After 45 hours of traveling (Niceville > D.C. > Dakar, Senegal > Johannesburg, South Africa > Nairobi, Kenya), I made it to Nairobi. Two days later, I'm now successfully moved in. SIM card, phones (one for going out and my Android), office, taxi cabs, and grocery shopping are all figured out. I'll be keeping a list of "lessons learn" throughout the summer. Here are few highlights:
Avocados- Texas & Mexico be jealous. Avocados here are the size of softballs and cost 40 cents. They will make up a meal-a-day for me.
Dell- a good feeling when the first computer at customs is created by a company from your school/city. Hook 'em.
Milk - the lids aren't sealed like milk jugs in the states. This resulted in a kid coming up to me in the grocery store saying "Sir, your milk," as my milk spilled across the store after I placed the jug in the basket horizontally.
Swahili - I have a hard enough time understanding the local English. I did learn "fist bump" in Swahili, giving me cool "status" with all the local school kids I pass.
My place - spacious. I'm living in the room intended for live-in help, so it offers my own bathroom and door. The shower is hot... too hot, though you have to turn the hot water heater on 15 minutes before entering. The places where expats live are "compounds" with 24 hour security. I'm... not sure... how they decided who they let in and who they don't, but lets say it hasn't been a problem. Supposedly, we have the best full-time housekeeper in the city. I'll keep you posted.
Traffic - everyone in the states... never complain about traffic again. Imagine all Miami drivers confined to one lane with no traffic signals or rules. The free-for-all you envision is exactly what the Nairobi driving situation is. Let me reiterate, no lights. I'll never, ever, complain about a traffic light again.
The office - I will go into details later about the incredible work being done by the social enterprise I'm with. Spending a half day in the office, the environment is beyond exciting. Imagine a mix of the brightest and most idealistic minds from around the world working on an interesting problem with enormous social benefit. Everyone is excited to be bettering the world instead of creating another photo sharing app. Sheer awesomeness.
The expats - many more than expected. More so, everyone I met has an incredible story and is working on something extremely meaningful. Within two days, I've met at least 20 expats.
Prices - beers are $1-3 at the bar, cereal $8, avocados $.40, dinner out $10, gym $60 per month, basic cell phone $18, 1000 airtime minutes $12, cab ~$5.
I could go on and on, and I am sure I will in the coming months, but I couldn't be more thrilled to see what the summer entails. I promise more/better pictures. After hearing numerous petty crime stories, I have been hesitant about whipping out the Android. I'll get over this fear in the coming days.
Finally, this evening was great and was finished with the Dortmund vs. Bayern soccer (football) game. Surrounded by ~400 locals and 40+ expats, I couldn't help but pretend the sport was exciting. In reality, it was the best (and only) professional soccer game I've watched in entirety.