I couldn't get moving to save my life this morning and I was to meet Deche to head to Karen for our tour of Gabriel's work place!!!!
Fortunately, Deche, was very gracious about my 45min. bout of tardiness. He greeted me with a smile, a Kenyan hug (awkward but sweet), and we walked to town to catch the bus.
Now, I must reflect on something I was told the night before. And it RANG in my ears.
I was super excited to tell my host about meeting my two new Kenyan friends and how I ended up with a 4hr. tour with a native. Her response was, "... just be careful," with a side eye and caution that hit my core.
The power of words and how it can influence you...
My intuition is pretty damn good when it comes to judging people. I also take words to heart a bit too strongly at times. Her warning brought up feelings of worry, defense, caution, and offense. And it played into the initial portion of my day.
Deche and Gabriel had a tendency to speak in their mother tongue from their village or in Swahili. Initially, the whole thing was quite entertaining, because I would guess what they were talking about and they just loved that half of the time I was right.
Paying attention to simple body language reveals a lot.
Well, once we got on the bus and into Karen, there were two incidents of money where the caution from my host rang in my ears as I listened to them speak in their mother tongue.
First was on the bus.
I asked the price for transportation. Deche asked the bus conductor in Swahili. He then gave me the answer as the total for two versus for one. I intended to pay his way, but it was just the principal of it that made me go hmmm. And my host's caution of, "... just be careful", returned to my ears.
Second, was once we arrived in Karen.
We were greeted by Gabriel and his coworker named Charles. I was introduced to Charles, some words were spoken in their mother tongue, and then in English, Deche asked if I could give Charles 100ksh. I said sure, thinking he was taking us somewhere. He took it, they said a few words and then walked off. I asked Gabriel what did I pay him for? Is he taking us to Karen Blixen Museum? Is Charles coming with us? I got semi wayward answers and had the conversation swimming in my head afterwards along with my host's words, "... just be careful."
After about half of the day, I decided to let it go and fall back into my intuition versus the words of caution.
Well, one, I was brooding over $3.00 USD. I mean really... come on Tiffany. Its not that serious.
Second, I was receiving another tour and entry for free and had yet to feel threatened by these men. They were Christian. We spoke of God and they respected the fact that I had a boyfriend. It was time to let the pettiness go.
After that brain exercise on character, I enjoyed my day.
We walked to Gabriel's office and saw the grounds for the research institution.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see any monkeys because only those in the lab were allowed to interact with them. I tried to get a lab coat in an attempt to act my way into seeing monkeys... that was a futile attempt. And we didn't see any wild monkeys as they are usually more active in the morning.
From there, we took a lovely walk on the Olooly Trail.
We saw waterfalls ...
And tons of bamboo and cacti.
I also saw Deche and Gabriel's love of nature. I love nature as well, but we would have been there all day if I did not insist that we keep moving. I heard several times, that all they needed was Tusker beer and a goat to roast. You would swear they were Trinidadian.
After the nature trail was the Karen Blixen Museum.
Lovely grounds and an interesting look into the life of a white woman that the town was named after. She is known for the book, "Out of Africa." It chronicles her life on the estate.
After all of this, we hopped in the bus and headed back to the city. Gabrielle generously paid our way. See... nothing to fuss about.
It took an hour and a half due to traffic, but I didn't mind since I really wanted a nap. I dozed off to the sounds of my friends debating in their mother tongue with a few English words splattered in between.
Once we arrived back in Nairobi, my personal tour guides took me to a matatu that would carry me back to the Westlands. No walking today. I gave my final goodbyes to my friends and thanked them for the two day tour of Nairobi.
No need to worry about those guys. They were kind and genuine.
They are my Kenyan friends.