SIMPLY, Eldoret!

Eldoret. Half million people living few hundred kilometers North of the Equator. Altitude of more then 2000 meters (at point 2700!), this quite new city is lively and effervescent.
The name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldore" meaning "stony river"; a reference to the bed of the Sosiani River (a tributary of the Nile), that runs through the city.
And indeed, many things are running through here. Humans, goods, and marathoners, to name but few.
Humans: the populations almost doubled in the last 10 years: in 2009,  people living in Eldoret were 290,000, in 2019 they were 475,000. A sign of its rapid expansion. 
Goods: the city has an incredibly vivid economy these days, with new businesses sprouting, new building and shopping malls raising, and huge investments (especially from China) boosting up its economy and its infrastructure. First of all, a new highway to connect Eldoret to Uganda, which makes the city an important crossroad for economic exchange with the capital, Nairobi.
Marathoners: Eldoret is considered the home of champions. Closest city to Iten, the famous training centre for the most amazing runners of all time, Eldoret provide infrastructure, accommodation and facilities for all the international athletes moving to Iten to train in the altitude - and who still cant compete with Kenyans ;-)

Said so, honestly no one knows where Eldoret is, despite is the 5th largest city in the country (after Nairobi,  Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu).
Moreover, the Lonely Planet begins by saying "Eldoret hasnt got much to offer"!
Well, surely the city is missing the attractions and entertainment of Nairobi, the beaches of Mombasa and the lake scenarios of Kisumu. 

But still, it has its character. Its a multifaceted city, with posh areas and slums closed to each other - mirroring the social inequalities of the country.
It has some modern building, like Damia Tower, only skyscraper of the city, which stands to overlook the landscape as a fortress. Or the eccentric Rupa Mall, an avangardist complex of building at the outskirts of the town which is taking you directly to the neoliberalist vibes of the West.
And then, traditional, often colonial, reminiscences - the golf club, for example, a oasis of peace and exclusivism definitely imported by the English. Or the National Library and the Town Hall, built in the 50s.
I like Eldoret and I love walking around. The city center is busy, and you need to be very careful with cars and motorbikes - that are definitely not sensible to people on foot. Also, it's a river of people and a swarming of activities, with humans involved in their businesses - mainly selling things in proper shops or in shanty house at the marging of the street.

But the outskirts are peaceful. You can walk for miles on the pavements, undisturbed and framed by exotic flowers and chirping birds. Not many cars, nor the confusion of a big metropolis. It's full of nature, and just by going away 5 min from the centre, you are in the trees, in the bushes, in the peaceful shadows of a tropical setting. 

And the weather, well, the weather is just AMAZING!
In the day it is hot and you have to be quite careful of not getting a sunstroke (done✅) or a sunburn (done✅). Obviously, we are on the equator and the sun doesnt joke ;-)
But it is not too hot, it's like 26°-28° C, and there is always a nice refreshing breeze. This is saving people from being completely shattered by the heat and by sweating all day. And in the evening its quite cold: I knew I should have brought my flanelled pijama!
All this to say: as always, I end up in the most unknown, isolated locations (a saga after an erasmus in Poland - who goes for an Erasmus in Poland??? - and an exchange in Jordan - where is Jordan?).
But I love the potential of obscures places. They cuddle you by daily surprises, they amaze you with small things, they fascinate with the power of simplicity - which, ultimately,  it's my first aim in life! ;-)


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