The last few days in Nairobi were nice because since we didn’t have a lot planned, I was able to make time to talk to some professors we had met earlier in the trip. I met with Cyprian Nyamwamu and Geoffery Njeru. Cyprian is a political scientist, human rights and governance advisor and consultant who currently works as the executive director of the National Convention Assembly and among other things, he sits on the board of the Center for Multiparty Democracy in Nairobi, where we met. He helped me a lot with my part of the group project, especially coming up with the factors that will determine whether or not violence breaks out again in 2012. Geoffery Njeru is a lecturer and researcher at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi who I met with in his office at the university and who helped me a lot with my individual project with more details about resource allocation and marginalization.
I had great talks with both guys and got to have lunch with Njeru and some of his co-workers. He gave me an awesome book he wrote a chapter for about the last elections that is really informative and helpful for my project. Cyprian is really an impressive guy. He is probably the most articulate, well-spoken and intelligent person I have ever met and I really hope that I can work with him in the future.
Aside from my meetings with those two men, Shannon and I played volleyball and soccer with the staff of our hotel on the last day we were there. It was really funny. We had a captain for soccer who blew his whistle repeatedly and made us do ridiculous stretches like walk up and down the field with our arms out squeezing our hands repeatedly…… It was hilarious. Both the soccer game and volleyball game were completely disorganized but it was fun to run around and have fun with all the people who had given us such a nice place to stay in Nairobi.
On Sunday night we had a delicious dinner at the Nairobi Club, a very exclusive country club that we only got into because of Wamai’s friend. Aliazar took off for the airport that night and flew to Ethiopia. He was the first one to go and we all knew it was now almost time for us all to leave.
When we got to the airport the next night, it was sad saying goodbye to Charles, Ben, Carlo, and Helen. Charles and Ben had become my boys and I know that I will miss them. Helen was like a Mom to us and it was sad parting ways with Carlo just because she had been a friend to all of us while we were there.
Now that I am home sitting in a recliner about to have Chicken Parm’ for dinner I can look back and say that it was certainly an unforgettable trip. I got to experience and witness the nature, cultures, languages, people, nightlife, food, poverty, wealth, and tradition of Kenya in such a unique fashion with Dr. Wamai. I know I am a slightly different person because of it I know I will always remember my first trip to Kenya. Off to Chile next!