Kenya Travel Stories

Bus 34 Nairobi Kenya Airport

Bus 34 Nairobi Kenya Airport
I am flying to BKK Bangkok, Thailand whoopee, no Macho crap for a month or two.

I am doing my best to avoid the big cities on planet Earth, to me there is little redeeming value unless you are a millionaire on an unlimited budget. I am predicting that as time passes tourist will learn there is no substantial reason to even sleep in large airport cities and will book their trip all the way to the final destinations 90 percent instead of the 10 percent of the time now.

Maybe they can insert a section in Guidebooks,
“Quick Escape Routes from Cities.”

Bus 34, goes to the Ambassador Hotel in Nairobi for 50 Shillings, then very easily you can take Moline Prestige Vans about two blocks away for 350 Shillings to Nakuru and skip Nairobi.

What would you skip? Gorgeous women, traffic jams and people constantly warning you that Nairobi is dangerous.

A person needs to take a taxi if they arrive at night, the cost should be between 1000 and 2000 Shillings, 15-30 Dollars and an exorbitant amount of money for a poor country, the same ride in Bangkok would cost me about 200 Baht or 6 Dollars.

Nairobi, Kenya
East Africa
Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Bus 34, stops at one end of the circle drive of Airport and goes to the Ambassador Hotel towards the center of Nairobi.

I asked a woman behind me on the bus,
“If I flew back into Nairobi could I take bus 34 back to the Ambassador Hotel?”
She said,
“You should take a taxi.”
I asked,
“Doesn’t the bus go back to the Ambassador Hotel?”
She says,
“Why can’t I take the bus back to the Hotel?”
Then she got more intuitive and said,
“It is dangerous for you to take at night.”

Long story, however anyone and everyone say Nairobi is dangerous during the night and a person should not walk. It is rather sad, the area around the Ambassador Hotel is beautiful, landscaped boulevard and the road out of the city to Nakuru is perfect.

It took me 2 hours to go the 90 miles from Nakuru, this normally would have taken about 4 hours, however the Bus was good and I lucked out and found the 10 passenger no stop Moline Prestige Van. However, as normal it was too stupid for words, they told me there was a van at 5:30, and however it did not leave until 6:30. I was also told the traffic jam would take make it a two hour trip to the Airport.

Jam is on everyone lips, they told me often, the Travel Agent said I had to leave at 6:00 am to get to the airport by 1:00, however I am not here at 10:00 and have a five hour wait for the plane. Trust me, I do not care, I do not miss planes just to save an hour or two of waiting, I error on the side of caution.

Try to imagine how much time is involved, lost or wasted when a person misses a plane.

Bus 34 Nairobi Kenya Airport

Nairobi Kenya Airport Soon

Nairobi Kenya Airport Soon
I purchased a ticket from Nairobi, Kenya to Bangkok, Thailand for 530 US Dollars with Qatar Airlines. I am going to stop writing if possible, I am tired of East Africa and a good time to keep my mouth shut, I cannot think good thoughts so time to leave. The moment I started moving towards Nairobi Airport I gave up.

Nakuru, Kenya
East Africa
Monday, June 8, 2009


I want to avoid Nairobi, therefore I am in Nakuru, Kenya. As best I can calculate, I can take a van to Nairobi, catch a taxi to the airport and totally forego the need to experience Nairobi.

Nairobi Kenya Airport Soon

To Bobby on Graduation

To Bobby on Graduation

Hello Bobby,
An unstoppable force, my Mother and your Grandmother asked me to write you a note on your graduation from High School. What can I say, I know my Mother and Father are unstoppable, when they put their mind to something, it is going to happen. They are good team, they worked together and will finish the game of life together, 50 plus years of being married.

I do not have the correct words, for some reason my mind keeps drifting back to yesterday here in Kericho, Kenya. I got off the bus, got a Hotel room, and then proceeded to convince Pamela the housekeeper to wash my clothes. She wanted 300 Shillings, I told her I would pay her 200, she took my clothes and went to hand wash them. I suspect an Africa person would pay 50-100 Shillings for this task, while I am paying 200.

About one hour later a knock came on my door,
“Who is it?”
No one answers.

One should not open ever door in life, on the other hand one should not be afraid to open a door. I screamed again, someone made a noise on the other side of the door. I got up and opened it. A young man I did not know was standing at the door and says,
“She needs money.”

He stumbles and mumbles around, and says something in broken English; his first language is some other language, maybe Swahili so I am not concerned. I am thinking to myself, however being patient,
“Spit it out.”

