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Ojas Gandhi

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Congratulations on your new wedsite. Looking forward to attending your wedding in Kenya on 19 April 2018.

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Our Wedding

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Our Wedding

For Travelers

Nairobi, Kenya

www.magicalkenya.com

+254 722 262 000
Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi

We are thrilled that you are able to make the trip to our wedding from 19th  –  22th April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. We  have some important information to share with you.    

As I’m sure you’re already well aware  –  it is going to be 4  days of celebrations, partying and  lots of fun with all of our  closest family, and friends in one place at one time. Especially amongst the most beautiful countries in Africa.

Without further ado. We want to make sure you are 200% prepared and informed.      

So below are the key points that you'll need to know. Please  note that not all of the below may be applicable to everyone:    

Flying in to Kenya?

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) is the airport you want to be booking your inbound flight to.

Haven’t  got  your  Visa?

Be  aware  of  scam  and  fake  visa  sites.  If  you  aren’t  a Kenyan  citizen  and  haven’t  applied  for   your  Visa  –  please  click  on  the  link  below,  the  application  can  be  completed  online  and  it   should  be  approved  within  3  to  4  working  days.  Cost  is  approximately  $55USD.   www.kenyaimmigration.org/Kenya-eVisa

Alternatively visa's for Kenya are available on arrival for Australian citizens.

Getting from the Airport to the City Centre:

The airport is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, about a 30 minute drive away – more depending on traffic conditions (Probably 2 hours in 2018). If you have pre-booked accommodation in Nairobi, the hotel or guest house may offer airport pick-up. A taxi ride from the airport to central Nairobi should cost around 1000 – 2000 KES depending on where you are going (make sure you don't overpay).

Kenyan Money:

Kenya uses the Kenya Shilling (KES): 1 AUD = about 86 KES. Before you travel to Kenya, be sure to check out the exact exchange rate. It is advisable to bring some kenyan shillings from overseas as the exchange rate at the airport may not be favourable.

Weather  forecast  for  the  wedding:  

The  average  maximum  daytime  temperature  in  Nairobi  in  April  is  a  hot  25°C,  while  the   average  minimum  night-­time  temperature  is  a  comfortable  15°C.  On  average  0  mm  (0   inches)  of  rain  normally  falls  in Nairobi during  April with  very  little  chance  of  rain  falling   during  the  month.  You  can  expect  on  average  10  hours  of  sunshine  a  day  in  Nairobi during April.   

Walk Around Downtown Nairobi:

Safety is improving in parts of downtown Nairobi, and that’s great, because there are lots of things to see and places to walk around. Take a stroll though central Nairobi and check out the old paliament buildings, the McMillan Memorial Library, and quite a few colonial buildings. It may be easiest to begin your walk from Nairobis Hilton hotel.

Museums:

Like many capital cities in the world, Nairobi is full of interesting museum. Kenya National Archives houses memorabilia from colonial Kenya and the Nairobi National Museum has exhibits displaying culture from around the country.

City Park Hawkers:

When I travel, there’s not much I like better than going to local style produce markets. One of the biggest food markets in Nairobi is City Park Hawkers, located in the Parklands area of town.

Maasai Market:

If you are looking for Kenyan made souvenirs, you’ll need to go to the Maasai Market. The giant market is filled with vendors selling all kinds of curio handicraft things.

Nairobi Nightlife:

Nairobi nightlife is rather famous throughout Africa. There are lots and lots of bars and quite a few night clubs. Just be cautious going out at night and you should have a great time!

Eating in Nairobi:

When you travel anywhere in the world, food can be one of the most important aspects. The food in Nairobi offers a pleasant mix of everything from delicious local Kenyan dishes to international famed restaurants.

Kenyan style roasted meat (known as nyama choma), Indian food, and Ethiopian cuisine are among my favorite things to eat in Nairobi. In this Nairobi travel guide, I’ll go over a few of my top dining recommendations.

