I’ve mentioned it before but Kenya has a great deal to explore. We’ve been doing a pretty pathetic job of it since we’ve lived here but we do have some reasons. That being said, we are looking to rectify this over the coming months to the extent that time and resources permit.
One obvious challenge for me is that my job involves a certain amount of travel. This not only takes me away from Kenya, it takes some of the wind out of my sails when it comes to doing more travel, even if it is for pleasure.
Another challenge has been resources. We have been traveling to the US twice per year plus trying to pay off a house. These are choices we are making but it does moderate the amount we dedicate towards the shorter trips on the continent - which are more expensive than you would think (and probably more expensive than they should be).
|the lush grounds of the hotel|
In March we went to Mombasa, on the coast, only our second trip to the seaside since moving to Kenya a year and a half ago. I’d stayed in Mombasa once before back in March 2010 when I was there for some meetings but really have little knowledge of the place. I do know that it’s Kenya’s second largest city and it has a tremendous amount of potential. It’s a port city that has a long history of being a trading center. Many different powers ruled the place over the centuries culminating in it falling into British hands in 1887. The Brits toughed it out for a period of time before deciding, around the turn of the century, that Nairobi had a much more agreeable climate. From then on Mombasa became Kenya’s second city.
|message for the day: think, focus and participate on county budget|
I’m told the old town is enjoyable to explore but it can be a bit crime-ridden. I certainly don’t want to do that with small children so we’ll need to save that for another time. Our time was spent where our hotel was – on the beach.
For those that know me, I’m not a real beach person. I’ll opt for mountains any day but I have to say, it felt good to be on the coast. It took me back to my five years I spent a bit further south in Dar es Salaam. The smell of the tropics and the beauty of the Indian Ocean are, admittedly, intoxicating.
We stayed on Nyali Beach in a large hotel that caters to families. While it’s unlikely that I would stay in such a place as a non-family guy, this turned out to be perfect for us. The food was good. There were three pools, each with its own function (families, grown-ups and exercising). The place seemed pretty well thought through and can accommodate a ton of people without really feeling like it.
|Nyali Beach at low tide|
The girls had a great time. They even ran into some friends from the French school (it was vacation week) which turned out to be even better. With the girls being a bit older now, it made it easier to sit back and let them go crazy. Always easier to put them to bed that way.
|I have no idea who these children are with napkins on their heads|
After our three days on the coast, I flew back to Nairobi a bit earlier than the rest of the family given that I needed to get back to work. Went more or less straight to the office from the airport and soon the beach was a faded memory, except for the sand in my ears.
“The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.”
- Alexander von Humboldt