Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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Ooook - Let me preface with the fact that I am having some SERIOUS technical challenges. They are not ALL related to the fact that I am in Africa - some of them are my lack of understanding how to use a Mac. (AGHHHHH!!!! I CANNOT get the pictures OFF the computer. Feel free to pipe in if you know how to make that happen.) I have some great pictures to post - once I freakin' figure out what I'm doing here!!!

I have ARRIVED! 


I got my first glimpse of land from the tiny window in the back of the plane (the back door). I didn’t realize we were so close to the ground – but there it was – the Sahara desert as seen with my own eyes. Honest, I cried and said “Hello, Africa!” As we landed I saw my first real African tree and fully expected to see a giraffe soon after. But didn’t.

All in all, getting here went off without a hitch. Everything on time – including my bags. Vanessa (one of the girls on the team who happened to book the same flight from London) and I spotted Charlotte as soon as we came through customs 

After a pretty awful flight (bumpy, crowded, etc, etc…) and a short line at customs that seemed to take forever, we arrived in Nairobi. I guess Nairobi looks exactly as I anticipated. It’s the biggest city in a developing country… very dusty, a TON of exhaust, people everywhere run down buildings, and a certain amount of excitement that only a new city can bring.

I am lucky enough to be rooming with Vanessa for the first two nights. She is great (my peeps for sure!)... Born and raised in Luxemburg, but went to an American school, has a German mother and an American father. Speaks like an American with a strange accent that pops out every once in a while, lived in Sydney for 7 years and now lives in London. Seriously... RAD.
A girl who loves her headlamp more than me!

The first day here was spent mostly trying to adjust to the new time (I am almost exactly ½ way across the world with an 11 hour time difference!).  I slept for an hour and a half by the pool… I woke up in a puddle of drool in a lounge chair… hilarious.

We found a mall that amazingly looked exactly like a mall you would find in orange county – only smaller. Not what I expected, really. We hung out and ate while we waited for the rest of the girls to arrive. By the time they got to us at the restaurant we were so looking forward to seeing them that we applauded as they walked in (easy to spot four white girls in a restaurant in Nairobi…). ;-) Energy abounded as we all talked about our routes and journeys here.

The last three women arrived later at the hotel. I can safely say – this is a great group. We range in age from 23 (to turn 24 on our first day on Mt Kenya – this Saturday) to 60 (Dee is AMAZING!!!). We get along great. We are all very different, but the commonality of what we’re about to do seems to have gelled us pretty well. I love that this truly seems like a nice group of women and I’m really looking forward to what this adventure holds!

More to come!!! 


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