Local Kenyan Food:

1. Ugali: Ugali is usually made from ground cornmeal (but the staple can also be made with sorghum or cassava) that is cooked into a thick paste and is recognized as Kenya’s national starch. Many Kenyan’s eat ugali everyday.

2. Sukuma Wiki: Sukuma wiki (which in English is known as collard greens or kale) is the most popular green vegetable eaten throughout Nairobi and Kenya. The vegetable is usually sliced thinly and mixed with tomatoes, onions, and a sprinkle of mchuzi mix (secret salt flavoring).

3. Beans: Forms of beans are cooked with small bit of tomatoes and onions to create a pleasant bean dish with sauce that goes great with ugali, chapatis, or rice. I ate a great Nairobi street food meal near Adam’s Arcade.

4. Chapatis: Originating from Indian influence, the chapati has become a Kenyan staple. Kenyan chapatis are often eaten with a plate of beans and cabbage or sukuma wiki as well.

5. Nyama Choma (Roasted Meat): There’s nothing as good as Kenyan roasted meat at a local joint! One of the most popular ways to enjoy goat or beef is roasted and sliced on a cutting board right on your table! Look here for the best nyama choma in Nairobi. It’s my favorite thing to eat!

6. Chai: Despite the Kenyan coffee reputation, it’s tea that is the most popular hot beverage in Nairobi. Black tea is made strong, toned down with milk, and sweetened up with 3 spoons of sugar!

Prices in Nairobi:

How much money will you need when you travel to Nairobi?

The cost of traveling in Kenya can be as little as $25 per day, however to be comfortable you probably need around $40 as a budget traveler. Of course, things can be much higher depending on how you are living and what you are seeing.

At the least, you’ll be paying around $70 per night for accommodation. You can get a little less if you check out the Nairobi camping options. Private guest house rooms run in the $40 range and hotels might cost in the $50 – $80 range.

Street style local Nairobi food is cheap, about $2 for a meal, but international restaurants can be more expensive. You might pay about $5 – $10 for a good meal out at a sit down restaurant.

500 ml bottles of beer are $1 – $2 at local pubs, but if you go to more upscale night places, the prices will double.

As for attractions, if you are a tourist, many things are not that cheap in Nairobi. For instance, the entrance fee for Nairobi National Park is $40 per day – not cheap!

Museums and monuments cost in the $5 – $10 range for non-residents.

Safety in Nairobi:

Just like any other city in the world, some areas of Nairobi are safe while other areas are not safe at all. Depending on where you are, what you do, and how you act, is what can make the safety difference.

Nairobi does have its share of theft, but using some common sense is a way to avoid some of it. I’ve had a couple mobile phones and a wallet stolen. When I first moved to Nairobi my Mother had a gold necklace ripped off her neck and my Father had a watched ripped off his wrist.

Lesson: Be careful what you wear, don’t wear anything flashy, and be careful with electronics ie: cameras.

That being said, I don’t feel in danger when I’m in Nairobi (in most areas of town, apart from places like Dandora). I would definitely recommend traveling to Nairobi, but when going to places like downtown or slum areas, it’s always a good idea to find a group to walk around with or some traveling companions.

Solo Women:

For solo women, be careful, be alert, and be especially cautious going out at night. If possible venture out with a group of people. If you go to any parties where there are a lot of people, be careful of pickpockets and purse snatches.

Be careful carrying a purse as they are quite easy to rip off. If you do use a purse, make sure it has a secure zipper and that it can be carried close to your body, maybe with your arm tightly wrapped around it.

