August 16, 2011

And see where it takes us

I feel as though there's little I can say now to top the grandeur of Mt. Longonot, which, to be fair, has enough grandeur to overshadow a great many things. But the day before it had been just lovely as well, and I'd feel remiss if I were to just sweep it aside like a neglected toy.

On Saturday, I took an ex-pat field trip to Brown's organic farm outside of town for a cheese tasting and gourmet lunch. I hadn't originally planned to join the trip. I had already tried some varieties of Kenyan cheese and, quite frankly, wasn't much impressed. But I had nothing else to do, and I've learned over years of social trial-and-error that most of the best experiences come from simply saying "Yes." (File under: What DARE and Nancy Reagan don't want you to know).

Yes, let's get on this ferry and see where it takes us.
Yes, let's buy a cheap bottle of wine and sneak it down to the hot springs.
Yes, I will go ask Lewis Black to dance.

(Of course, there are some exceptions. Most notably, "No, I will not get in your van, no matter how much candy you offer me." And "No, I think I'll pass on the ruffies tonight, thanks.")

So with a free afternoon and a desire to get out of the city, I said "Yes, I will join the cheese excursion!" Or at least a moderately-enthused, "Sure, why not."

And it was lovely. Some days are simply made of beauty, and this was one of them. An elegant colonial farmhouse, set among the trees in a beautiful jungle.

Three happy dogs (including a puppy!) running around with tongues lolling out while piglets rolled in the dirt and Colobus monkeys played in the trees (or on the roof among climbing vines).

"That's right, chicken coop; I'm looking at YOU."


We tasted white strawberries and cherry guavas picked straight from the garden. And when the rain came calling, we cozied up to the fire to sip wine and snack on grilled halloumi: Chili, yogurt mint, and lemon marinade.

Next, the official tasting of 11 homemade cheeses with scrumptious honey and chutneys. And just when you feel ready for a post-feast nap, out comes the gourmet lunch, all sourced from their organic farm and gardens.

There was also some cow-milking and a tour of the cheese-making facilities, but those details are a little foggy under the food-enchanted haze.

By the time we got back to Nairobi in the late afternoon, the rain was pouring down in buckets. With no appetite for a proper dinner, I baked a batch of banana-avocado bread and ate it warm with a bit more wine, while the rain nearly-but-not-quite drowned out the sound of my favorite movie. (The Station Agent, if you're wondering).

I can't think of much better.


  1. You danced with Lewis Black? Interesting..

    Monkeys and dogs are awesome. The place looks beautiful, and the food has me feeling hungry. (Thanks...)

    What are those weeping willow like trees? Looks like something out of Gorillas in the Mist.

  2. Hey Jake!

    Actually, I asked him to dance, but he said no :(. Actually, he laughed and said, "I'm not nearly drunk enough for that!" The rejection of my life..

    I don't know what type of trees those were, but yes, that farm is beautiful AND delicious. If I had a car, I'd probably go back every week!

  3. the trees are called weeping bottle brush