said he thought they were to indicate the power of the inhabitants.
I’ve attached a few photos. The one of the woman with the pipe is fascinating. Apparently, the women use these long stemmed pipes so that they do not spill hot tobacco on their babies when they are nursing them. Many of the pipes are beaded, which makes them easier to hold (not as hot).
Other photos include: a certain tribe of men who wear tight beaded vests; the Benin leopards;
I found the breakfast buffet, which was still open, to my delight. I filled up on various juices (a woman getting some juice explained what she thought some of the 10 different pitchers of juices contained. There was a bright pink juice and a light green juice, both of which were types of watermelons. I went for the yellow juices, mixing them up in three large glasses. They seemed just the thing to fill me with vitamin C to help me fight my cold.
I was too late for any hot dishes, but they looked like they would be great tomorrow. I filled my plate with lots of different cut fruits and grabbed an apple, two oranges and a banana to take back to my room. The pastry display was mostly breads, which is good. That will help me minimize my intake!
After a wonderfully fruity meal, I went to speak to the concierge about a day safari. He showed me a number of options, so I asked him which he thought would be the best. He chose one that involves an all day adventure, starting at 7 am with a 2-hour drive to a park (I’ll have to get more information about its name), a drive through this very large game park, lunch, more touring, then driving back to the hotel late that evening.
He explained that, in this tour, I’ll be able to see the countryside, the rift (?), lakes, lake birds, and large game animals. I’ve already read that some people are able to see 100 birds in a day! That would be absolutely spectacular!
I’ve scheduled it for next Saturday. I’ll hope it isn’t raining. However, it appears that the rain doesn’t last all day. And even if does, the van has a canopy.
Every member of the staff that I’ve met in the hotel is welcoming and pleasant. The restaurant hostess, in native dress, graciously agreed to let me take her photo. The young man who was cleaning rooms kindly gave me an extra box of tissues, plus a bowl of fresh fruit.
It is just before 1 p.m. and I haven’t heard back from any of my contacts: David, Tim (I just found out that this is David’s last name), or Mbogo. I do have their phone numbers and may need to call them if I don’t hear back by evening.
It’s now after 9 p.m. and I still have no answers. To say the least, it’s stressful. I’ve called everyone and reached I have phone numbers for except for Mbogo. Unfortunately, I’ve been told that he is the only person who can answer the questions- which, by the way, I have asked him twice by email even before I left the states. Deep sigh.
Well, at least I now know that anger and frustration can definitely get my mind off of my cold!