Safety Tips for Nairobi:

  • Try not to wear anything overly ostentatious or over the top stylish
  • Go to Busy Places with a Group
  • Be Cautious Taking Photos
  • Don’t Wear Any Valuable Jewelery
  • Backpack When Sitting
  • Be Confident and Know Where You Are Going
  • Avoid Areas That Don’t Feel Safe
  • How to Carry Money and Cameras:

    I normally carry an “in the pants” wallet pouch that has a belt loop and then lays vertically down my pants. This way, I don’t obviously have money and I don’t have a traditional wallet that can be stolen with ease. So that I don’t have to keep reaching into my pants, I keep a small amount of cash in my front pocket in order to purchase small necessary things like water and snacks.

    My advice for carrying money is to make it as hard as possible for someone to take it without you knowing.

    Going Out At Night:

    Many people go out to enjoy the nightlife of Nairobi. I normally leave my wallet in a secure location and bring a certain amount of counted cash for the night with me in my pocket (or use my in-pants money wallet). I also throw in an extra 1000 KES in my sock or somewhere hidden just in case there is an emergency.

    Giving Money to Beggars:

    Nairobi has its share of beggars, many legit and very much in need. It’s a toss up and dilemma what to give or even if to give anything to beggars.

    I’ve seen countless occasions of street boys receiving money and then fighting over it, doing more bad than overall good. Other occasions, it can be good to give food or clothes. My adice is to give food or clothes instead of money but be careful and use discretion on when and how to give.

    Finally guys, Please  email  your  flight  itinerary  (arrival  and departure  details to Poonam on  poonam_85@hotmail.com.

    Our Wedding

    Poll

    Where should we go for our Honey moon?

    How many children should we have?

    Who is getting the "better deal" in this marriage?

    What is the most important thing a marriage needs?

    Who is more bossy between us?

    Our Wedding

    Events

    Engagement (Ring Ceremony)

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 6:00 pm

    Dhobi Community Hall
    South C
    Nairobi,Kenya

    Mehendi + Dinner & Dance

    Friday, April 20, 2018 - 7:30 pm

    Lion's Eye
    Nairobi Kenya

    Mehendi

    Mehendi in Indian tradition is typically applied during special Hindu weddings and Hindu festivals. In Hindu festivals, many women have Henna applied to their hands and feet and sometimes on the back of their shoulders too, as men have it applied on their arms, legs, back, and chest. For women, it is usually drawn on the palm, back of the hand and on feet, where the design will be clearest due to contrast with the lighter skin on these surfaces, which naturally contain less of the pigment melanin. Henna was originally used as a form of decoration mainly for Hindu brides.

    Dinner & Dance ceremony

    Dinner & Dannce ceremony as the name suggests is all about dance and music. It is one of the most enjoyable ceremonies before the wedding and is exclusively for women. Initially, the Dinner & Dance party was organized only by the bride's family but with changing times it is now observed by the groom's family as well. Also, it was a ritual which was only seen in North Indian weddings, but nowadays it is conducted in Bengali and South Indian marriages as well.

    The Dinner & Dance ceremony is held few days before mehendi ceremony and comes as a time for joy and merriment amidst the hectic hustling bustling activities before marriage (however due to time constraints we will be holding both the Mehendi and Dinner & Dance ceremony on the same day). Traditionally the family of the bride invites female relatives and associates for Ladies Dinner & Dance, wherein all of them sing folk songs dedicated to marriage and bride. It is accompanied by Dholak and spoon, for the tune and beat. After this all the unmarried girls perform dance on different songs.

    Amidst celebration, ladies, crack jokes, tease the bride, merrily reminisce their youthful days and bless the girl for a prosperous married life. The environment quite often becomes emotional as the bride and her mother experience the pangs of separation from each other. After all the dance and singing is done, its time for refreshment. It mainly contains a number of snacks and sweet dishes. Women enjoy themselves to the fullest, making the environment light.

    Baraat

    Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 1:00 pm

    Oshwal Centre
    Nairobi, Kenya

    Both men and women participate in the procession of a Gujarati baraat. Close male relatives of both the bride and groom always wear turbans, which indicates honor. When the baraat arrives at the wedding venue, a ceremony known as the milni (literally, meeting or merger) is carried out, in which equivalent relatives from the groom and bride's sides greet each other. This usually begins with the two fathers, followed by the two mothers, then the siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins; even distant relatives are included in the milni, which symbolizes the unification of the two clans.

