A different sort of day

Don’t worry, I’ll be telling you ALL about Kikule in the weeks to come. But the past 24 hours has been quite different from how I spent the rest of the week. Paul and I travelled to Nakuru yesterday after saying farewell to our friends in Kikule. We even went so far as to have Wambua drive us to the marketplace to search for Flo’s mum, who had gone there to see the Assistant Chief and then went for tea with friends. Two of Flo’s siblings went all over the market and around the shops asking where mum was then finally she came on the run to give us big hugs goodbye. We will be back.

We drove to Nakuru, reflecting on our week, the great people we met and the things we love about Kenyan culture. What stands out the most is the people and sense of community. How people just drop by and visit, people always make and take time to talk no matter how busy and rushed they are, people smile and greet each other warmly, and they keep small talk to a minimum- preferring instead to really find out how you are and who you are and to tell you about themselves. It’s nice.

I sent a text to the guest house we were staying at, ordering our supper as we drove! Gotta love it. I requested pilau, fish (for me) and beans (for Paul). It was ready as soon as we arrived around 5:30, after a quick stop at the giant Nakumatt supermarket which as great. I didn’t have the best sleep tonight but it was okay because we spent the morning driving around Lake Nakuru National Park checking out zebras, black rhinos, white rhinos, pelicans, flamingoes, giraffes (including babies), lots of baboons and a zillion different kind of birds all with impossible long legs and beaks. Lot of pics to follow thanks to Paul.

Then on to Nairobi. We were delayed a bit since the president had to use the highway we were on so everyone had to get off the road and wait on the shoulder. It was bedlam with buses, cars, vans everywhere and vying for a spot so that as soon as the police said we could go, they could race away. The entourage went by at a very high speed, about 30 vehicles all together, perhaps so that no one could see which one he was in. An interesting system for transporting him.

We stopped for Indian food along the way, dropped our luggage at home and got  a lift to the mall. There Paul got his haircut and I had a pedicure!!! 4 months worth of red soil and cracked heels removed in 45 wonderful minutes for 14 wonderful dollars. I have to tell you it was wonderful.

The woman who did Paul’s hair came and had a long chat with me after his hair was done (she did a nice job by the way). She wants to come to Kikule to teach about HIV/AIDs, and volunteer with any children who are deaf or can’t speak who are living in the area. Her sister is a nurse and will come to do some lectures too and they are going to organize collection of sanitary pads and used clothes and take them to the community. Can you imagine? Complete strangers to us and to the people in Kikule but they are orphans too, and have seen very tough times, and don’t want anyone else to ever go through what they have gone through. That made my day.

Then we went for Indian food (notice a theme??) in the food court. It was delicious and they even sent over some free food for us. The waiter (in a food court!!) assured us that the owner had told him to say “There is no wheat here” so we knew they were being so careful to feed us well. It was great to have something with different flavours and spices and textures. Kenyan food is delicious but a change is always okay too.

Paul picked up a bit more fruit from the grocery store there and a few other small things to bring home and then we caught a cab back to Flo and Chris’ place. A successful Nairobi adventure.

Hard to imagine that my friends in Western Province and Kikule, live in the same country as Lake Nakuru National Park and the Sarit Centre where you can eat Indian food and have a pedicure. What a country this is!

The owner of the salon, a really nice 50 something lady who had just returned from a trip to Vegas and Toronto!! said to Paul as she was leaving work for the evening”Be careful. This country can get under your skin and you’ll have to come back”. “It already is” he answered with a grin.

She’s right. It sure can get under your skin.

More about Kikule tomorrow morning I hope!

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