2012.08.03 – Kenya I

My last posts may have mentioned something about a wedding on another continent and updating the Dromedary Tales in October. I suppose 2013 would have been a better estimate as my backlog of over 8,000 photos from those three months away has been rather daunting. But I’m finally getting to them, so now the story continues. Better late than never:

My awesome friend, colleague, and former room-mate Brian was scheduled to marry in July and I was honored to be asked to be in his lineup. Soon I was aboard a plane bound for Kenya where the nearly month-long event would take place. Now by event I mean not only the wedding but also a handful of related traditional celebrations. Not to mention as many amazing excursions, dance clubs, hikes, safaris, and parties my Kenyan family and I could pack in. Oh, and food – lots and lots of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten!!!

Brian's bride Christine, Mom Maito, Brian and I stop to pose while checking out the wedding venue.

Brian’s bride Christine, Mom Maito, Brian and I stop to pose while checking out the wedding venue.

Catching a city bus into the heart of Nairobi.

Catching a city bus into the heart of Nairobi.

Brian, Freddy (Brian's son), Christine and I still laughing about continuing on our merry way after rear ending another bus.

Brian, Freddy (Brian’s son), Christine and I still laughing about continuing on our merry way after rear ending another bus.

The conductor leans out the door as we approach city center.

The conductor leans out the door as we approach city center.

Nairobi from the offices of Bonfire Adventures, where Brian and Christine organized their honeymoon and our safari - HDR Composite

Nairobi from the offices of Bonfire Adventures, where Brian and Christine organized their honeymoon and our safari – HDR Composite

At the tailor where Brian and all the groomsmen had our fitted suits made.

At the tailor where Brian and all the groomsmen had our fitted suits made.

Despite many visits here for measuring, fittings, and re-fittings I never could capture the amazing light and energy in this small room.

Despite many visits here for measuring, fittings, and re-fittings I never could capture the amazing light and energy in this small room.

The light on this tuktuk (three-wheeled vehicle) cooperated all right though.

The light on this tuktuk (three-wheeled vehicle) cooperated all right though.

Freddy and I recovering from jetlag.

Freddy and I recovering from jetlag.

The supermarket Maito owns and operates near Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The supermarket Maito owns and operates near Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Ice cream anyone!?

Ice cream anyone!?

Christine's sister Angela, Brian, Christine, and Maito.

Christine’s sister Angela, Brian, Christine, and Maito.

A local continuing education institute for the deaf where Maito volunteers and sits as a board member.

A local continuing education institute for the deaf where Maito volunteers and sits as a board member.

A volume could be written about our amazing month and the incredible friendships forged there, but for the sake of finally getting caught up on posts I’ll leave much unsaid and let the photos speak as much for themselves as they can. However a bit of background here and there might not hurt. A typical Kikuyu marriage has several parts, culminating with the actual wedding. However before the wedding can take place, the groom and his representatives must negotiate with the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. This ceremony, called the Ruracio, was held in Delaware in April (see 2012-05-07 Utah), however so as to include much of Christine’s extended family in Kenya, it was repeated during our trip. This was an amazing event with such warmth, friendship, and community spirit as I have ever seen. It was also a very special experience for Christine and her immediate family who had not seen some of their relatives since they moved to the US (via Finland) over 15 years ago.

Near the Ruracio in Nyeri, about a two-hour drive north of Nairobi - HDR Composite

Near the Ruracio in Nyeri, about a two hour drive north of Nairobi – HDR Composite

Brian and Freddy looking out upon their many new family members.

Brian and Freddy looking out upon their many new family members.

A true feast!

A true feast!

Christine and her Grandma reunite after many years.

Christine and her Grandma reunite after many years.

Freddy!

Freddy!

One of the village pastors welcomes Brian and his family into their community.

One of the village pastors welcomes Brian and his family into their community.

Keeping the buffet line in fresh, hot tea.

Keeping the buffet line in fresh, hot tea.

I'm not sure what this pastor was saying, but Brian was smiling and most of the crowd was laughing! Perhaps it was something about the muzungu in the audience!

I’m not sure what this pastor was saying, but Brian was smiling and most of the crowd was laughing! Perhaps it was something about the muzungu in the audience!

Christine's brother Ben and sister Angela.

Christine’s brother Ben and sister Angela.

Freddy and his cousin have some after-dinner fun. Photo by Brian.

Freddy and his cousin have some after-dinner fun. Photo by Brian.

Freddy meets his first cow.

Freddy meets his first cow.

Walking home after the Ruracio. One of my favorite photos from the trip.

Walking home after the Ruracio. One of my favorite photos from the trip.

Back in Nairobi we had a wedding to plan, museums to visit, matatus to ride, and Tusker to drink.

Brian and Christine heading out to run some wedding-planning errands.

