Okay, so you may know you’re going on a big trip, but something like going to Kenya doesn’t hit you until right when you’re about to leave. FOR ACTUAL KENYA. And after staying awake all night so you can sleep on your 14 hour flight, you’ll probably fall asleep in the airport before you even get on the plane.
I really had no idea what to expect as the only trans-atlantic trip I could compare to was London/Paris, and I didn’t need three different vaccines to go. My dad had given us (John, my sister, and I) an itinerary, but aside from knowing we had a dowry ceremony and a safari in our future, I pretty much imagined scenes from the Lion King going down.
The first flight (14 hours) on Qatar Airlines was phenomenal and I basically wanted to live on the plane a la Snowpiercer, whereas the second flight (5 hours), I wanted to jump out the window because of annoying passengers. If you ever get the chance to have a layover in the Qatar airport, do it. Give yourself a solid 5 hours to explore, because we had maybe one and I know I missed a whole lot besides my sister and I buying a buttload of foreign candy (there were so many types of Kit Kat bars, whoa).
So much happened on this trip that I’m just going to try to highlight parts for you:
In flight movies. I watched every Daniel Craig James Bond movie, as well as every Tom Hardy movie available during our flights. Sup, handsome men.
Kenyan shillings, fresh from the ATM.
Dad up front in the van we borrowed from his wife, Pauline’s, brother. They drive on the other side of the road in Kenya, and I had many heart attacks over it, as well as all the motorcyclists. Everyone had a cheap cafe racer!
A roadside market we passed shortly after arriving.
We stopped to get food maybe an hour into the 4 hour ride we had from Nairobi (where we landed) to Meru, where we were staying. These are samosas.
Masala chips! Basically french fries with a spicy gravy on them. I probably could’ve eaten these the entire trip and been happy, frankly, but I don’t think you can really go wrong with loaded fries.
Coffee here always came with warm cream unless you asked. I’m a weenie and like my coffee room temp so this was a bummer.
I believe this was fried rice with cabbage.
Our first breakfast at the Alba Meru, in Meru, Kenya. That’s definitely baked ziti for breakfast, an assortment of root vegetables (idk about the purple sweet potatoes), and yea there were pancakes but don’t bother looking for the syrup to go with them. That little fruit to the left is a “tree tomato” or tamarillo, which tastes like a kiwi and a tomato had a baby. I’ll actually be on the look out for them here in the US.
Pool area at the hotel. I’m unsure if this was post rain or power washing.
The walk from our hotel to the “corner store” which was something of a combination of Walgreens and Target? They literally had everything there, including bed frames… in case you went to pick up milk and decided you actually wanted a bed too. Come on, you know it’s happened.
You’re not supposed to drink the water from the faucet, so there’s water bottles given to you everywhere. It was something like $0.40 a bottle in the store; super cheap. The amount of plastic the country must go through is kinda eh when you think about it though.
Bitch face. Local women commented on my short outfit (to Pauline) and honestly, I should’ve known better than to wear it, but it’s so warm out that all I wanted to do is wear shorts. Next time I travel somewhere like this I’ll pack something like these elephant pants, so I’m covered but not sweating.
Aside from being commented on, I noted that most people didn’t want to interact with us, only stare. We were in a less touristy area so we definitely stood out, but it was fairly uncomfortable to be aware that you were somewhat on display.
Look at that view from the hotel. Just look.
En route to the dowry ceremony.
Boss embroidery on dad’s dowry outfit. He and his wife had matching outfits.
We had to ask to be let in for the ceremony. I recorded some video of it, so I guess I’ll have to figure out video editing to share!
Pauline’s father introducing family. Her family was seated in one tent and our family in another, and no one was really allowed to talk to us until my dad’s dowry was “accepted”. During the ceremony, every person in her family’s tent had to stand and introduce themselves, as did we.
They tried to “convince” my dad to pick someone else to be with, so Pauline’s family sent out an elderly woman as well as one of the nieces. My dad actually almost took the flowers from this woman not realizing that if he had, her family wouldn’t approve of them being together. Thank goodness her friend (in the previous picture) stopped him!
Ceremony’s over and all is well!
Just the cutest child on earth ok, cool.
Her dad’s backyard is a jungle, so we explored.
J U N G L E.
I’ll be sure to share part 2 of my trip this weekend or the beginning of next!
Have you ever gone on a trip that put you way outta your element?
Tell me about it in the comments!