A Month In Kenya: Day 14 (Tuesday, July 4)

It feels odd to be in a country where the 4th of July is just another day. We missed (well, the boys and I missed) going to the Monona Festival with Gramma, and watching the fireworks from her & Poppy's house. But I wore my "Midwest is Best" shirt around town today, so I kind of paid a little homage to the U.S., and Ezzy wore a blue shirt with red hat and Nehemiah a blue shirt (aqua, but I didn't want to quibble) with red shorts. It probably won't surprise anyone that Harry did NOT plan his outfit around America's Independence Day. 

After a quick breakfast at home (and the all-important practicing of the riffle shuffle), we headed out earlier than normal (9:30ish) because we wanted to hit the Nairobi National Museum before any school groups arrived. We failed. Turns out we were arriving pretty much EXACTLY when all the school groups were arriving. Oh well.

Harry stepped up to the ticket counter and requested two tickets for citizen children, one ticket for a citizen adult, and one ticket for a non-resident. The woman at the desk, who was wearing a hijab, smiled at us and said something in Swahili to Harry and he answered and they both laughed. As we moved toward the museum, Harry told me that she had asked him where I'm from. When he'd told her the U.S., she'd said, "Oh, the country that doesn't want my people to come there!" Sigh.  

The boys were in awe at all the school uniforms (and that they were all wearing wool sweaters and skirts/trousers), and the students seemed somewhat in awe of the boys. At one exhibit, as Harry and Ezra moved on to the next room, Nehemiah and I were suddenly swarmed by a group of girls (I'd say they were age 12 or 13). One of them asked where we were from, what our names were, and how old Nehemiah was, and while we were talking with them, they were all reaching out and touching our faces and arms and hair, even stroking our hair and playing with it. It was an unusual experience, but the girls were so openly curious and affectionate that it didn't feel threatening or negative. I think Nehemiah was glad when we finally said goodbye and walked away, though! (Unbeknownst to me, Harry slyly snapped a couple of pics.)

It was fascinating to see Kenya's history and culture presented in such detail. Harry was especially rapt; he said he hadn't been there since primary school, and he was much more interested in things now!

This was hands-down my favorite item at the museum. Oh, to have this hanging in our house!!

The boys weren't very attentive to the exhibits, but it was because they were impatient to get to the last area at the museum: THE SNAKE PARK! It actually had fish, turtles, and crocodiles/alligators as well as snakes. (Harry avoided looking at any of the snakes.) The boys were excited each to get to hold a chameleon. And we managed to squeeze in another couple of family photos. Woohoo!

Of course no trip outside the apartment would be complete without a bevy of "around town" photos. There is a lot of construction going on in Nairobi right now, although sometimes we see buildings that clearly have stalled mid-project; whether they'll ever get completed is anyone's guess. Some of the new projects are quite upscale. 

I also enjoyed noticing what types of dwellings already exist. 

And various street signs and scenes...

After our outing, we had lunch at the Java House near our apartment (per Ezra's request). The boys worked off some energy on the playground nearby, even if it was intended more for little kids. Ezra was thrilled to be able to find there was a Mickey Mouse pancake on the menu, just like Monty's!