Friday, September 20, 2013

Go siame Botswana, Jambo Kenya (Goodbye Botswana, Hello Kenya)

In a few short hours I will be leaving to catch my 1am flight to Kenya.  If it had been up to me I would not be taking a night flight.  Actually, I originally booked a flight for noon, but Kenya Airways decided to cancel all noon direct flights from Gaborone to Nairobi “until further notice.” Thus, this is my only option.

I am going to Kenya for another conference.  This one is about Tourism Development and Ecotourism which is right in line with what I am teaching here in Botswana.  And I already know of at least one friend who will be attending, so it will be nice to see a friendly face from back home.
Kenya has been in the news quite a bit recently.  First there was a fire at the Nairobi airport about a month ago.  More recently there has been a lot of attention on the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory in Tsavo East national park. Oh! And the Maasai warriors have formed their own cricket team.  In case you were curious, yes, they wear their traditional attire when they compete.  Apparently the team has been quite successful because they have an ingrained skill set which makes them well-suited to cricket.  As one team member told a CNN correspondent in a recent interview, “It is just like throwing a spear.”

For those of you who may be geographically challenged, Kenya is in east Africa, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.  In this map Kenya is green:

I was telling one of my colleagues about my upcoming trip to Kenya.  He is Kenyan and has been a professor here for several years.  But I figured I would ask him for pointers.  He told me, “Everyone will ask you about Obama.  They are very proud to have a Kenyan as President of the United States.  Maybe I can be the next U.S. president!” This could be interesting.

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