“She washed your clothes.”

I am thinking to myself, yes that is the idea, she washes the clothes, and in exchange I give her money. However, why are you here, why are you asking, and where are my clothes? You give me clean clothes, and I give you money.

My room happens to be close to roof, and I can see my clothes hanging on the line drying in the sun. I am happy, I know the job is sufficiently completed to accomplish my goal; I want clean clothes, dried and ready to wear in my room. I can accomplish this goal, when the clothes are dried I can collect them and bring them to my room, effectively accomplishing my goal.

I wanted clean clothes sitting in my room.

The man hold out his hand, he wants the money, I can see Pamela standing over to the side. I wave her over, I say thanks to her, and place 250 Shillings directly in her hand, not the boy. 50 more than agreed, I smile at her, dismiss the young man, and walk into my room thinking to myself.
“What is it with Africa, it is a chore to have my clothes washed, why do they want money and the job is not finished.”

The Guidebooks need a special section in each chapter, where to get you clothes washed with a hope of completion.

Funny, the lights just came back on, the room electricity stopped in the middle of the night. I woke up around 5:30 am, lit a candle, turned on the battery powered BlackBerry Storm and perused over my emails. My mother wrote, so I prioritized and read this first. It is reminding me to write a note for you. I stop reading, turn on my battery powered computer and think to myself,
“I am going to write this note, finish it, post it and send; I have two hours to finish the job before my battery dies.”

Ok, congratulations on graduating, I expected it to happen, I am proud of you, I am proud of every member of my family.

I have written the story of your life above, please take the time to read it a few times and ask yourself on this day of graduation,
“Who are you?”
“Who will you be?”

I would say the story is confusing, however like a parable in the Bible each person can read and find the story they wish to find.

What is the moral of this story?

I have confidence in you, I know you will understand the story, make me proud, and I hope you understand I am trying my best to be a good Uncle, I am doing my job.

I love you.
Uncle Andy Graham in Kericho, Kenya June 6, 2009

Please, I invite readers to comment, explain the story, each one of you has a different interpretation and explanation of why I wrote this story. Explain to my nephew Bobby, help me to be a good Uncle, I know the story never ends, that life goes on, with each comment there is another view of your life, past, now and in the future. My job is not to write so clearly you understand, my job is to make you think and feel.

To Bobby on Graduation

A Man Job Hunting in Kenya

A Man Job Hunting in Kenya
I got into a van going from Kilgoris to Kisii, Kenya and met a man by the name of Napoleon. He was in Kilgoris applying for a lab technician’s job as was quite frustrated, he says he has been looking for a job for one year.

Kericho, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, June 4, 2009


He graduated in May of 2008, and as of June 2009, he still does not have a job.

When I sat down next to Napoleon, he said,
“What is your project?”
I said,
“I am the one tourist in Kenya.”
He said,
“What is your work here?”
I said,
“I am the one tourist, I go from place to place and look at things, I am a tourist.”

As cannot remember meeting one person in East Africa who thought I was just here for fun, they all assume I am working, they can also ask,
“What is your mission?”

We discussed many topics, Napoleon says that Kenya needs help; I said Kenya is just fine.
“I need a job; we need money from other countries?”
I said,
“You want to beg?”
“People who want free money are beggars?”

In a way, everyone on the planet wants a break; they want to stop the struggle to find money. Napoleon wants a job, but he wants a reprieve from the search for a job, he is not lazy, more a frustrated young man who is tired of rejection.

He said,
“I came from Migoris to apply for this job, it cost a lot of money and the man tells me now there is no job.”

He spent a couple of nights in a Hotel, and needed to pay for the round trip transportation from Migoris to Kilgoris. He said,
“Why do they want me to come if there is no job?”

I try to understand African culture; people in a passive aggressive way continually abuse each other. More or less the potential employer was willing to waste the young man’s time and money. Of course there is two sides to the story, maybe the employer was just giving the man any excuse to avoid saying he did not want him for an employee.

I on the other hand know the culture of Africa has an annoying habit of asking me to come, or they say they will come. I think they receive pleasure and a sense of power by having me listen to them if I come over and obey. On the other hand if they say they are coming and do not come, they in reverse have the power of not showing up. It is an abusive game, and truly makes doing business a joke.


I go over and the people believe they have the right to ask me many questions and I am supposed to answer. What gives them the right to command me?

“I am coming?”

The person says they are coming, however they never show up. I ask them why, and they make another promise to come.

All this is coupled with mockery, the evil that exist in Africa. Why do people want to prove to others they are clever?

I sense the people of Kenya are being well educated; I am not sure what the value of education is when there are no jobs. There is not much of an entrepreneurial spirit in Africa; there is an entrepreneurial desire to get free money of donations from the rest of the planet.

Napoleon was a good kid, frustrated and tired, I do not feel sorry for him, I just encouraged him to continue to try and never give up. It is easy for me to say, I come from a country that teaches to get the job done.

I said to Napoleon,
“All the people around you will give up, sit around and tell you how bad life is, this is what a beggar does, best not to listen to beggars.”

I am sure I confuse him, the culture learns from a small child and for the rest of their life that White people come and help them. I on the other hand am quite strict, and say get a job and I do not feel sorry for you, I do not think you are poor, you need to work. This must be baffling to hear from a white man sitting next to you in a van.

People that need help and saved are beggars; this truly hit a chord in Napoleons mind. Oh well, if he gets hungry enough the World Food Program will come and make sure he never works.

I told a person the other day, you are waiting for the White People to come back to Africa; we are never coming back.

A Man Job Hunting in Kenya

Adjusting Immersion Heater Travel Tip

Adjusting Immersion Heater Travel Tip
I always take a hot water bath because I carry a bucket and a hot water heater. I guess you call my heating apparatus an
“Immersion Heater”
An immersion heater needs immersed in water as far as possible, it is meant to be used only immersed in water, out of water it will burn up, There is a another HUGE problem, if you completely immerse the majority of Immersion Heaters they will burn up. Too far in or out and the heater will self-destruct, here is a solution.

Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, June 4, 2009


I want to heat up a plastic water basin of water in my hotel; there is no edge to hang my immersion heater. This type of water basin is in the majority of Hotels in East Africa. As best I can figure out it is the custom here to bend over this basin and wash and not taking normal showers. Normally there is no dipper supplied, and if so probably for the toilet.

I do not want the immersion heater to fall completely into the water or it will burn up, I want it adjusted properly.

I found some 14 gauge copper wire in Tanzania, this country has great electrical wiring, better than most. I wanted to wrap it around the heater. I took the lighter and melt each side of the heater and then used a knife to notch the side. I then wrapped the copper wire around the handle and used my needle nose pliers to wind it up tight on the handle.

I can now bend the wire to different depths in a bucket; I do not need to heat the whole bucket of water. I have a five gallon bucket, to take a dip bath it is best to have up to five gallons, however less water heats faster.

With this apparatus I can now hang the heater down into the water to the proper depth.

Here is a photo of all the items needed to perform this task.

I am sure many a traveler or tourist is happy to return home so they can have a nice hot shower. I would not even consider traveling the planet without this 3-10 dollar immersion heater.

Adjusting Immersion Heater Travel Tip

Beware of Social Status Friends

Beware of Social Status Friends
Travel Tip

The desire to better ones social status may be the most destructive force on the planet. It demands that some people are lower status and others are higher. The whole system works because the lower status people agree to give special favor to higher status.

People love famous people, this makes the system work.

Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, June 4, 2009


This is Phillip in the middle, Sarah on the right and I do not know who on the left. I met Phillip in Migoris, Kenya. Phillip is a good guy, speaks good English, polite, and treated me generally with his version of respect. I have no doubt he had good intentions and wanted to be my friend.

He took me to a Hotel called Gillies I sat in the restaurant area until he went back to work and I escaped. I walked to the road and snagged the first small Matatu van that passed and went to Kisii, then onto Kigoris.

I met Phillip while I was having my customary argument with the Kenya Taxi and transportation people; Kenya is especially difficult in East Africa.

I wanted to know if there was an easier, quicker way to get to Kilgoris than to pass through Kisii and where the vans put 20 people in a van meant to carry 14 people.

Private Taxi drivers offered me outrageous prices, Philipp INTERUPTED ME, while I was trying to tell in my best English to one driver,
“You are F**King nuts, get the H9ll out of here, and stop bothering me.”

I was surrounded, up to my ears in idiocy, and Phillip offered to help me in his best Nigerian way to solve my problems.

Ok, I decided the bandits were overwhelming me and time to stop and go to a restaurant, drink some of the great Milk Coffee and flirt with the beauty I spotted. All the drivers, Phillip and the rest did not get the message, they all followed me into the restaurants, and insults could not get them to leave.

Phillip was on a Status Mission, he wanted to show me he was somebody in town. He was genuinely trying to help me, what he did not understand is he was trying to help himself more. I bought him a Krest, this great bitter lemon drink made by Coca Cola and slowly all the pain the butt drivers left. I surmised I had to go to Kisii, it had been raining for a week and all the roads were mud.

Welcome to Kenya, land of the pothole road, truly a mess after leaving Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, I am back in the land of Potholes.

Philip offers to walk me to the Gillie hotel, but first he has to stop and show me his office… come on guy, I am tired, I told him I was tired, but he had to show me his office. I got to carry 80 pound on my back to a hotel that is just behind the truck… (He said) and I had a taxi driver he drove way that would have done it for 100 Shillings… One Dollar…

HE wanted me to see his office…, not allowing me to take the taxi.

Then we go to a Hotel where he knows the staff, it is a large dreary hotel where I am sure everybody comes and drinks and shags their girls, it is off the road and hidden.

Although well intended, Phillip was a slave to his desire to know a white man, get my address, my phone number and know exactly where I was living. He told me to shower, and he would show me the town…. I do not remember asking or wanting that. Translated, this means he would drag me to every friend he has in the city, make me spend money at their shops, make me say hello and show me as his new friend from America.

This is all fine and dandy if I wanted to do this, but I did not, he sounded too much like a Nigerian to me, talking, talking and talking, never really able to listen.

This is a status trap; many people will want to meet you, show you off to their friends and allow you to pay, believing I need their help, even though I told him I did not 20 times.

This is the number one reason I do not do couch surfing, I do not want a guide, I do not want to be shown the city, I just want to enjoy the place without someone thinking they have the right to make me go with them to see the place.

Getting invited into people’s homes is the least of my problems, trying to leave without feeling obligated is my bigger problem.

Now, take this all with a grain of salt, meeting people is the greatest part about travel. However, keep in mind this idea of status. Does the person you meet have a need to show you off to all his or her friends?

Ask yourself,
“Why does this person need to show me to people?”

I got in the Van to Kilgoris, I met a man by the name of Peter who owns a local business in Kilgoris, and we had a great conversation. He did not follow me to my Hotel, I asked him where his business was located and maybe we will talk again. I do not have to worry about him invading my world. I do not want privacy, however I do want to know I have the right to go back to my room and read a book.

Peter gave me this right, while Phillip could not get a grip on the respect for other people concept.

The majority of tourist and travelers love all the attention; I am the strange one here. I do not want or need the attention.

Beware of Social Status Friends

2009 June 3 Enter Kenya Leave Tanzania

2009 June 3 Enter Kenya Leave Tanzania
I entered Kenya at the Siriri, Tanzania border crossing, it was a simple crossing, nothing spectacular. Kenya allowed me to enter again without paying a fee. The first time I paid 50 US to enter and they allowed me to continue to use the original three month visa. I now have less than 20 days in Kenya, and will leave before this the visa expires.

Kenya did not give me a multiple entry visa, it was a 90 day visa, and however, they treated it as a multiple entry visa.

Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, June 4, 2009


Tanzania is a great country, good transportation, good roads, the hotels were easy and good. It is more tribal than other countries, more interesting from a people point of view, however less interesting to look at the countryside. Now, I only looked at the small upper Northwest portion of the country, so truly do not listen to me.

The road from Musoma, Tanzania to the border of Kenya is quite beautiful.

I left some great roads in Tanzania and entered some horrible roads in Kenya; it truly adds a special flavor to the country when the roads are bad.

2009 June 3 Enter Kenya Leave Tanzania

Mama Sarah Obama goes on Hajj

Mama Sarah Obama goes on Hajj
I was told the English Soccer team, I think called Manchester United was going to Kogelo to visit Mama Sarah, the grandmother to President Barack Obama. When I was in Siaya, I was less than 10 minutes away from the dirt farm called Kogelo.

I thought this is weird, and then I read this article in the newspaper.

Busia, Kenya
East Africa
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mama Sarah goes on Hajj to Mecca.

I will leave this alone, I also read an article on the internet where they was going to take Mama Sarah to Kisumu and convert her to Christianity… hehehe

Reading about the father of Barack Obama, reading about the family, the grandmother, being in Siaya listening to the stories, all I can say is this has to the world’s biggest soap opera family.

I need to keep my nose out of this; I do not pay attention to soap operas, and have no desire to sit around gossiping. Moreover, this is real life and truly more stupid than a soap opera.

All I will say to the man who owns Manchester United,
“Bad Form.”

Mama Sarah Obama goes on Hajj