Sunday, August 14, 2011

East Africa Day 83 (Thurs Aug 4): Lehigh in Nairobi Happy Hour

This AM I went back to the Equity Bank HQ for a follow up meeting with Isaac from the Education Pillar Team. He sat with me for quite some time and we went over the details of the programs. It was so interesting, and I felt so lucky to be there! They are doing such amazing work. I decided that I am most interested in the Pre-University Advising Program and the Centers for Excellence. Isaac introduced me to Rosemary, another member of the Education Pillar Team, who manages the Centers for Excellence. I asked if I could help out at the upcoming 2nd Annual Equity Group Foundation Congress, and was welcomed to attend. So exciting!!

I then headed over to the Kilimani area, to meet up with Nila for lunch. We met up in a Nakumatt Plaza, and had very good Thai food for lunch in the food court. Nila is a former Kiva Fellow - first in Kampala, Uganda with BRAC Uganda, then in Nairobi, and is now in Nairobi working as a fellow for Samasource. So funny! I didn't know that she was working with Samasource! I attended two events in San Francisco that featured speakers who work for Samasource, and really like what they do.

Samasource - Leila from Peery Foundation on Vimeo.

It was awesome to get to hear more about how the organization works in Kenya, and how Nila got involved with their work. I also learned that there are a good number of Stanford alums in Nairobi. Makes me wonder if Stanford does alumni programming in Kenya, especially given that I was heading off to a Lehigh in Nairobi Happy Hour:)

I then had to run off to my follow-up appointment at the Centre for Tropical and Travel Medicine. I didn't see the doctor that I saw yesterday. Instead I met with the senior doctor in the practice, Dr. Charles Chunge.

I was relaxing in the waiting room chair with my eyes closed, prior to my appointment. A nurse came by and asked if I would like to lie down. She was so nice! When I was moved up to the chair outside of the doctor's office, she came by again to talk with me to see how I was feeling. I really appreciated her sincere concern! It made me feel better.

Before walking into the doctor's room, I thought that maybe he would tell me that my lab results showed that I had one, maybe two problems. Instead, when I sat down across the desk from him, he smiled and asked me how long I've been here. I told him less than three months. He smiled as if to say "well, it is quite remarkable how many diseases you have picked up in that limited amount of time." He then began with the good news - I do not have malaria. However, he then provided me with what seemed like a never-ending list of problems that my body is carrying - a total of seven! Fortunately none are contagious. He told me that once I've lived here for a year, then my body will not catch these things any more. But at the moment, I'm obviously still very susceptible to picking "things" up:) I walked away from the office with a list of prescriptions that I needed to go get filled at a pharmacy, and a follow up appointment scheduled for next week.

I went over to the Yaya Centre Pharmacy, which Dr. Chunge had recommended. Unfortunately at this point I was running quite late for the Lehigh in Nairobi Happy Hour that I'd helped organize with Uhuru, Lehigh '10. The venue that Uhuru had selected for the Happy Hour was Sierra Brasserie, a restaurant/bar located on the second floor of Yaya Centre.

From the website: Sierra is the first boutique brewery and restaurant in East and Central Africa and is inspired by the experiences of the founder in Thailand, California and Bavaria. After his first experience of drinking a microbrew in Bangkok, he embarked on a journey to build Kenya’s first boutique brewery which took him to California. Here he trained under Bavarian trained brewer masters at the Gordon Biersch brewing company in San Francisco after completing the master brewers program at the University of California. It is this experience that inspired the name Sierra. His journey then took him to Bavaria where he designed the brewery with the help of brewery engineering consultants, Nerb GMBH. Sierra reflects the influences of this journey through San Francisco style, Thai food and Bavarian beer.

I found this hilarious, because the Lehigh San Francisco Alumni Club holds regular Happy Hours at Gordon Biersch. So in some ways even in Nairobi, I am still back in San Francisco!

When I finally got to our meeting point at Sierra, Uhuru was the only Lehigh alum there. He and I hung out for a while near the bar, which was really nice. The beer is also really good - definitely the best I've had in East Africa. A little while later we were joined by another Lehigh alum, Karim, Lehigh '90 and his wife. We had such a nice time talking! It was really great to get to meet them. Lehigh is Lehigh, no matter where you go:)

Uhuru and I hung out for a while longer after Karim and his wife had to go, and then Uhuru helped me get a fair rate on a taxi ride home, where I immediately began taking my new medications!

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