Remember when you couldn’t wait to get to form 2 or 3 to drop some of the subjects? That was Yvonne in 2010! History vs geography? I had no second thoughts when it came to this two. Geography was a NO for me. Why would I want to study rocks? Why would I want to be in “her” class? (Her classes came before the lunch break and she made sure to extend even after the second lunch bell had rung. Not that I enjoyed the food but I needed enough time to grind the maize people). History classes, on the other hand, were full of sweet stories even when some were sad. Heard of the man-eaters of Tsavo? The lives lost during the railway construction back then? Scares me to date.
Friday morning, I get a call to visit the NRM (Nairobi Railway Museum), one I never knew of until Sauti sol dropped the short and sweet jam. Being a holiday I for sure want to sleep till 8 am but again my love for history, big machines, and art gets me out of bed and for some reasons I needed to distract myself so badly that I lost the sentence No for a moment. On my way, I google the history of the railway construction and I find out It all started in the port of Mombasa in 1896 and was completed in port Florence now known as Kisumu city in 1901. Being a holiday traffic is smooth and in a few comes the museum. The path walls are full of graffiti; of the work involved in the construction of the lunatic express. Charges are quite fair Ksh 200 for adult citizens, payments are done and the tour begins.
Inside the Railway Museum of Kenya
The tour starts with a short walk inside the museum gallery. Here you find an assortment of ancient items associated with all the railway activities; ancient photos explaining the construction of the railway line, and the difficulties experienced by the workers during the construction e.g. the stories of the man-eater lions of Tsavo and the severe deaths as a result of malaria and tsetse flies’ attacks. Apart from the old railway story, the museum has the SGR (Standard Gateway Railway) story told in one section from men at work to when the president launched it. Glad the SGR is not a story for me but a reality.
Outside the Nairobi railway museum gallery is an art gallery, where artists showcase their art pieces and a small training center for young artists. I meet Mr. Ndirangu a talented young man whose passion for art amazes me. He is working on an antelope family piece when I request a board to script something. He gets me one but before handing it to me he asks if I am an artist, and softly I say no hoping to still get the drawing board. We talk matters art; I do my flower drawing not letting anyone see my work. Once done I showcase it to the entire gallery and everyone claps for me (my 10 minutes of fame right there!) James jokes about buying my art and its then that I quote 50 USD and he can no longer afford it (Sorry man art is expensive, try next time but thank you for the invite, photography and the jokes too).
Outside the gallery are old locomotives in various states telling the evolution story of the train. Here you can go inside, take photos of your short and sweet version as you wish. James shares his experience in this train and what gets me laughing is his experience in the 3rd class coach where the toilets were basically a hole and “everything” landed on the railway line. When mama says you be careful when walking on the railway line, I understand. He also explains how during the night the upper sits would be turned into beds and they would sleep all the way to Mombasa. Sounds fun. With all his stories I still had to go inside some of the couches and find out. To my surprise, it was so true. I still ask myself why I never got to one but hey this guy is just old and Yvonne just turned 16(toss to sweet 16). I take a few photos with the machines and just when we are about to leave I see the steam train used in the movie out of Africa. Wow. Did we spend a whole 2 hours in there? Yes, we did. Go check it out.
Until we find out where the sky meets the ocean LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE.