Tag Archives: Nairobi

Fish are boring, we got turtles

The pet store in the Westgate shopping mall sells terrapins (a small turtle species from Northern America). As we’ve had mixed luck with fish, we decided to get a few. They’re really cute, and a hell of a lot more interesting than fish…

Our red-eared slider, "Smalls"
Our small red-eared slider, “Smalls”

This particular species is a red-eared slider, but it seems there are a handful of related terrapin species. They were apparently a delicacy in North America in the early 1900s, but high demand and over capture led to their near extinction after a only decade or two. I think I’ll pass on the turtle soup, thank you very much!

Ours are in a good home because Cassandra has gone to great lengths to make them feel comfortable. She even lets me take them out so they can walk around the house (they need air every once in awhile)!

A few more pictures

Here are a few more pictures from the day we got them. Before all the turtle rights activists get up on our case, their tank has grown in size considerably then!

Cassandra’s set up a blog to collect and disseminate information about the feeding, cleaning, and care of turtles in Kenya. You should probably go check it out if you’re interested in that kinda stuff:

Turtlets in Kenya

… the pictures alone are probably worth your while!

Four years in Kenya

Depending on how you count, today or yesterday marks four years since I’ve been in Kenya; I left the United States on October 25th, 2007, and arrived on the 26th. In those four years I’ve taught computer science classes, learned Swahili, traveled Eastern Africa, fainted and whacked my head on the floor, became a small-scale farmer, and bought a flat screen TV; what an adventure.

Here are some photo highlights (in no particular order):



Looking back at it all makes me want to do it all over again…

Kentucky Fried Chicken comes to Kenya

For all the niceties we have in Kenya (especially in Nairobi), we lack the presence of large Western chain stores and restaurant franchises. Honestly I couldn’t care less, but I remember it being a surprise when I first came to Kenya in 2007. In the United States at least, we’re used to being constantly bombarded with McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Walmart, etc; I was so sure that at least some of those familiar things would be here in Kenya.

As this USA Today article states, that has changed:

You can’t buy a Big Mac in Kenya. There are no Burger Kings. But there’s good news for chicken lovers…

To my knowledge, this is the first Western chain which has come to Kenya. The doors opened in August, 2011, and everyone’s been talking about it. I happened to be at the Junction mall the other day so I snapped a picture of the (in)famous Colonel Sanders logo.

I haven’t eaten there yet, and I probably never will (I hear it’s really expensive); I just think it’s funny to see that logo in Nairobi after all these years of seeing nothing but local brands…

Ice skating at Panari Sky Centre

Cassandra, Bill, and I went ice skating this past weekend at the Panari Sky Centre‘s “Solar Ice Rink” (whatever that means). Bill’s visiting ILRI from the UK to help with some embryo transfer stuff, and I figured it’d be fun for him to see something outside of the institute over the weekend.

I had my fancy shmancy phone with me so I just had to see how well I could skate backwards and take pictures…

… and video!

They only let you skate for one hour (after which they have to refreeze the ice… or something), but we must have gone around 400 times in that hour; a good workout, and very enjoyable!