Month: November 2017

Review: VIP Spa

UPDATED: VIP Spa has closed! I mentioned in an earlier post that there are more and more dog services in Nairobi. VIP Spa (Very Impawtant Pets) is one such service. Oreo has been there three times now. The first time she went for a bath. The second time she went for daycare (right after the cone of shame came off and I was out of the country, leaving J. on single parent duty). This last time was for both a bath and daycare. She likes it there, in fact all the dogs I’ve seen there seem to really have a blast. The place is big with a large main play area as well as smaller rooms (for some dogs that would rather be in a smaller setting or need to be kept separate). They group mostly by temperament and then by size. The main area has couches and a TV and is basically like a large living room where they can hang out and play. The smaller rooms are like little bedrooms, but still big enough …

The German BakeHouse

We’ve discovered another great artisanal food shop in Nairobi! The German BakeHouse makes sourdough bread, pretzels, rolls, and more. The recipes are inspired by traditional German bread, but they have a modern twist (read: they have gluten free products too). You can find them Saturdays at Purdy Arms in Karen, at the Karura Coffee House in the New Muthaiga Mall (on Thigiri Ridge), and the Total gas station in Spring Valley. You can also order online and they’ll deliver to you. Their bread is delicious—J. can’t get enough of their dark rye. Give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Oreo in Karura Forest

Dogs & Karura Forest

I’ve posted about Karura Forest before. Now I’m posting again from a different standpoint: that of a dog owner. Since getting Oreo, we go to Karura Forest almost everyday. Sometimes we go to the larger part, using the Limuru Road entrance. Most often we go to the smaller part off of Thigiri Ridge, mostly because it’s a lot closer to us. Both parts are great. It just depends on what you want to do with your dogs. For longer hikes and runs, I’d recommend the larger part of the forest. For a more manageable off leash area, I’d recommend the smaller part. Most of the forest (both parts) require dogs on leash. That’s fine for us as Oreo has no leash issues. Oreo loves hiking through all the trails. I love being out in nature and getting extra exercise. We both get a lot out of it. There are two off leash areas in the larger part. I’ve only been to one of them, not far from River Cafe. The space is nice, but there …

Another New Family Member

Driving in Kenya has been an evolution for me. I started out not really wanting to drive. I’m from New York. I don’t do that crap. Then I realized the freedom a car would give me. I needed to drive. Indeed, you do need a car to get anywhere here. Soon, we got to a point where we needed a second car, sorry, vehicle. Sure, we could manage with one. But, it was getting harder and harder. And so, our newest addition to the family: a Land Rover Defender. It’s J.’s baby. I think it feels like you’re riding in a tractor, but apparently that is the appeal. J. loves his Landy. (Just don’t call it a car!)  

Dear Fellow UN People

Since adopting Oreo, it has come to my attention that, apparently, UN people (international staff be it families, couples, or single people) are notorious for abandoning animals (and not just in Kenya). A number of people, upon hearing that we are with the UN, asked me (with grave concern) if we plan to take Oreo with us when we eventually leave Kenya. A friend of ours, also UN, has experienced the same thing since she rescued her dog earlier this year. Of course we will take Oreo! She is our family. This is her forever home and she will go wherever we go. There is no question about that. We think along the lines of a certain couple we know who are with the Canadian High Commission: if a post doesn’t allow for the dog, we turn down that post. No one is pointing a gun to your head demanding that you take the assignment. If you wondered this about us, I hope I’ve settled the matter. We don’t leave animals behind. Furthermore, we think …