Wednesday, December 29, 2010

US Embassy Memorial

Our safari trip ended earlier in the day than planned, which left us with most of the afternoon to do some touring in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. We were supposed to have a day to tour before the safari began, but because of our delayed plane, that didn't happen. There isn't much to see in the city and it isn't the safest place for us to be, but we went out anyway.

We had one place we wanted to go and it was only 3 km toward downtown, so we decided we would try to walk it. Normally 3 km would be no big deal, but I was nervous about being out and about. Jay had his map in his hands and I was nervous because it made us look like tourists (which you don't want to be pegged as). But then I realized..... this entire town has black skin and we have bright white skin. I'm pretty sure that pegged us as tourists! Nonetheless, we walked right through an extremely busy park as they were having a festival to celebrate Boxing Day. We got stared at by everyone we passed, but we kept on pushing through. I was scared out of my mind, but Jay was a little more used to it. Once we got through the massive crowd, it wasn't quite so bad.
Anyway, our goal was to get to the Memorial of the US Embassy that was bombed back in 1998. We got to the memorial and had to pay a whole 20 cents each to get in! It was a little park area with a water fountain and a memorial wall, with all the names of the victims. There were several people laying around on the grass and enjoying the beautiful day. The place of the memorial is where the US Embassy used to stand. The building is no longer there and is now the memorial.

We went in to the visitors center to look around and read the stories. It was quite interesting to see it all. We also got to watch a half hour long video of exactly what happened. It reinacted the entire day and explained the FBI investigation that eventually led to the arrest of the terrorist. This terrorist attack that took place in 1998 is the largest attack in Africa thus far, and the sad part is it wasn't even against Africa, it was against the US. 218 people were killed in the attack, most of them being Africans. This attack is compared to that of the Twin Towers in NY. That was the biggest attack on American soil and this was the biggest attack on African soil.

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