October 1 – Nairobi International Trade Fair

Posted on October 1, 2013

Today is Day 2 of a huge agricultural and trade fair in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya in Africa. It's the largest trade show in Eastern Africa.

I read that farmers are really proud to be chosen to display their prize cattle or cabbages in this show. The Facebook page for the show features photos of carnival rides as well as crops and farm critters.

Nairobi itself is the East African hub for politics and finance, culture and tourism. Several “villa suburbs” are spreading around it, and Nairobi has become the most populous city in the region.

One of the most interesting things about the geography of the city is that it is near the Great Rift Valley. This valley is part of the East African Rift System, in which one of the rocky plates that cover the Earth is literally splitting apart—making two new plates. As lava rises to fill the gap caused by the plates moving apart, new land is formed, earthquakes shake the area, volcanos arise and erupt, and even lakes form—long, skinny, shallow rift-like lakes that often become more and more alkaline.

The rift system not only pulls apart rocky layers, it also exposes fossils from long ago creatures. That is the main reason that scientists have found so many fossils of early hominids, ancestors to modern humans, there.

We are all African...

There is evidence of several different sorts that modern humans evolved in East Africa and then immigrated to all the “corners” of the world. Interestingly, one bit of evidence is that the native peoples of Eastern African are very, very diverse. They are tall and short, dark-skinned and light-skinned, round-faced and narrow-faced. They have more genetic and mitochondrial variation than other similarly-sized areas of the world.

Some of the varied peoples of East Africa
Of course, we are used to diversity these days. Here in America, for example, most areas are “melting pots” of peoples from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. However, the diversity we are discussing in Eastern Africa is among peoples who have lived in that area for centuries or millennia.

I mourn for those affected by the tragic shopping mall attack in Nairobi this week. I wonder if the attack has affected the planned trade show and wish everybody in the city well.

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

And here are my Pinterest boards for November holidays, Novemberbirthdays, and historical anniversaries in November.

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