Today Ian and I needed to be ready to leave our temporary apartment at 7:15am to head to immigration to finish the application process for our work permits. This is the process that was begun at the end of October 2008. There was no worry about being late, as again, not only were Ian, Eli and I all wide awake at midnight, but we were by 5am as well.
I will digress here for a moment. It’s funny what can get said by small children at 5am. Eli announced as he held an American dollar VERY close to our faces: “Look, Obama is on my dollar! And also a statue and the golden pyramid (thank you Little Einsteins). He has really taken to having an affinity for mentioning Obama. That will go over well here in Kenya.
Anyhow, we were off early to Immigration. The process involved sitting in traffic (cause when cars make their own random lanes in traffic, that slows things down), waiting for our Immigration expert, stopping by Java House for coffee (rivals Starbucks btw), and then walking to Immigration. We sat in 3 separate offices, filled out more papers, were fingerprinted, and ended up with a little piece of paper that is our permit. I was a little disappointed that the permit wasn’t more official looking. I guess we’ll get our “alien” cards in a few weeks, and those look a bit more “official”.
Anyhow, on our walk to and from the Immigration house Ian was stealth and snapped some pictures of things that were not child friendly:
And speaking of pictures, you have to be really careful of that here. On 2 occasions now we wanted to snap a picture and were advised not to. Even in Java Hut. We ran into a girl from Boston at Immigration who snapped a picture of a military exercise in western Kenya and was subsequently jailed for 14 hours. Something in my “follow the rules” nature just tells me that you probably shouldn’t be casually snapping pictures of men in uniform carrying guns.
Guns. Which there are a lot of here on security guards and the like. Multiple occurances per block. And don’t even think of walking by a bank security truck as they are stopping by the road for a pickup/drop-off. Big no-no. You walk WAY around….the truck and the man with the gun. I’m no gun expert, but it looks like some type of machine gun or AK-47. I’ll have to check into that. Either way, it is big and does an appropriate job of scaring me off! I am told though that only the people who need to have guns, have guns.
Tomorrow we leave Nairobi for Thika. I’m excited to get to our new home and meet our neighbors who have been living on the property alone for quite some time. They sound just as excited to have some company as well.
Kwa heri (good-bye) for now!
Pic giving you an idea of downtown Nairobi
Eli yesterday with some boys who played ball with him