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Nairobi: A Day In the Life of East Africa: Discovery

Due to missed connections and delayed flights, our last full day in Nairobi, was our first full day as a team. It was a particularly busy day jam packed with meeting partners, visiting slums, buying art, eating local food, playing games, and completing a photo challenge. The Operation Groundswell East Africa Discovery team reflects on a day in the life of an OGer in the Kenyan capital:

6:02am – Rhiannon’s jetlag wakes her up, that’s what you get for arriving a few days late.
6:20am – Jaclyn rolls out her yoga mat she packed and begins to practice, just like at home!
6:45am – Rhiannon joins Jaclyn for some morning stretches and yoga.
7:22am: Lisa wakes up groggy, but refreshed at the fact she woke up 8 minutes early.
7:30am: Kate’s ready to wake these crazy cats up.
7:30am – Nathalie can’t believe she’s slept in so late… looks like she’s getting the hang of “Africa Time”.
7:31am – Tyler gets up for day three, he’s ready for all the stuff they planned, including surprises.
7:45am – Kate threatens a more violent wake up call.
7:45am – Jocelyn sleeps through Kate’s wakeup call, and threat to hit people with pillows.
7:49am – Kate begins her rampage of hitting sleepers with pillows, rawrr!
7:49am – Kate hits Jocelyn with a pillow.
7:49am – Kate hits Alice with a pillow.
7:50am – Kate hits Saige with a pillow.
8:30am – Saige wakes up.

8:30am – Jaclyn enjoys a breakfast of bananas, and pancakes.
8:32am – Kate enjoys a breakfast of champions. Double coffee? Yes please.
8:38am – Lisa eats a satisfying meal of crepes, and an egg.
8:48am – Tyler runs a peulot called “Village of 100 people”.
8:50am – Jaclyn works hard on her answers for Village of 100 people, she’s learning a lot of crazy statistics!
8:55am – Saige correctly guesses the literacy rate in Village of 100 people. Not bad.


9:02am – Although Lisa tried her best to think globally, she is fairly surprised on how far off her answers are.
9:10am – Nathalie get’s an “A for Effort” on a Village of 100 people—her answers are way off.
9:50am – Alice has her socks and runners on for Kibera.
10:00am – While waiting for the #32, Tyler looks forward to buying some art; one piece last time said “Save our Souls” and was made from the soles of shoes.
10:20am – Nathalie hops on the City Hoppa on route to Kibera, she’s already a pro at getting around Nairobi as she spent an extra 6 days here prior to the trip.
10:24am – Lisa doesn’t think the bus is so bad.
10:37am – Jocelyn feels like she’s on her way home heading to the art studio in Kibera.
10:45am – Kate and Jocelyn chat on the City Hoppa, number thirty twooo!
10:50am – The sweaty guy next to Jocelyn leaves a mark on her clothes. Kate chuckles.


11:30am – Lisa meets Ashif and the artists at Maasai Mbili. She looks through each artist’s work.
11:45am – Kate marvels at Ashif’s new painting.
11:50am – Alice comes across a wicked painting, and debates whether to buy it.
11:55am – Rhiannon captures the vibrant lifestyle of the Kibera Slum on her sweet camera.
11:58am – Jocelyn examines the art in Maasai Mbili art studio.
12:00pm – Saige buys a painting from Maasai Mbibi in Kibera. It’s going to look sweet in her Kenyon dorm room.
12:01pm – Jaclyn attempts to bargain with a local artist.
12:01pm – Jaclyn struggles at bargaining.
12:02pm – Jaclyn buys an amazing acrylic painting! Success!
12:09pm – Jocelyn sniffs paints and canvases attempting to identify the types used.
12: 15pm – Tyler finds a heart ring that he couldn’t resist at the bone factory.
12:18pm – Jaclyn finds a necklace and earrings made of cow bones, and carved by local artists.
12:25pm – Tyler expertly bargains the price of the whole team’s bone jewelry picks. WIN.
12:33pm – Nathalie stops Lisa from adopting all of the dogs in Kibera.


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12:35pm – Kate compares Kibera with Muthare; this place seems more developed.
1:43pm – Kate gets competitive in Samurai.
1:44pm – Kate eliminates Saige from Samurai.
1:45pm – Kate accepts defeat to Tyler.
1:48pm – Alice is starving on the bus. She can’t wait to eat uagli and beef stew… mmm!
1:49pm – While on the bus back, Tyler uses his new ring to make a righteous KNOCK on the window to indicate the group wants to get off the bus. He can do it like the locals do!
1:58pm – Jaclyn observes that the lunch restaurant has no name… strange.

ugali1:59pm – FOOD! Jocelyn’s best friend. She can’t wait to bite into her ugali and beef strew.
2:00pm – Jaclyn is slightly nervous to eat her beans and ugali using her hands only.
2:01pm – Lisa had the chicken last time, so she decided the beef would be a nice change.
2:03pm – Rhiannon takes a bite of locally cooked fish complimented with ugali. The fish was excellent… the ugali, less enjoyable.
2:10pm – Kate Noms. Nom…nom…
2:12pm – Jaclyn, after trying ugali for the first time, decides cabbage is her favourite part of the meal.
2:14pm – Although the ugali was thick and hot, Lisa plunged her way through the starch, rather than enjoy her meal.


