safari ya kenya :: Day 1 :: in transit and Mombasa

Thursday, June 12

At ~ 4:20 a.m. Eastern Africa Time, on Thursday, June 12, 2008, I crossed the equator for the first time.

We arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly thereafter, where I promptly got lost. Not exactly lost, but I didn't know where to go or what to do. Eventually I discovered that the men standing in front of the directions were blocking the information that told me KQ Transfers were to the left. They were not blocking the part that said Transfers were to the right. Fortunately there were more signs with no men standing in front of them and I got myself turned around.

I stood in one line only to find that it wasn't the right place for me. But due to that, I was given some specific directions instead of trying to find the right place for me to be in the smallest airport I had been in at that time. I didn't have to wait in line for my visa. I got it with no problem at all, and still got to baggage claim ages before my 2 checked bags.

In Houston, on Tuesday, they had told me that I wouldn't have to pick up my bags until Mombasa. But visa guy told me I would have to collect them, take them to domestic departures, and recheck them.

I was a little concerned that I didn't get my bags until about 5:40, but it turned out to be plenty of time. At 6:15 I boarded a tiny airplane, but it was bigger than the one in the next space. It had 13 steps to climb from the tarmac. The next plane had only 6. So that was better.

We arrived on time in Mombasa, which has only 1 terminal and 4 gates, and is now the smallest airport I have ever been to. And my bags did make it on and off the plane with me. Rodgers was waiting for me with a taxi.

I got to see Mombasa Baptist High School, Rod's library, and meet some of his co-workers there. I got to see the Indian Ocean and Fort Jesus, which is an old Portuguese fort from some conflict with Arabs. I rode in a tuk-tuk and a matatu. And I walked a lot.

Me at Fort Jesus

I was supposed to stay with Agie, but some concerns developed regarding burglaries. They thought having a mzungu staying there would be inviting trouble. Other people I was to stay with had some other things come up.

In the end, Rod decided to put me up in a hotel.

Jundan Hotel is brand new. When I checked in, there were pieces of masking tape with the room numbers stuck to the doors. The keys had the room numbers attached on pieces of cardboard. By late afternoon, they had installed the real room numbers on the doors and attached plastic ones to the keys. It is quite nice, with a guard posted outside in the evenings. It is right next door to a mosque, so I hear the call to prayer quite clearly.

My hotel room

Out my hotel window

All three meals today Rod took me to different little restaurants. Breakfast was eggs, toast, and samosas (fried dumplings) with chai. Lunch was githeri (beans, corn, beef, and kale), which Rod said was his favorite. For dinner we had Kenyan chicken and chips with chai. Rod has always said that American chicken is different and not as good as Kenyan. It was different. It had more flavor and tasted a little wild. Not wild as in weird, wild as in wild bird as in not domestic.


  1. kkkkkkkkkkk thanks this is Judan Hotel Mangement.

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    Jundan Hotel



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