Day 26 – Nairobi/Maasai Market

It’s late here… nearly 1am so this will be brief. I’ve returned to Nairobi after spending two weeks in Magadi, hence the lack of updates. I promise an in depth report on those two weeks and the archaeology work that went with it as soon as I get back to the states. In the meantime, I’ll finish out my daily logs.

Today we got to sleep in, which would have been great if my body wasn’t hooked on the 6am routine. A few of us were keen on visiting the Maasai market in Central Nairobi so we hopped on a bus and headed down town. The Maasai market is held on Tuesdays and Sundays and is a great place to shop for hand crafted items and Maasai made goods. I still had a few people to shop for so I set out with them in mind and worked my magic. Shopping the Maasai market is only viable if you know how to haggle. Now I’m not saying I’m the best, but nearly four weeks here and I’ve got a pretty good grasp on how to get what I want at a price close to what I’m asking. As you move through the market you are constantly approached by the vendors for each stall. They always greet you with a handshake and ensure you they have just what you are looking for. A lot of times the hand shake won’t let go and they drag you right up to their stall, informing you that looking is free. Usually you can shake them by saying no (la), thank you (asante sana) or just plain ignoring them. The market was crowded with people and it often gets very confusing, but our group stuck together and worked as a team to get deals. I managed to spend only 1400 shilling (just over 20$) and I finished my shopping for three people and got something for myself.

After the market we took a bus to Nakumatt Junction and had lunch. Kyle and I weren’t entirely anxious to head back to the compound and start our papers just yet, so we caught a movie at the cinema. A Kenya film? Something in the native tongue? Maybe a Bollywood film? No. We watched Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Not my favorite comic book, but an enjoyable movie. I enjoy watching movies in the places I visit just to see how the film industry differs. For example, all the movies here are preceded by local vendor advertisements, a couple trailers and then everyone in the theater stands for the national anthem before the film starts. Interesting, eh?

Kyle and I finished our night at a local restaurant; I had a great bowl of Zanzibar fish and coconut soup and a few Tuskers. Later we met up with two other students and a man named Dr. Mike Meegan who is the founder of an organization here in Kenya called ICROSS (International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering). Kyle and I sort of jumped in at the end of the conversation, but we had a fascinating discussion that spanned economics, politics, religion and philosophy. He is a very intelligent man and hopefully our paths will cross again. Mike had to leave so the four of us enjoyed some green apple sheesha and talked about our time in Africa. It was very enjoyable. We came back to a sleeping compound and this… the conclusion of tonight’s update. Not sure what is on tap for tomorrow, I’ll have more soon. Thanks for reading.

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