    Mandvo & Wedding

    Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 9:00 am

    Oshwal Centre
    Nairobi Kenya

    Mandvo

    At this ceremony, the bride will be cleansed, purified, and blessed to get all the positive vibes flowing before she commences this journey.

    Wedding - Pheras

    The saat phere (seven circumambulations) is one of the most important features of the Hindu wedding, involving seven rounds around a pious fire lit for the purpose amidst the Vedic mantras. The bride and groom circumambulate a consecrated fire seven times, reciting specific vows with each circuit (Sanskrit: parikrama). Vows made in the presence of the sacred fire (Sanskrit: agni) are considered unbreakable, with Agnideva (lit. God/Lord of Fire; c.f. Latin cognates: ignis+deus) held as both witnessing and blessing the couple's union. Every phera taken holds a specific meaning. The Saat phere or the seven pradakshinas (circumambulations) are as follows:

    1. In the first round or phera, the couple prays to God for plenty of nourishing and pure food. They pray to God to let them walk together so that they will get food.

    2. In the second round, the couple prays to God for a healthy and prosperous life. They ask for the physical, spiritual and mental health from God.

    3. In the third Phera the couple prays to God for wealth. They ask God for the strength for both of them so that they can share the happiness and pain together. Also, they pray so that they can walk together to get wealth.

    4. In the fourth round the couple prays to God for the increase in love and respect for each other and their respective families.

    5. The bride and groom together pray for the beautiful, heroic and noble children from God in the fifth step.

    6. In the sixth holy round around the fire, the couple asks for the peaceful long life with each other.

    7. In the final seventh round the couple prays to god for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves. They ask God to make them friends and give the maturity to carry out the friendship for lifetime. The husband says to his new wife that now they have become friends after the Seven Vows/Sat Phere and they will not break their friendship in life.

    Reception

    Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 7:00 pm

    Oshwal Centre
    Nairobi Kenya

    The final event will be the reception.

    About Us

    Our Younger Days

    Here you will find our photos of when we were younger. Feel free to scroll through them.

    About Us

    Our Family

    Kundan and Gita Solanki

    Nirav's Parents

    My parents have always been so supportive and loving - and they have taught me so much! My dad has taught me how to be independent and how to keep a family together. He is my role model and I want to be like him. My mum is my best friend, I can talk to her about anything. I'm so thankful for how I was raised and thank my parents for everything they've done (and continue to do) for me. I love you both so much!

    Bhavin

    Nirav's Brother

    My brother Bhavin is an year younger to me so it may not be a surprise that we fought a lot as kids. Although he is my younger brother, he has always acted like the elder one. Do not be mistaken by his height,God has blessed him with something else. He always finds a dodgy way of doing things and somehow never gets caught. When we were young,I would want to play with my friends and he has always tried to "tag along" with us. We were also very competitive - about everything! We turned everything into a competition - even who could grow a better beard! Fortunately, now we've matured (a bit) and we've become close friends. Anyway, I'm thrilled he'll be in my wedding and I'm proud to call him not only my brother, but my friend too. Bhavin is getting married too and I'm excited to have another addition Deepa to our family.

    Harnish

    Nirav's brother

    If you want to have the best chai in the world get Harnish to make it for you. You won't regret it. Nirav's brother Harnish is a gem of a person. He is an IT expert and always helps Shrina with IT related issues. Since young, Harnish has always been the first to get up and get ready. Thats an important quality when you are living in an extended family where time is of essence. Harnish loves to party and make the most of life. Shrina and Nirav's life would be dull without Harnish. We love you Harnish!!

