Second work week in Nairobi

Our second week here in Nairobi was very busy with client interviews, as we continued to gather relevant information and input for our policy document.  Most of our meetings have been intense working sessions, lasting 2+ hours, but we’ve made some good progress.  Our client has been very supportive of our work so far.

We discovered a new lunch option, Java House, a coffee shop with nice soups/sandwiches.  Since finding it, I think we’ve eaten there three times.  They have a very interesting menu item, “masala chips” which is basically a masala curry made with french fries.

masala chips

Unfortunately despite the fact that Java House is essentially a coffee shop with food, the lattes are still really lacking.  I’ve heard the coffee is roasted differently here which probably accounts for the fact that it tastes much weaker than what I’m used to.

Most days we work out of the office of the Ministry of Youth.  It’s a spacious office with some eccentricities.  At first there was no wi-fi, but look what suddenly appeared…. Nice!

apple airport extreme in Nairobi

Not sure if it was for our benefit, or if perhaps we were just an excuse for them to get a new toy.  Internet connectivity has been quite good and fast at our client’s office, but it tends to have regular outages which is very common here.  It’s been much more challenging to get connected at our hotel and the speed is much slower, unfortunately.  This has made keeping up with the blog a little difficult, especially uploading photos.

Here’s “my” desk for the month:

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I try not to electrocute myself when plugging my laptop into this outlet.  Each outlet has an on/off switch so I try to turn it off before I do anything with it in hopes that it will prevent a shock!

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Each desk has its own coat rack beside it, a nice touch since attire here is business formal.

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Despite the fact that I spent quite a bit of time agonizing about what to pack, I didn’t do a very good job of it.  I brought a work dress and two skirts, and it’s been so cold here I’ve been freezing in them.  Finally bought a pair of thick tights and a long underwear top to wear under all the sleeveless shirts I brought.  Also found a couple of thick scarves/wraps (not the most attractive things ever but the two of them totaled about $10) at the Masai Market which are helping me stay warm.  People had told us it would be nice during the day but a bit chilly at night, but it’s been quite cool most days that we’ve been here.  When the sun comes out the temps go up pretty dramatically, though.  The highs have probably been in the low 70s but it often doesn’t warm up that much until later in the afternoon.  Nights are in the 50s, and since there is no heat anywhere, the buildings tend to stay cool.

Fortunately they come around a couple of times a day with thermoses of tea for the office, which helps warm me up.  It is quite nice (better than the coffee here!) and pre-made with hot milk.  Mmmm.  I look forward to the tea guy coming round each morning.

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The first day we were there, someone came along and gave each of us two rolls of toilet paper.  Some of the rolls seem to have gone missing so we are all hoping the guy comes back soon before we have a little crisis on our hands. 🙂


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