Brian and Christine heading out to run some wedding-planning errands.

Looking down Ole Dume Road, part of our daily walk between our apartment, Maito's house, and Ngong Road to catch a matatu.

Looking down Ole Dume Road, part of our daily walk between our apartment, Maito’s house, and Ngong Road to catch a matatu.

Paying the bill at one of the wedding planning meetings, held at Bustani's during a power outage.

Paying the bill at one of the wedding planning meetings, held at Bustani’s during a power outage.

The Nairobi National Museum in case the sign on the front of the building didn't give it away.

The Nairobi National Museum in case the sign on the front of the building didn’t give it away.

Inside the museum.

Inside the museum.

Freddy vs. the Rhino.

Freddy vs. the Rhino.

The 1.6 million year old Turkana or Nariokotome Boy is one of the oldest complete skeletons of an early hominin ever found. It was discovered in 1984 on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya by paleontologist Kamoya Kimeu.

The 1.6 million year old Turkana or Nariokotome Boy is one of the oldest complete skeletons of an early hominin ever found. It was discovered in 1984 on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya by paleontologist Kamoya Kimeu.

HDR Composite.

HDR Composite.

A great exhibit on the resourcefulness of rural youth, including sling shots and soccer balls made from old plastic bags and twine.

A great exhibit on the resourcefulness of rural youth, including sling shots and soccer balls made from old plastic bags and twine.

Eve and Freddy dancing at the club, I mean the museum.

Eve and Freddy dancing at the club, I mean the museum.

One of the smaller creatures in the snakes and reptiles exhibit of the museum.

One of the smaller creatures in the snakes and reptiles exhibit of the museum.

One of the larger creatures.

One of the larger creatures.

And one of the scarier creatures.

And one of the scarier creatures.

Time for another excursion outside the city, this time to Hell’s Gate National Park in the Great Rift Valley. The Rift Valley stretches 6,000km (3,700 mi) north-to-south from Syria to Mozambique and contains some very strange landscapes, some of it of such an odd texture that you feel as if you can see the tectonic plates moving right before your eyes.

Passing a mkokoteni (hand-pulled cart) while leaving Nairobi. Somewhat of a contrast to the BMW just ahead.

Passing a mkokoteni (hand-pulled cart) while leaving Nairobi. Somewhat of a contrast to the BMW just ahead.

A 3-wheeled tuktuk taxi in the suburbs of Nairobi.

A 3-wheeled tuktuk taxi in the suburbs of Nairobi.

Something tells me these guys would laugh at the gigantic pickups trucks and SUVs used in the States to carry little more than a baby and a few bags of groceries.

Something tells me these guys would laugh at the gigantic pickups trucks and SUVs used in the States to carry little more than a baby and a few bags of groceries.

Ben, Victor, Christine, Eve, and Brian pose above the fogged in Rift Valley.

Ben, Victor, Christine, Eve, and Brian pose above the fogged in Rift Valley.

Houses and tourist shops line the roadside viewpoint.

Houses and tourist shops line the roadside viewpoint.

Farming in the fog.

Farming in the fog.

Me, Christine (and Tristan), Ben, Victor, and Brian at our destination.

Me, Christine (and Tristan), Ben, Victor, and Brian at our destination.

First Punda Milia (zebra) sighting of the trip.

First Punda Milia (zebra) sighting of the trip.

Gazelles hiding in the brush.

Gazelles hiding in the brush.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Very funny Tristan!

Very funny Tristan!

Eve and Tristan get a little help into Ol Njorowa Gorge by our guide Joseph.

Eve and Tristan get a little help into Ol Njorowa Gorge by our guide Joseph.

School kids on a field trip through the gorge. Composite image.

School kids on a field trip through the gorge. Composite image.

Ouch!

Ouch!

Nearing our destination in the jungle.

Nearing our destination in the jungle.

Inside the cave - HDR Composite

Inside the cave – HDR Composite

Victor, Ben, me, Joseph, and Brian inside the cave.

Victor, Ben, me, Joseph, and Brian inside the cave.

Bushwhacking our way back to the river bed.

Bushwhacking our way back to the river bed.

Showing our fiercest Maasai warrior faces.

Showing our fiercest Maasai warrior faces.

Flamingos dot the shoreline of Lake Naivasha. HDR Composite.

Flamingos dot the shoreline of Lake Naivasha. HDR Composite.

Such a hike can build up quite an appetite. Luckily fresh nyoma choma (roasted goat) wasn't far.

Such a hike can build up quite an appetite. Luckily fresh nyoma choma (roasted goat) wasn’t far.

Washing up at the table before we feast.

Washing up at the table before we feast.

That about brings us to the wedding, post coming soon :-)

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One Response to 2012.08.03 – Kenya I

  1. Victor Low says:

    Wow yet again. Kenya definitely looks interesting.

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