Yeah, Paris

So Paris was interesting. I didn’t get to do much, given the short time I was there, and the fact that I had to worry about a lost bag. However, BA’s donation of €150 to my clothing fund was well-received, even if I have yet to see my bag.

Thursday I headed to Cafe Signes, a deaf cafe on the South side of Paris. Unfortunately, they don’t serve dinner, but I met an American couple there and we grabbed some dinner at a cafe down the street. I’ll meet up with them later in Madrid.

Friday I visited Montmartre, Notre Dame, the Pompidou Centre, and went to Disneyland Paris in the afternoon for a slice of home and some English. I had a great time in the park, and gave Nicole a call (to her surprise) to say hi. I’ll have to head down to Orlando before school starts again.

Yesterday I did a bit of shopping for new (clean) clothes and a bag to haul them with, and headed to the airport early to check on the status of my lost bag. The baggage agent at CDG said that the bag had made its way to Paris, but it was not locatable at the time – he agreed to send it on to Madrid to meet me there.

So now I’m waiting to board my flight to Madrid. I hope to see my bags there when I arrive and have a grand time in a city with a familiar language. Stay tuned.

Closing Up Shop

Wednesday is my last day here in Nairobi, and I’ve been trying to get as much in as possible. What’s more the Internet has again been patchy around here, so I apologize for my delay in posting updates.

Saturday I attended a Deaf-hearing Kenyan wedding which was a cultural experience to say the least. It went for two hours, which tested my capacity to sit for a while, but was a lot of fun to see how such ceremonies are conducted elsewhere. There were ten attendants on each side (yes, ten) and both the bride and the groom’s parents accompanied them to the stage. In addition, there were elements of a regular church service including music and a sermon. Of course, it all concluded with a reception full of food, dancing, and gifting.

Sunday I cooked a pot of Chili for the Deaf here to give them a taste of the States, and had chocolate chip cookies a la mode for dessert. Having to improvise without a working oven, we “baked” the cookies on a cast iron skillet, but nothing could stop the Toll House recipe from winning some stomachs. We had a good time enjoying our last weekend together.

I’ve also tried to cram in as much touristy things as possible, and have had the wonderful presence of some other wazungu to share the experiences with. On Sunday, the ex-pats met up for dinner at Simmers, an open-air place in town, and today we saw the National Archives (which might more appropriately be called the African Archives), the Kenya Sign Language Research Project, and Bomas of Africa, a show profiling the dancing traditions of Kenya’s various tribes. We had a good time, but I’m spent.

That’s it for now. I’ll be taking a lot of pictures before I leave as my last hurrah (as long as my camera behaves). Stay tuned.

The Dark Continent

Why is Africa called such, you may wonder? Because power outages are frequent, unannounced, and long-lasting. For the last three days, we’ve been in the dark for all of the business day and sporadically during the evenings as well. It’s quite eerie for mzungu to go to bed in pitch black darkness, but TIK – this is Kenya!

I managed to get by box from the post office just fine, and the weekend proved invaluable for shopping, meeting friends, and enjoying my last few times out in Nairobi.

I managed to get a taste of Tusker, Kenya’s ubiquitous beer, a brew that is quite sweet compared to what we’re used to in the States. The Cellar is a nice restaurant just down the way from DOOR that I enjoyed in the company of some fellow Americans – Peace Corps volunteers, retired PCVs, and others working in Kenya’s deaf sector.

Sawa, well as I am paying high charges for my Internet connection now, I’m going to sign off early. Peace.