Month 8, Part II

Personal notes for the month!

Valentines Day was a lot of fun. Spent the day with fellow PCVs and enjoyed some extravagance.. an iced mocha along with an amazing fish burger for lunch, then went to see A Winter’s Tale, followed by dinner of pizza and beer with a chocolate/strawberry milkshake for dessert. Is it so wrong my idea of indulgence here is really good food that is really bad for you?

The week after I had a lovely mini-vacation back to the posh-corps hangout in Naivasha at Crayfish Camp. It was a mix of business and pleasure, since the few of us were there for a warden meeting [one of the cool extra positions you can partake in as a volunteer, others being committee members (DPS, GAD, and VAC), and toward the end of your service a PCV Leader, so extra things to be involved in during service you can apply for] It was fun hanging out with other volunteers outside my immediate group and meeting volunteers I have never met before. Plus the food was of course amazing, there were hot showers, and mass media sharing, where I acquired new goodies on my hard drive.

Instead of going home as planned, however, I went to the forbidden zone…Nairobi! Dun, dun, duuun! I did get permission of course!!! As the little detour was business related for me to acquire a business visa for my upcoming trip to Ethiopia. I admit my fear of my first solo mission in Nairobi. They really make you not want to go there. However. It was a success. With some great advice and contact information given to me by one of the PCVLs, I was able to navigate through Nairobi with no surprises or hiccups! In fact, it was a wonderful, stress free day, and by the next morning I had received my visa. Ethiopia bound, yay!

I stayed at this great little camp called Upper Hill Camp, which had nice accommodations, friendly staff, very secure, and best of all – well priced. After spending the afternoon dealing with the Ethiopian embassy, I spent the evening at the Junction Mall, again I recommend. It was a little niche of Americana, and I was rendered speechless. The shops were all familiar brands, the layout felt just like back in Bellevue, and…and…there was FROYO!

The first thing I did was indulged in the largest bowl I have ever eaten and just stared wide-eyed, absorbing everything around me. I wandered around the mall in a daze…Subway, KFC, Lucky Jeans…pinch me! I decided on the Art Cafe for dinner, seated outside in the cool evening, where everything was clean, neat, and orderly. I had on tap beer and the most mouth-watering meal of pesto cream penne with chicken, garnished with cracked pepper and all the parmesan I could want AND a fresh loaf of focaccia bread served with a spicy olive dipping oil and roasted whole garlic dipping oil. Naturally I had to get dessert, which I got to take back to the hotel, and sticking with the Italiana theme I got tiramisu. It was a magical day. Prior to the last 8 months in Peace Corps, a mall was a mall, nothing special, very ordinary, and typically not frequented, but living in a rural village makes even the ordinary, extraordinary.

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