After barely sleeping for the last 48 hours, a good 12 hour lie in was due this morning; Kenya is great, but not without its stresses.
The biggest one was probably the Airport, although it was totally our fault. We got there at roughly 4, after having slept for one and a half hours before, pretty shattered, to realise, at the check-in desk, that mine and my sister’s passports had expired almost a year ago. This was possibly the worst news as no passport-o no travel-o. However, due to what can only be described as a miracle (that being my dad’s incredible ability to smooth talk people), we managed to get on the flight with our Kenyan passports which were a good 4-5 years out of date (this fact still astounds me).
The flight itself was extremely long, probably the longest I’ve had as we had 2 changes, but it took us through a sunrise and sunset (sister shotgunned the window seat though) which were amazing! There’s just something about the bright orange sun cutting through morning haze that casts everything in a beautiful light. This made for some great photo-ops, minus my attempt at a Polaroid picture which resulted in nothing but a pink and blue overexposed mess.
Through the insufferably long flights, lengthy changes, crying babies and Despicable Me II, we finally made it. It took another hours drive and a lot of missed turn-ins to make it to our apartment, which is really nice! Although the rain makes it feel otherwise, we went shopping this afternoon, only to be trapped in the store due to the sheer amount of rain, and considerable soakage happened when we tried to make a run for it, ruining a perfectly good pair of trainers. The rest of the day has been spent trying to sort out the horrendous WiFi issue, and flicking through the 6 or 7 channels we have without DSTV, in vain attempt to find something watchable – oh what I would give for a TV guide..
Even though this is my home, being away from it for so long means there’s still this feeling of alienation. A lot of you reading this will probably be indigenous to your own countries, so you’ll have a lot of things to take for granted, like having cousins, aunties and uncles around for Christmas or whatever. I have relatives, lots of relatives, but I know so few of them, and those that i do know, there’s the other hurdle of the language barrier. Lots of people speak English here, good english at that, it is the national language, but at the same time, it’s not the natural language, so people will mostly speak in Swahili, or my mother tongue, Kikuyu. When I left at 7, I could speak the former pretty fluently, but I could only understand the latter, not really speak it. Now I can barely speak swahili, which does make it difficult getting close to family, as it’s such a big part, especially grandparents who only speak those languages, meaning I never really get/got to know them . This isn’t such a big deal as I don’t really know otherwise, until you see how fun it is having a grandparent you know as well as your mum or dad! We’re spending Christmas with them this year, maybe now that I’m older, I can spend more time with them and work the butt off my Broca’s area trying to speak Kikuyu!
One thing I have definitely missed though is the food. I cannot describe to you the difference between Fanta in England, and Fanta here, it is so incredibly delicious. And the sausages, don’t even get me started! If it was legal to bring some back with me, I totally would, although they wouldn’t last long at all.
Slightly disorganised post. Note to self, 4am is not a good time to write..