Just Found Out


May 9th, 2004, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 65
Just Found Out

We are leaving in 5 weeks for Kenya (1st timers.) My parents arranged a dinner last night with their long time friend of 50 years. He has spent the last 30 years in Kenya. He is here in Los angeles on a 2 year teaching contract at Loyola University. Anyways, his brother-in-law is a driver/ guide in Tans. He told us besides the recommended tips the drivers love to get personal items. The hot ticket right now are tennis/ running shoes. He suggested the 10.00 basic ones. No frills are necessary. He strongly urged that we contact our tour operator to learn as much about the assigned guide as possible: Age, wife children. Also to find out 3 items the guide would like to receive from the US. They are not greedy. They may ask for a baseball cap a Gap t-shirt ect. We were very pleased to learn of this information. I guess the key is to learn as much as you can about the driver. We were told that it will start the safari of on the right "Foot." Hope this helps.
katj232 is offline  
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May 9th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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katj232 -

I'm surprised that your tour operator hasn't already provided you information regarding items that are suggested one bring to East Africa to barter with - especially, t-shirts and caps with names of known sports teams. As to tennis shoes, often I've seen tourists exchange the very pair they are wearing (take them off right there) for an item in a sourvenir shop. Personally, I'm not all that keen on exchanging items worn close to the body with another - a new pair of tennis shoes, are fine, but having a size (corresponding with US sizes) would help.

Mostly, visitors bring items for children such as pens, pencils, lined note books, story books, as well as t-shirts and caps. Or once having been a guest at a school or with a family and knowing of something specific they might need, send the item/s to Kenya once they've returned home to the States or Europe.

But do remember though that if you are limited in the weight you can take with you, these items only add to that - tennis shoes in particular.
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