    Suhani

    Nirav's Sister

    I call my sister Suhani either Sonu or Dosi. She is the the dadi of our family. She's always blabbering and grumpy. I am very protective of her and do not allow her to talk to any boys. Somehow Sonu always finds something to make me angry. She never gives me my space. She loves sleeping and listening to Bollywood music.

    Raju and Shila Shah

    Shrina's Parents

    My Mom and Dad are the best parents you could ask for. They put up with me as a whiny, willful child, then helped finance my education, and now are so thrilled to see me getting married to Nirav. Even though we lived far apart for the past 10 years, we are probably closer now than we ever were. Thanks Mom & Dad for all your love and support over the years! I love you.

    Poonam Shah

    Shrina's Sister

    My sister is 2 years older to me, I have always bullied my sister since I was a kid. I sort of feel sorry now, because she’s the only one that still laughs at my jokes, who entertains my laziness and helps me out with any issues I have, be it my car, phone, computer etc! She also lends me money when I am in need. I rarely show it, but I will truly miss you. If it wasn't for my sister,this wedding would not have happened. Love you Pooni!!

    About Us

    Proposal

    It was 29th December 2016. I was in Bali with Nirav so I wanted to make it a special night for him, but I had no plans. I should begin by saying that Nirav and I had talked about marriage in the past, but I was convinced he wasn't ready yet to take the plunge! I knew he loved me, but was I ever shocked when he proposed!

    It was a Saturday night in Bali, and we had plans to go out to dinner at a beach front restaurant in Jimbaran which Nirav had been dying to try. We walked through the restaurant front and towards the beach. The tables on the sand were candle- lit. The tables lay at the tide's edge and were adorned with attractive palm leaf decorations. To date, I remember looking up to the sky and thinking this was the most spectacular sunset that I had seen. As the sun went down,the horizon featured faint lights from the traditional fishing boat lanterns at sea. Ocassional strolling musicians roamed throughout the cafe and help set the mood playing songs by request for diners.

    In no time the musicians came to our table and asked what song we would like to hear, I asked them to sing Happy Birthday for my beloved darling. They did an amazing job. It was a beautiful moment. I stood up to take a video of them singing to Nirav. I did capture this moment, which is the video on the left. As soon as they finished singing, Nirav leaned really close to me and held my hand and whispered "Will you marry me?" I didn't think much of it that time as I didnt expect him to ask me at that time. But looking back, there wouldn't have been a more perfect time that he could have asked. Either way, we're getting married!

    About Us

    Our Story

    Nirav's Version:

    One day, 7 years ago, as I was browsing through various girls facebook profiles, Shrina's profile popped up and I thought to my self, she is the one! I had seen Shrina previously at various indian night club events, (it was just hard to miss such a beauty!) but hadn't really ever spoken to her. I said to my self, this is my perfect opportunity! I sent her a message that evening via facebook and persistently sent lame jokes on Whatsapp and received a positive response (or thought I did anyway). I guess you could say the rest is history.

    Shrina's Version:

    I had my eye on Nirav for a while (who wouldn't!), but had never gotten up the nerve to talk to him. When he messaged me one day back in 2010, I was so nervous! But it turned out that he was just so sweet and kind that he put me right at ease. A few weeks later, he asked me out for a coffee, I was totally floored! Of course I said yes, and a few days later we went on our first of many, many dates!

    The real version:

    Little did Shrina and Nirav know that their paths were meant to cross twice. Sometimes things happen for a reason and till now, neither of them believed in destiny! They went to high school together, and no, they were not high school sweethearts but rather the total opposite. What were the odds that they would both end up in a place so far away from home, in the SAME country and SAME city! This is what had brought them closer, knowing that they had something in common.

    When Shrina first arrived in Perth, day 1 itself, Nirav travelled almost 2 hours from his home in the scorching February heat only to find out that she wasn’t at her home. Over the next few weeks, Nirav showed Shrina what Perth was like through his eyes and immediately, Shrina fell in love with Perth. They both went to Curtin University, so they would meet up after classes and spend the rest of what was remaining of the day together. Deep down they both knew there was a connection. Some sort of chemistry. Something was brewing.

