Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Neighborhood #1

Life in Africa.

We wake up to a rooster in the morning at times and at other times we hear the call to prayer in the early morning hours. We walk by more scattered chickens, dogs, some goats, and a constant stream of people coming and going.

We buy our fruits and veggies from Jane, who owns a small wood and tin shack full of produce and non-perishable groceries. Vegetables are fresh and sold at every corner and all along the road. Sodas are dirt cheap, provided you return the glass bottles to be refilled. Milk is purchased in small sandwich bags or triangular cartons. People set up their shops every morning and in the evening most gather up all their wares into a large sack and take it home with them.

Being white (not Indian or Black) is a spectacle and invites comments from strangers, beggars, children, and anyone else with an opinion.

Neighbors know who you are, what you have, what you don't have, and who you spend time with. Almost any price can be negotiated, meaning if you don't negotiate there's good chance you're paying more than anyone else who fights for a better price.

Almost anyone will stop and conversation with you if you approach them. Frequenting the same place makes friends quickly.

Piles of trash and sewage is a regular site walking in our the neighborhood. Sometimes you will find small gangs of children sifting through the garbage while sniffing glue. Everyone wants your money but most will appreciate you more if you give them recognition.

Tea time is important for any self-respecting Kenyan. If you don't take time to have a break you are missing something in your life.

This is our neighborhood. This is our home. We have unpredictable plumbing and electricity. We have reliable friends. Life is fresh and wild here. This is life in Africa.