I thought people might be interested in reading about some of the idiosyncracies I’ve noticed while living here, so I compiled a list.  I knew my list-making skills would come to good use in Kenya!

-Mosques are just as common as churches here and you can hear Imams calling muslims to prayer on mosque loudspeakers five times throughout the day.  Mosques are so prevelant here that you often hear more than one chant at the same time, so it sounds like one Imam is trying to drown out the others.  My personal favourite is the 5:00 a.m. call, which sounds great when combined with the roosters and frequent early morning cat fights.

-None of our windows close, so you always hear what your neighbors are up to.  Sounds I usually here from my bedroom window include fighting, babies crying, Kenyan tv and radio, and Bollywood music, often all night long.  These people love their Indian movies!

-Take out food, like chips (fries), beans and even candy, is either distributed in plastic bags or newspaper.  Yum!

-Garbage cans are few and far between.  I think I’ve seen about one or two in town and none in the communities.  This leads to random dumping grounds in the communities (i.e. fields of garbage), on which cows, goats and chickens feast.  Then we eat them.  Hmmmm…

-Same goes for traffic lights.  In fact, they are so rare that the one matatu stop in town with traffic lights is actually called “lights” to distinguish it from the rest.

-Locals enjoy monkey killing.  Our host family’s living room is sporting a brand new sling shot for that very purpose! Another random fact about Kenyan monkies: they peel their bananas before eating them. Maybe this is true of monkies world-wide…?

-Chickens (kuku) are an important part of life here. Not only does my bedroom back onto a kuku farm, where I can hear and smell chickens 24-7, but they are EVERYWHERE! The other day on the street I saw a woman carrying a chicken in a box, as if it were about to be mailed. The attitude that all parts of the chicken must be eaten definitely prevails. I myself have tried chicken feet! I haven’t gone as far as the head or inards though, which are what greet me when I open the fridge. Even the gender trainer used the famous “when you slaughter a chicken” metaphor to prove a point during the workshop (i.e. when you slaughter a chicken the man always gets the best parts).

-The spirit of enterpreunership is alive and well here. In fact, some random guy tried to charge me 10 shillings to cross a foot bridge that he placed over a massive puddle the other day. I proudly told him “no, thank you” and stomped through the puddle like a local, only to get ripped off by a tuk-tuk driver for about 10 times the amount I refused to pay. The irony!

-Sights on way to work (just for fun): hair salons for men and women (they are everywhere!), coca cola posters, fields of garbage and people burning garbage, safaricom and celtel stands (local cell phone providers) and food stalls, especially ones with bananas!

I hope you have enjoyed this random compilation 🙂 I’m working on the photos…

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