Nairobi Serena Hotel
The rest of my trip to Nairobi went just fine. A wonderful stewardess kept me plied with water the entire trip. I really like traveling in the morning and getting somewhere in the evening. I still felt energetic when we arrived!
The line through immigration went very quickly and the agent, a very bored woman, barely grunted at me and passed me through. My luggage came immediately. The only snag was customs. I made the mistake of saying that I was carrying training materials. He wanted to see. That meant I had to pick up my heavy bag once more and then open the lock. This turned out to be the bag with my clothing and the candy (yikes!). He saw the clothing so I immediately said that the training materials were in the other bag and closed this one before he explored it any further. I don’t know what he would have done if he had realized the enormous bag held candy…
I had trouble getting the lock off of my other bag, but I did get it open eventually. The first thing he saw was the folded agenda map and the kites. He gave up at this point (I had told him that I was a teacher unlike any he had experienced). I then realized that my lock was broken.
When I got outside the airport, there was a huge crowd of people standing behind a rope. Many were holding placards with names. I quickly saw James holding my name. James was my driver last time, so I was delighted to see him again.
We caught up on the way to the hotel. He and his wife had another baby, a little boy, three months ago. He asked about my family and my health. I asked about his family and his work, which is still going well.
The peepers were not chirping as loudly when we arrived at the Serena. Nor were the plants as lush as they were when I was here in December.
Everyone was very gracious. I was easily able to convert some cash into Kenya shillings ($1 = 840 KS) so I could tip the bellman.
It was lovely to be in a room where I could set the temperature low enough to cool me off. As I put things away, I found that I actually had a sharp knife in my luggage. So I was able to have peanut butter (I brought it with me, smart, uh?) with the apples that were left on a fruit plate for me. I had forgotten that they leave a dish of fruit, with a plate and cutlery and linen napkin. They also have fresh roses in the bathroom and on the table. Plus two bottles of water, which are necessary because you’re not supposed to drink the tap water.
When I finally got on my computer at 10:30 pm, I saw that it was still early afternoon in Madison and called my daughter on Skype to tell her I was safely arrived. We chatted for a brief time, I checked email and Facebook and then got ready for bed.
They are quite luxurious here, providing slippers, a big fluffy robe, and lots of toiletries and soaps. Fruit plate, fresh roses, cool temperature in the room and comfortable temperature outside. Ahhh….
As I waited for my hair to dry, I looked over the PowerPoint slides for the five days of training, making a few edits. When I finally went to bed, it was very comfortable and I had a good rest.
It is now just after 1 p.m. on Sunday. I had a nice breakfast with lots of fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices, walked around looking at the flowers and trees, then sat reading for a long time next to the pool. I don’t know what the temperature is, but I was very comfortable even sitting in the sun.
I didn’t even feel guilty lolling around, since I’ll be very busy later when I am setting up the training room. And the next five days of training will wear me out. So I’m doing all the resting up I can.
James will pick me up at 3:45 pm to go over to the Kivi hotel where the training will be held. He said it is only 10 minutes away. That will be nice.
Setting up will probably take a hour or more, depending upon whether or not I need to move tables and chairs (oh, I hope not! I did give them the room layout I wanted).
After dinner, I’ll have to iron clothing tonight. Then I’ll be ready for my week.
Wish me luck!