3:00pm – Kate and Tyler hide in their room mapping out the Scavenger Hunt.
3:15pm – Kate leaves a note of instructions with Mumo to hand to the participants.
3:25pm – Alice discovers the trip leaders have left them.
3:27pm – Lisa is scared, confused, afraid, and unsure. Her trip leaders have left, but she doesn’t know where too! Suddenly the owner of the hostel comes with a note explaining they’ve left and the only option is to complete a “photo scavenger hunt”.
3:33pm – Jaclyn comes up with the brilliant idea of how to split up the two teams: redheads vs. non-redheads.
3:45pm – Jaclyn names the redheaded team, (herself, Rhiannon, and Lisa), “The Ginger Ninjas”.
4:00pm – Saige, Nathalie, Alice and Jocelyn start a scavenger hunt with The GrizzFX.
4:26pm – Rhiannon, along with the navigation skills of Lisa and Jaclyn, explores the dusty, dirty, and very busy downtown Nairobi for the first time.
4:30pm – After a trip to the bank, Tyler and Kate decide to cook stir-fry over the fire at Lake Naivasha tomorrow, and proceed to buy groceries.
4:47pm – The Ginger Ninjas run into OG friend Victor “The Counsellor”.
4:49pm – The Ginger Ninjas decide to let Victor help them out with the photo scavenger hunt, how’s that for resourceful?
5:00pm – Saige and the GrizzFX cannot find KFC, as a result Saige poses for “finger licking good”.
5:02pm – Kate sips a sweet sweet cup of coffee wondering about the participants… not. Suckers!



5:15pm – Saige poses again for “Mutatu rapper”. She also practices The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for bonus points.
5:49pm – Alice returns with GrizzFX and wait about the hostel to capture a photo of Tyler and Kate to complete their scavenger hunt.
5:50pm – Tyler and Kate hop on Pikis and head back to Manyatta Backpackers.
5:57pm – Tyler hollers at the Ginger Ninja’s from a moving Piki.
5:57pm – Lisa sees the TL’s fly by on piki pikis and thinks ‘wow, they’re cool!’
6:08pm – Bangbangbangbangbangbang (x300). Kate is victorious over Lisa!
6:09pm – Lisa spots the brightly coloured, flashy mutatu ready to take them to Habeesha.
6:10pm – Alice accepts the responsibility of DJ while in the mutatu, time for some old school hip hop.
6:12pm – Tyler rocks out to Dr. Dre in the PIMPEST mutatu ever. Flasing coloured lights, padded black ceiling, and serious speakers, not to mention Tyler knows all the words to each song. He’s in his zone.
7:32pm – Rhiannon takes her first sip of Tusker, not bad Kenya!
7:30pm – Jaclyn digs into her vegetarian Ethiopian platter, her favourite!
7:33pm – Lisa tries Ethiopian food for the first time and is amazed at how good it is.
7:35pm – Kate noms… noms… Ethiopian noms…
7:39pm – Jocelyn digs into Ethiopian food, and enjoys some Vodka with Lisa.
7:40pm – Tyler cleans out a platter of delicious Ethiopian food.
7:42pm – Tyler starts on the remains of a second platter of food.
7:44pm – Lisa is disgusted by how much Tyler is eating.
7:50pm – Tyler is full.

981492_10151440851061951_620594599_o8:09pm – Jocelyn is in her zone on the bumpy, disco, loud, techno filled mutatu ride back to the hostel.
8:20pm – Kate rages to Thrift Shop by Macklemore on the mutatu.
9:15pm – Saige slaps herself back into a game of Egyptian Rat Killer.
9:17pm – Lisa keeps telling herself ‘it’s just unlucky cards’
9:20pm – Saige eliminates Kate from Egyptian Rat Killer. It’s been a solid day.
9:37pm – Rhiannon presents the Ginger Ninja’s photos from the Photo Scavenger Hunt.
9:38pm – Jaclyn is confident that victory in the photo scavenger hunt has been accomplished. She’s never been this competitive before… is this group changing her!?

9:40pm – Jaclyn realizes everyone is a winner. Typical.
9:41pm – After watching all the photos, Lisa can’t believe it’s a tie!
9:45pm – Rhiannon tries on her prize OGEA T-Shirt. A few alterations and it will be perfect!
9:47pm – Alice receives her wicked OG T-Shirt—now she has an extra clean shirt!!
Goal setting/Expectations/Letters to Self
10:00pm – Kate and is given a list of expectations of the TLs. Womps.
10:02pm – Tyler is in bed reading The Firm—a real page-turner!
10:30pm – Jet lag tucks Rhiannon back into bed, what a whirlwind of a first day!
10:45pm – Lisa stay up late chatting with Natalie and Kate, feels her eyes begin to droop and before long is out cold.
11:00pm – Kate zonks.

Doing more in one day than some people do in a week! No wonder the time has flown so far!

what are you waiting for?