October 15, 2010
Going to Nairobi? Stay with my friend Tom at International Guest House.
Last time I was in Nairobi, I was in a very difficult situation. Given the large gap between rich and poor, it can be a challenge to find a place to live. To find an apartment in Nairobi with only a couple hundred dollars in my pocket, I had no visible options. It would not have been safe to move into one of the slums, nor could I live with my friends in East Leigh. I also wanted a place within walking distance of downtown where I was working everyday. I was left to wander the city and find a place, with only a few days to do so.
One day I was wandering through Upper Hill, looking for a particular guesthouse I used to frequent, only to discover it had been fully abandoned. Walking down a side street I saw a sign for the International Guest House, and after passing through the gate, I met Tom Kamau and discussed my need for housing. When I met Tom, he was a long time successful businessman who was struggling with the sudden loss of tourism prompted by the US recession. He also understood that I was in a difficult situation and out of kindness offered me an apartment on his property within range of something I could afford.
I immediately moved in, and found that Tom continued on multiple occasions to provide help with any problem I might have. In exchange I tried to find ways to help Tom better market his business and attract more guests by discussing website development and online marketing strategies. Unfortunately I had to leave before I could really do as much as I wanted, but as Nairobi is one of those difficult places to avoid, I'm certain that I will always continue to stay at the International Guest House every time I return to Kenya. If anyone else happens to be in the area and needs a place to stay, make a point to check it out.