January 23-24. Mombasa.

A very fortunate series of hitches takes us to Nairobi and from there to Mombasa, where we arrive very early in the morning, sit on a bench and gaze at the merely male, mostly Indian swimmers. We have a good time in Mombasa, eating out in a phenomenal restaurant and sleeping in a very affordable hotel that features phenomenons of a different kind. I have a déja vu in Mombasa of Panama city. It’s a similar blend of a colonial old town and a busy port city. This one serves most of East Africa.

We watch the televised event for Haiti in our hotel, featuring all those celebrities, and we learn from it. Wycleff Jean does a great performance (something along the lines of “Earth Quake / that makes the earth shake / but the spirit of the Haiti people never gives in”), and even Madonna is there.

Giraffes and baboons flank the Chinese-built highway that takes us back to Nairobi, safely on the back seat of a young couple’s car: hitchhiking never was that easy. We invite them for dinner in Nairobi and arrive home late.

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