Visiting Kenya

I had the privilege to conduct a FIDE Trainer Seminar in Nairobi. Kenya from 19-22 September 2019 see:

This was quite an experience with many memorable moments and I like to believe that my visit might have made a difference and my hosts seem to have thought so although given how hospitable, kind and gracious they had been...

And I will also have to say that their chess culture, while vibrant, is also certainly very entrenched!

Let's start with the 18 hour journey starting from KLIA to Bangkok on Thai Airways and then after the usual 4 hour wait, on a rather good Kenya Airways, to their capital city Nairobi.

The report on the seminar itself is on record and given in the link earlier so I would like share the highlight of my trip which almost did not happen given my tight schedule.

Of course, it was Safari! 

Note how close the city is to the Nairobi National Park. Just 15 minutes away without the quite horrendous local traffic and when it starts at 5.30 a.m. and finishes at 10.30 a.m. and so with enough time to make your 11 a.m. appointment, then all is good!

Quite a variety of birds... including vultures! All too real but not as scary looking as you get in the movies.

Impala and buffalo

Yes, it's a Zebra crossing! 

I was told I was lucky to get to see Lions,

A heated argument broke out on my FaceBook post when I repeated what my guide told me about this being an Alligator. Seems there are only Crocodiles in Africa.

I came primarily to see a Giraffe so mission accomplished.

My friend Kim Bhari and frequent dinner companion also wrote about my visit in his well followed blog as follows: 

But he missed a couple of activities, not knowing I worked off the plane from 9 a.m. on arrival at 6 a.m. including several group and individual sessions with Chess Kenya Academy trainees but also visiting the National Inter-Banks.

What also stood out for me in my visit was seeing so much chess going on at the developmental level and it was wonderful to be able to join my old friend Githinji Hinga at his MiniChess workshop teaching teachers in a program that hopes to have chess in 20 schools serving 17,000 children in the slums by the end of next year. 

Finally I have to thank Benard Wanjala for remembering it was my birthday for me and giving me something to always remember.



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