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February 18, 2019

Love in the time of Ebola

White Highland Inn, Eldoret
White Highland Inn, Eldoret

In Kenya, we have enough problems to deal with ranging from breathalyser, road accidents, terrorists attacks, forced circumcision of young boys in Western Kenya and socialites seeking cheap publicity, to afford time to worry about the challenges people are going through in other parts of the world. Many Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli bombings. Hollywood Star, actor Robin Williams committed suicide but we don't have time to empathize with their loved ones. We can't! Our plates are full.

One thing, we probably should not ignore is the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which has so far claimed thousands of people within a short time. The disease broke out in Guinea in December last year, and quickly spread in other countries in West Africa killing almost Sh1,000 people, with Liberia being the most affected. It is easy to brush off the Ebola talks in Nairobi until we hear an 'infected' West African was aboard a flight to Kenya. This is the time fear grips us. Kenyans have a good sense of humour, and it is in their nature to make fun of serious events. Minutes after it was reported in the news that a person suspected to be suffering from Ebola flew in via KQ airline, an SMS that read:“Kenya has its first recorded case of Ebola... Ebola Omondi was born at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital on Wednesday morning,” started doing rounds.

Let me change gears and focus on the seriousness of this matter because it has grave ramifications in our society. With the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the first people likely to be affected would be those who work in the aviation industry. They would be the hardest hit should the virus find its way to our country. With the bad news, those who envy the airline staff, such as flight attendants would start looking down on them. The prestige associated to careers in airline industry would be no more. People would not want to have any form of interaction with them – not even sending your child to pick a phone charger from their houses for fear that he or she will get infected.

Nairobians would probably start calling flight attendants 'waiters or waitresses in the air', you know, like the ones who serve customers on the second or third floor of a restaurant.

Passengers who are in the habit of having a tag on their luggage indicating where they are travelling from would remove the labels. Some people keep the tags, even for five years, to show off and prove to those who don't them that they are globetrotters. I foresee a situation where those who may have been to West Africa 10 years ago will dispose off the tags, which are probably still on their bags. This is because they fear being quarantined for traveling to 'high-risk' areas. 

The Ebola virus will also affect those searching for love. Going on a blind date for most people is nerve-racking, because you know absolutely nothing about the person you are meeting. With the Ebola outbreak, the dating game is about to even get more complicated for both parties. You can expect the Nairobi lass who loves to show off her bootylicious body – natural or artificial – appearing in social gatherings in a veil and baggy outfits.

In fact, I would not be surprised to see these young 'socialites' clad a hijab and brushing off all men who try to woo her until she confirms where they have been to recently. Vetting would be a must before hooking up with anyone. Once the young woman confirms a potential hookup was nowhere near a plane, she would probably rush to the bathroom to change into clothes that enhance her curves.

I expect a guy in search of a partner to be frequenting social places with a mask to cover his face and gloves, just in case he comes across an 'Ebola patient'. 

It is normal for love birds dating to enjoy a certain level of intimacy that may include hugging and kissing. With the Ebola scare, this will have to wait until the lovers have been given a clean bill if health.

The virus is likely to change the way loved ones greet each other. They might as well start waving at each other as hugs, kisses and handshakes will take a break. Who knows may be they will borrow a leaf from Japanese and start bowing. 


White Highland Inn, Eldoret


It is said that the best place to watch Kenyans winning medals abroad is in Uasin Gishu county as many of the winners come from that part of the country and its residents have a passion for athletics. I tested this theory the other week as the Commonwealth Games were happening in Scotland. I watched some races at the White Highland Inn. The hotel is a quaint old place. Room charges for a night in a room is Sh2,000 for single and Sh2,800 for double. The hotel is a walking distance from Eldoret town.

It was on Thursday and our young women were competing in the 3,000 metros steeplechase. I settled down in the bar with a few friends and ordered my usual cold Tusker, which was retailing at Sh160. I must say the price is fair.

As I drank my cold beer, I looked around the place, which had white metallic seats and tables, and was partitioned into sections. In one section there was a bar counter manned by a friendly bar man. There as also a pool table with some fellows aiming at the balls to pot them keenly. There was a few other sections but I opted to sit on the outer area as it was spacious. There is a playing area and would come in handy for parents who visit the joint accompanied by their children. 

My interest on this evening was watching the sports. The crowd in here looked slightly older than you would expect in a joint whose setting is for young punters. They were dressed in warm hardy jackets as they keenly watched their countrywomen win gold and bring glory to Kenya.

After the games ended, I was happy to get some jikos from the management because it was getting nippy outside.

A quick recap;

Good: Convenient location, great service, TV for the sports lovers, play area for kids, disability friendly, emergency exits.

Bad: Clean washrooms

My verdict: I really had a great time at this White Highland Inn. Great food and service. Highly recommended.

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