Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nairobi Bound

Tomorrow I am heading to Nairobi for a week-long training to learn the new accounting system they have implemented at the organization where I'm consulting. I am the only non-financial person attending the training, which is aimed at the end-user of the system. I fear I'm in for a bit of a tedious week, but it will be a useful skill down the line (at least that's what I'm telling myself).

Good points to look forward to:

- first time in Kenya
- free day on Saturday to explore the city
- staying at a beautiful hotel with a gym that offers classes and a trainer
- a friend-of-a-friend offered to meet up one day and show me around
- cooler weather
- inauguration of President Obama!

Any Nairobi recommendations? Any ideas of where Inauguration celebrations might be happening?

In other news, I woke up this morning with what I can only imagine is a spider bite on my middle finger. It looks like a mosquito bite (no puncture marks or open sore), but is surrounded by bruising. I went to the clinic to get it checked out, and the attending doctor helpfully prodded the bruised areas with his pinky fingers, then said he thought it was a "picada de inseto" (insect bite), and proceeded to prescribe calamine lotion. It took a full 5 minutes, and was by far the most useless consult I've ever been to in my life. I don't know what I expected - antibiotics? an explanation of what to look out for if the bite worsens? - but I have to say I didn't feel like I got proper treatment this morning.

I've trawled the internet looking at photos of spider bites (there's some scary images out there!), and will look out for any signs of the bite worsening. I think what has me most freaked out is that I've never had a bite like this, and the color of my finger nearly matches my freshly painted mauvey-brown nails!


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Oh no, I hope the bite clears up.

Have wonderful fun on the Nairobi trip. I am muy jealous.

On an update front-in the spirit of taking advantage of "leadership" positions...I just became a union steward (previous steward retired for personal reasons). I am so looking forward to the experience/opportunity.

Meg said...

how fun to be in Kenya during the inauguration! I had hoped to be in DC, but in the end, decided I did not want to brave the traffic. HAving experienced bad DC traffic before, I decided I was not up to worse-traffic-than-DC-has-ever-experienced. So I'll be watching in my living room with my 2 year old.

Brandie said...

I think you will really like the Kazuri Beads store. It is small workshop of Kenyan women who make very beautiful hand-painted ceramics beads. I think it could be a fun addition to your business. They have a store in 'The Junction' (this is a very popular mall). You can also go out to their workshop and see how the beads are made and meet the women in person and their selection of beads and jewelry at the workshop is even bigger than at the store)

Another place you might like is Kitengela Glass. This place is AMAZING. Kenyan using recycled glass to make some of the most beautiful stuff ever. They have a store in Westlands (a very popular neighborhood) where I got a very pretty glass necklace and earrings.

I believe I blogged about both right before I left Kenya last summer.

Let me know if you have any questions about more places to visit and have a great time!

bart said...

sounds like you're heading for a couple of busy and challenging days... although the course might be a bit tedious, i think the fringe benefits will make up for all of that :-))

keep well ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, so another white person got an insect bite in Africa. Stop the world! Call the doctors!!
My cusin lost her left leg to a crocodile, but we could not afford sending her to hospital....

Alexandra said...

~Anonymous - Yes, stop the world indeed. A white girl in Africa has an insect bite, and a blog troll has left a comment under the faceless, contact-less, accountability-less guise of 'Anonymous' instead of owning up to their opinions and engaging in a proper discussion.

We all have different realities; I strive to be neither bitter nor boastful about mine, and I hope others may find peace in doing the same.

Alexandra said...

~Monkey - The bite is looking much better, and I am enjoying Nairobi thus far. Good for you for stepping up and becoming a union steward. I'm curious as to what exactly that entails.

~Meg - I can't wait! I've been planning to watch on a big screen with some of my Kenyan colleagues I've met here. I sympathize with not wanting to brave DC traffic, btw. I don't think I could brave traffic of any sort after 4 years of blessedly traffic-less Mozambique. :)

~Brandie - I've had a couple people tell me about Kazuri, and I do remember you posting about the beads and the ladies who make them. Thanks so much for the great recommendations. I hope I have time to check out the city a bit.

~Bart - Yes, it's been a slight struggle to keep engaged in the course, as I am one of the few non-accountants attending. Still, it's been great to meet colleagues from other country offices, and understand a bit better what the financial system is like.

abz said...

Nairobi! How exciting! Can't wait to hear some of the things you discover there. And it will be exciting to spend inauguration day there. I am spending it in my classroom streaming CNN for my kiddos. :)

Gui said...

I wonder how especially proud the Kenyans were of Obama and if you still hear the bit about ''The U.S. having a Luo president before Kenya does'' on the streets of Nairobi...

poppy fields said...

That sounds like a spider bite.

Hope you have a good stay in Kenya...what a place to be during the inauguration!

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paris parfait said...

I don't know Nairobi. Hope the bite gets well soon. And are they as happy there about our new president as the French are? And of course, your fellow Americans, who are thrilled beyond measure! :)