I’ve been back in o-town for just over three weeks now. It feels strange writing this from a high-speed Internet connection without multiple power outages and ants crawling on the monitor. And it feels absurd to write about the wonders of Zanzibar at this point. (Ok, fine, I explored historic stone town and exotic beaches, ate lots of yummy bbq’d seafood, saw tropical fish and coral reefs and hung out with Rastafarians. Apparently there is a whole Rastafarian sub-culture there. Who knew?)
I know I’m supposed to write something insightful and thought-provoking about my experience to inspire closure. But I got nothin’. So here is my top five list of things I miss about Kenya:
- The Muslim call to prayers five times daily, starting at 5:30 a.m. This familiar routine became strangely comforting and I seriously miss it!
- Being accosted by throngs of local children on my way home who just wanted to shake my hand.
- Bartering with merchants or pretty much anyone selling anything, anywhere. I’ve tried it here…turns out the people at Banana Republic don’t just hand out discounts when you threaten to leave.
- Sitting on matatus, driven by drivers who are high on chat, that roar down bumpy dirt roads at top speed, blaring Céline Dion, and decorated with disco balls, glow in the dark stickers and quotes like: “we like dem hoes.” Seriously.
- Ugali. That flour and water combination was a real winner. Kidding.
- Finally (since that last one didn’t count), I don’t have a word for it, but the thing I miss the most about Kenya is the way life seems to unfold in front of you. You can hear, see and smell everyone and everything around you, all the time. I know I’m generalizing, but while we often live in containment and privacy here, they live in openness and candor there—from the way they burn their garbage on the side of the road to the way they play football in their bare feet. And I loved it!
I tried to make a list of reasons I’m glad to be back home, but it’s way too lame to post online—some boring stuff about missing family and friends. And I always miss the CBC when I’m away—totally nerdy, I know. And cheese! Cheese rules and they barely have any in Kenya.
Suffice it to say it’s nice to be home but I have mixed feelings about being back…
So there’s my closure. Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting on my adventures (even though most people just made fun of me, which I usually deserved in most cases).
Now you can FINALLY enjoy my photos, a few of which are posted here, thanks to Rob. People in Ottawa can totally come over for a slide show. Bonus: I have a new couch!