This is part 2 of my first day in Nairobi! After seeing all the baby elephants, I went to the Nairobi National Museum for a few hours. The bottom floor is a great overview of both the natural history of Kenya and an overview of mammalian evolution, and the top floor focuses on the history of Kenya (precolonial to present) and the stages of human life, as told through contemporary Kenyan tribal artifacts. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the museum.
Special mention needs to be given to the “Girls Design the World” exhibition, which was created through a partnership between the National Museums of Kenya and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota. With the guidance of artists, designers, and environmentalists, female high school students from the two cities looked at local environmental challenges and used design thinking to create prototype solutions for their problems. These solutions were as simple as the separation of waste types to the manufacturing of oil from non-biodegradable waste.
The best part of the museum was actually the number of high schoolers present. While I was walking around, a number of girls would just randomly say hello to me. Eventually, a group of 5 girls stopped me (To practice their English? To play with my hair? Unclear.) and I got to tell them about the research I was doing in Kenya as well as the steps to graduate school in the US. Very strange, but I had a good time.