12/8/89

We didn’t get up until 1:30 p.m. today which was quite lazy but we do have 10 days to fill in so why not fill some of it in by sleeping late?

We went downstairs and deposited most of our trip money in the hotel safe and changed £50 into 1650 Kenyan shillings.  We met a girl from Christchurch in the lobby who is doing a 5 week Kumuka trip and arranged to meet her for a drink at 7 tonight. We went out and search of food and ran the gauntlet of many guys selling safaris. In the end, a polite, well-spoken Kenyan stopped us outside the Hilton and we arranged to come back there tomorrow and go on a half day trip to the Nairobi National Park. His name was Silas A. Wadhane and he has a business management degree and was a lot more polite and intelligent from most of the ratbags, friendly ratbags, yes, but ratbags nevertheless, that stand on the corners selling the same trips.

We had lunch of Kenyan food – sweet potatoes, arrowroot, mince, fish, and beans – then went back to the hotel.

We met Lynda for drinks at 7 as arranged then decided to go out for something to eat. That was when the trouble began. We were standing on the corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Muindi Mbinghu Street when a man came up to us, ripped Lynda’s handbag off, and ran to a waiting car. Lynda and I chased him and tried to stop him and several passersby came to our aid but the guy was big and very strong and he got the bag into the car which then took off. We still had hold of the man but we had to let go as the car gathered speed and we crashed to the pavement. The car was a yellow Toyota Corolla, registration number KQV 590. The bag had all of Lynda’s stuff in it: passport, t/cheques, money, air tickets, travel and hotel vouchers and vaccination certificate.

We went back to the hotel and after a lot of explaining got the police. They took us up to the police station where Lynda told her story four times to various officers. In the end a “detective” took a statement.

The activity and the station was quite interesting to say the least. A never-ending stream of people in plain clothes walked in and out of the cell area without question. The uniformed police all carried sidearms and many of them carried Armalite rifles, UZI submachine guns, and what I think we’re Stirling submachine guns.  They carry them quite openly and one guy talked to us with his UZI sitting on the table pointing straight at us!

It was a long drawn out process but we finally got the statement across and left the station.  We caught a taxi back to the 680 not wanting to risk walking. We went up to Lynda’s room and got a meal brought up then left her and went to our own room.

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