Jambo means “Hello” to Swahili
Salaama is “Hello” in coastal Swahili (Mombasa)
The next day, we attended Mital’s sister’s engagement party along with the family and 400 of their very closest friends. We joined the long line of guests wearing colorful saris and kurtas who were approaching the couple to give their congratulations. We enjoyed chatting with all of Mital’s extended family and friends as we indulged in a delicious buffet of traditional Gujarati foods.
History lesson: There are currently over 100,000 Indians living in Kenya, most of whom live in the major urban areas of Nairobi and Mombasa. While Kenya was under British colonial rule, many Indians immigrated to Kenya to help build infrastructure and develop agriculture. With the construction of the Uganda Railway, Indians began to play a central role in trading between coastal cities and the interior cities. It was really interesting to see the different cultures and environments of the Kenyan Indians versus the native Kenyans (whom I would get to see more later in Nairobi with my friend Mark).
After leaving the party, we headed back to the hotel to chill. Farhan stopped to buy some fresh coconuts along the road side for us to enjoy. After we drank all the coconut juice, the guy cut up the pulp for us to scoop out and eat as well.
Jen in a sing song voice: “Never say no to new experiences!”
Back at the hotel, we hung out by the pool, watched camels pass by on the beach, and sipped on some cool Tuskers until it was time for dinner.
As I was still jet lagged, I took a nap in my “sanctuary,” my mosquito-net covered bed that really saved me the whole trip. Once I left the sanctuary, I got attacked from all sides — at one point, I had about 20 mosquito bites all over my body. Natalya had an intense mosquito repellent that warned usage could cause “substantial, but temporary damage.”
After stuffing ourselves at the hotel’s buffet dinner, there was a Snake Show in the lobby for all the guests. They brought out all sorts of reptiles for the guests to check out, including chameleons, lizards, green snakes, and a giant python. I even got to wear a sand snake as a “crown.”
Nyoka means “snake” in Swahili
Later at night, we all headed to Tembo Disco and Lollipop Lounge to enjoy some apple shisha, Tuskers, and play our favorite “spot a malaya” (aka pro) game.