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VOTE!!!

If you read my blog, then you know my political leanings. You also know that I am terrified for my country. So much hinges on what happens this November.

Please – VOTE! Overseas? You can still vote. Get out there and do it. Mail it in.

Not sure how to vote? Get the information you need here.

NY State has two ballots. One is for federal, which I’ve sent in. The other is for the state election, will I will send in as soon as I get it.

Every vote counts, especially now. Let’s all of us, Americans all over the world, work together to get the GOP-misogynists-racists out of the House and Senate!

 

Fewer Posts

As time goes by, I feel as though there is less to write about. It’s not a big adventure anymore. Okay, it often is. However, after three years, I just live here now. I have less to say or report back.

I find myself struggling to come up with post ideas. You’ve probably noticed that one story has often gotten stretched to three or four posts. Some of my posts have been pretty lame. The quality is going down and it’s becoming more of a burden rather than something fun.

As a result, I’m going to post less. I won’t post regularly anymore, only when there is something worth posting. For example: a trip, a place really worth reviewing, or something otherwise noteworthy.

I won’t close out the blog. I’ll keep it up for as long as I’m in Kenya. Just keep in mind that it’s not going to have fresh content. If you’re looking for something in Nairobi or want some information because you are planning to move here, keep the dates of the post in mind. Nairobi changes. The older information may not be relevant anymore.

Meanwhile, thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed what you’ve seen so far on my blog. And while there will be fewer posts, I hope whatever new ones come up will be good reads.

Review: Quest Kiteboarding

We finally did it. After initially getting the itch to learn how to kite surf during our vacation in Mauritius, and after not being able to do it earlier this year on my birthday, we finally took our first kiteboarding classes! It was so much fun!

We chose Quest Kiteboarding, located at Diani Sea Lodge for our lessons. Quest has been around since 2012 and is owned and managed by Jamie Hockley. The crew at Quest, just like Jamie, is super nice, helpful, and very accessible. We’d get calls or texts from them to confirm timing of lessons (because winds vary). They were always on time. Someone was always around if you had questions. You are not just in good hands, but caring hands. They want you to not only learn and be safe, but to also have fun.

The equipment we used looked good and in great condition. With a lot of sports, the training gear is often a bit beaten down. Not here. No, it’s not high-end gear. But, everything we used was solid and seemed fairly new.

All the gear

All the gear

Our instructor, Andrea, was fantastic. So much of kitesurfing is about feel. You just have to keep practicing until you get it right. Andrea was able to talk us through and guide us so that it made sense. He was great at seeing where we needed to adjust and at helping through the hurdles. He was very encouraging, which was great for me. Also, he was so patient! We really enjoyed working with him.

Andrea working with us

Andrea working with us

How did we do? J got partway through the intermediate level. I got into the intermediate level. We got our IKO cards to show how far we progressed and we can keep progressing with any kite school. We definitely plan to continue!

Here are some pictures of us during our lessons. All of these photos were taken by the lovely Dafne from Quest.

Sometimes you fall down

Sometimes you fall down

There was always a Quest team member on the beach to help

There was always a Quest team member on the beach to help

Learning to body drag

Learning to body drag

Getting dragged off

Getting dragged off

Working on my skills

Working on my skills while J watches people who know what they’re doing

One thing to note, and I mentioned this in a prior post, be careful if you have any piercings. Navel piercings need to be removed. Helix piercing can and will get banged up and aggravated by the helmet that you wear while training. If your piercing is new, wait until it’s healed before taking any lesson.

If you’re interested in learning from Quest (and you should be!) here is there information:

questkiteboarding.com

They have a Facebook page

Email: info@questkiteboarding.com

Phone: + 254 706 373 201

 

Review: Ocean Village

For our third trip to Diani (my favorite beach!), we stayed at Ocean Village. The resort recently changed management and was renovated. I have to say, they did a good job.

The grounds were lovely. The beach side could have used some umbrellas for shade, but there were enough palm trees for us to manage. The pool area was also nice. There were no lounge chairs by the pool, which I found odd. But, maybe most people are like me and prefer to lounge on the beach anyway.

Outdoor view of the rooms

Outdoor view of the rooms

Looking out to the beach area

Looking out to the beach area

Game room and lounge

Game room and lounge

Our room was really nice, with a big comfortable bed. Everything was is good shape. The bathroom was nice. No issues with that. We had a hot water problem (lack of) one day but it was quickly resolved.

I liked that they had a hairdryer and that it was placed near a mirror. Sadly, the dryer wasn’t really strong enough. Also, the lighting in the room was a bit dim. It’s hard to see what you’re doing when you put on makeup to go out. Those are my only complaints and they are a bit minor. (I’m at the beach so it’s not that big a deal if my hair is damp or if all I’m wearing when I go out is a swipe of lip gloss. I’d prefer better lighting and a better hair dryer but it’s not a deal breaker for me.)

hair dryer near mirror

The service there was really great. The staff was nice, attentive, but not overwhelming. The food was decent. (They usually have a buffet, but given the low season and fewer guests, we got to have meals al la carte.) Drinks were good, and their house red is very nice.

We were very happy with our stay and would definitely stay there again.

Review: Forty Thieves

The first two times we went to Diani, we did not make to to Ali Barbour’s Cave or to Forty Thieves. This time we made it. Actually, we went twice. First to watch the World Cup. Second time for lunch after kite surfing.

We had initially thought it would be like the Cave, as in set in the cave itself. It’s not. It’s right on the beach and it’s very cute.

The atmosphere is casual and friendly. There are screens for watching sports. There are plenty of tables and a nice bar area.

The service is typical beach service, but not bad. A little slow but not terribly so. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The food was decent and the drinks menu was extensive.

We initially thought we’d eat at Ali Barbour’s, but we heard from a lot of people that the quality of the food there has gone down. We skipped it this time. Maybe we’ll try it when we inevitably return for a Diani beach holiday. We’ll certainly go back to Forty Thieves!