    Fast forward a few years, Nirav was the boy next door as he moved to Millpoint in the same block where Shrina lived with her cousin. As they say, the rest was history…Their journey wasn’t always a smooth one but the one thing they came back to was, they each knew that the other was the person that they wanted to share their lives with. Shrina and Nirav are a perfect combination of a dreamer and a realist, like Yin and Yang, different yet complementing each other to complete the circle, their world.

    About Us

    The Groom - Nirav Solanki

    I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in the South C ghetto playing karam with my homeboys. There is a reason why the blokes from there are known as South C’s “finest”. I have a love for motorbikes even though I have failed my riding exam many times. I graduated from Curtin University in Perth with a Bachelors in Commerce (Accounting and Taxation). I am now a qualified Chartered Accountant and own my accounting practice in Perth. I had to follow my father’s footsteps due to pressure from the family.

    Outside of work, I enjoy playing volleyball and darts. I have always dreamt of traveling to the US. This dream will be much closer once I get married to the love of my life Shrina.

    I moved to Australia at the age of 21 and I have lived in Perth ever since then. That's where Shrina and I met. Shrina is the most amazing person I know and I can't wait for our wedding day! After we're married, we plan to stay in South Perth (not South C in Kenya) and ideally plan to get a few kids.

    About Us

    The Bride - Shrina Shah

    I was born in Meru, Kenya. I grew up in Nairobi, and at the age of 22, I left for Perth, Australia for studies. Ever since, I fell in love with the place, and don't intend on returning to Kenya. I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) from Curtin University in Perth. I am currently working at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as a Servicing Planner. I can always be won over with chocolate. I am a sucker for anything Bollywood and a gym junkie, that enjoys going to the beach and exploring new places.

    I am the youngest sibling in my family. I have 1 sister who is older to me. In my free time I enjoy going to the gym, socialising with friends, and wasting my time on facebook. Lately, I've been consumed with wedding planning - I never imagined what effort goes in to planning one perfect day! Even if everything goes wrong, the only thing I really care about is Nirav, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him!

    Welcome

    News & Updates

    Shrina and Nirav launch wedsite!

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Hello and welcome to our personal wedding wedsite!

    Here you will find all the information regarding our wedding. Feel free to browse through all the pages and photos. Also please don't forget to answer the questions on the Poll page.

    We would like to thank our family and friends for all the support they have provided to us over the years. We look forward to seeing you all on 21 April 2018.

    Please do visit this wedsite from time to time, especially closer to the big day, for updates regarding our wedding.

    Welcome

    Greetings

    Welcome to our wedsite! We got engaged in December 2016, and are now in the process of making our way to Kenya, for our long awaited wedding! We've created this wedsite as a fun, convenient, and special way for friends and family who are both near and far to participate and celebrate with us. We hope you'll use it to get to know us better and keep up-to-date on our future plans.

    Here you can read about how we met, meet our families and view all the wedding events. We've also included some fun stuff like a poll, a gallery for viewing photo albums, and a way for you to leave us a note in our virtual guestbook! Please don't forget to RSVP on the event's page.

    We are so grateful for all the positive influences in our lives! Thank you to all our friends and family for your love and support over the years. Thanks for sharing our joy!

    We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible to ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it LOVE. (Dr. Seuss).

    Nirav & Shrina

    Welcome

    Greetings

    News & Updates

    About Us

    The Bride - Shrina Shah

    The Groom - Nirav Solanki

    Our Story

    Proposal

    Our Family

    Our Younger Days

    Our Wedding

    Events

    Poll

    For Travelers

    Get Social on Instagram

    Gallery

    Guest Book

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

    April 21, 2018

    Nirav Solanki & Shrina Shah

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