Touchdown Nairobi! We’ve arrived in Kenya’s capital city, just south of the equator. Our day began 26 hours ago at Logan airport, when we wished Boston farewell over a couple beers and took a group picture before boarding a plane and beginning our long haul to Africa.
A layover in London afforded us the opportunity to find scones and Cadbury chocolate, while some of us sleepily forked around eggs and toast. We began to get to know one another, sharing experiences of previous trips, practicing Swahili phrases and keeping tabs on who got which vaccinations, and remembered to pop our daily anti-malaria meds.
Maybe it’s because many of us have been part of immersive Jewish experiences or share a love of travel (or perhaps a loathing of the T), but thus far, our group of 12 feels familiar. At the same time, we arrive ready to immerse ourselves in the unfamiliar—to learn about Kenya and its people.
Going through customs at the small airport in Kenya felt more different and exciting than past travel experiences. After gathering our bags, we left the airport in a chartered van and were greeted with extraordinary hospitality by staff at our hotel. After a midnight dinner, we wound down for the night, preparing to absorb and be inspired by Kenya’s culture, people and more—all through a shared lens of Israel.
Tal Havivi was born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., and currently resides in Cambridge. He studied business administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works at Amazon focusing on public school districts. Outside of work, Tal loves to eat his way through Cambridge/Somerville and is a mentor for a recent immigrant teenager through a program called Enroot.