I was happy to spend the afternoon recharging for our trip tomorrow and hope to get out to see the Nairobi market on Friday. We begin our tea tour at 6am sharp tomorrow! After breakfast (and mango juice heaven!), it’s back to the airport to catch a charter plane for our group to Kericho, where we’ll immediately start on the day’s agenda learning all about the tea estate (after a cup of Lipton tea, I hear 😉 )
I had a great workout this afternoon, and after 2 days of seated travel it was wonderful to work up a sweat. The health club was packed with all different nationalities speaking different languages over their workouts. After some ellipticaling and biking, I ended with a short YogaDownload session on my iPod in the empty aerobics room. I felt just like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love doing yoga in a tropical climate (minus the chanting!) The people who work in the health center (and the whole hotel, for that matter) are so friendly. They always have a big smile on their faces and are not only very pleasant, but they have a real enthusiasm to get to know you and ask lots of questions.
For cocktail hour Kelly and I enjoyed drinks and snacks poolside. I had a sparkling water, a few tarro chips and small handful of peanuts. Perfect to tide me to dinner.
The arrowroot chips were so pretty – like they came from the ocean. Tasted great too!
After a quick shower and a mediocre video chat with Matt (in quality of video, not of company!), I went back down for dinner. Several more of the journalists have arrived. French was floating all around me! Joining us were two women from France, a man and woman from Australia, more Parisians with Unilever, and a member of the Rainforest Alliance from England (I think!). And another American photographer from National Geographic arrived after dinner. I feel so honored to be here. (And I think the others find the KERF food diary concept quite unique!)
We had a few bottles of South African wine for the table, along with some sparking water. I started with a small glass of the white, which was great – kind of a cross between a Riesling and a Sauv. Blanc.
Plus a buttered slice of pumpernickely bread
If you can read it, here’s the buffet menu –
I had a taste of almost everything. My favorite was the zucchini, which I believe had a cilantro sauce. The lamb in puff pastry was actually quite good too! I liked the stuffing, but left some of the meat. I ate about 75% of this (that’s the magic number these days) verrrrrrrrrry slowly since others ordered from the menu. It was so satisfying to eat that slowly – I need to do that more often.
After a while I tried the red wine too. Wine in this event was purely to complement the food – the best kind of drinking! It was so nice as a contrast to cleanse my palate.
Catherine beside me ordered the a dish that came with ugali, which is the traditional staple of Kenya. Ugali is described in my Kenya guide book as “a thick maize dough made from yellow maize, millet or sorghum flour. Ugali is eaten with a stew of beans, goat, beef, lamb, chicken or fish”.
Um, you had me at DOUGH!!! It was like grits meets mashed potatoes meets dough. So bland, yet so delicious!! It needed salt, but I love me some dough. Can’t wait to have this again at our local dinner on Wednesday night!
I ended with a sweet bite of some kind of chocolate-y mousse and a pear + almond tart, which reminded me of marzipan. There were 10 other things I wanted to try, but I held restraint knowing we have an early morning and I don’t need to feel sickly on sugar!
I’ve got a 5:30 wake-up call and am getting in bed now (3pm, NC time!). If I haven’t mentioned it flat out, tomorrow night we’ll be staying on the tea estate, so I don’t know of my internet capabilities. I hope to put up a post in the evening, but it could be Wednesday (or worst case, Thursday afternoon) before you see me again.
Take it away Matt!