Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Divine intervention

Sometimes my penny-pinching attitude overrides my street smarts (aka. lack of better judgment).  Due to flight schedules, I was forced to spend one night in Nairobi before venturing on to Zanzibar.  When researching accommodations for that night, I thought of the thousands I was spending on 6 luxurious nights' sleep in the bush, and decided I could rough it just once.

I found the perfect place: cheap and relatively near both airports.  When I asked to reserve a single room, however, I was informed that all rooms were booked for that day.  Instead, another option was offered:  to sleep in a rented tent and sleeping bag.  I debated and debated, and searched a few more locations, but the $11 price tag for an evening's stay was enough to persuade me to make the reservation.

I still didn't feel completely comfortable with the decision I had made, but I remained bull headed and determined to see it through. Thankfully, in my case, an angel was sent to intervene.  Mary Anne arrived at the Mara Camp the same time I did. She is friends with the manager, Penny, and had come from Nairobi to spend a few days of relaxation.  During that time we had some intriguing discussions about the novels she has written, such as "My Warrior Son", and "Nomad".  Once she found out I had an evening layover in Nairobi, she asked where I was staying.  She had never heard of the accommodation, but after telling her the street it was located on, she was quick to offer her home to me.

As it turned out, the street name of the accommodation I was supposed to have boasts the same name and general location as  Kenya's largest slum, Kibera.  Mary Anne was a wonderful hostess, providing me with a 4 poster bed, on-suite bathroom, a personal tour of the city and the aforementioned slum, along with feeding me a beautiful cheese souffle dinner at the end of the day.

The best part of it all, though, was that my 5 star Nairobi treatment cost less than it would have to sleep in a rented tent and sleeping bag, as it was FREE.

No comments: