Our 2018 buying trip provided us with a new destination – Kenya; the land of wide savannas, game parks, safaris and Nairobi traffic. Our trip was to be an exploratory visit; spend some time with friends after the busy buying of Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey, and maybe some small purchases. It was not to be!
On arrival, it was shocking how quickly we were drawn to the warmth and enterprise of the Kenyan people. We were not expecting everyone to be so friendly and accommodating. Security and traffic issues were never an issue. And surprisingly, the countryside was much cleaner than we had expected. In 2017, Kenya banded plastic bags and the people were enthusiastically changing their habits. Everyone (we talked to) was happy about the change – they all said ‘something has to be done to clean up the country… we were fed up with the garbage’.
We have decided to purchase a large number of the new re-useable Kenyan shopping bags for the Bazaar. We hope you will appreciate them, and make use of the bags many times.
The craftsmanship of Kenya is very strong. We were thrilled to quickly find wonderful craftsmen and women to provide beautiful carvings, Christmas decorations, clay jewelry and Massai blankets. We also met with Ocean Sole (www.oceansole.co.ke), a social enterprise that collects old flip-flops along the coast and recycles them into colourful African animal carvings. (Yes, there is an unlimited number of old rubber flip-flops.) We are confident that our customers will be very impressed with the variety of crafts offered by Kenya.
And of course Kenya also has a wonderful Game Park system with incredible wildlife. We were thrilled to experience the wonders of the Maasai-Mara and Laipikia countryside. Kenya had much more to offer than we had expected; friendly people, spectacular wildlife, incredible scenery and wonderful product.