Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kenya...Next Day!

Ok, so I'm a decent person, I try to be nice, really! But sometimes, my tendency for impatience leads my head! Justus was bugging me so much today! And it’s just cus things didn’t work out how I expected them to. How can it? I’m in a different fricking country! Sigh, ok, Ayanna time to realize that traveling is fun and a great experience again!

I had a plan today; go get our sim cards and go shopping for much needed household items after the worst night sleep ever! So Caroline was here this morning, Justus called her about 8am and she got up and washed the dishes for us. He came and got her and they left. Oh, but first, I asked him about money. I was really wondering what amount did he expect. The conversation was confusing to say the least. English, it seems like it is a universal language but it really isn’t. So, after about 10 minutes, it boiled down to he wants 5 euro a day, for me and the kid 10 euros, just like he said in his email, but he wanted it all up front, which I was not comfortable with. What if I don’t stay? I told him I needed to think and I would give him money later. He left.

He said that he really needed the money. That he had some things he wanted to do with the school like a “feeding” program for the kids. I asked him if the money would be going to pay rent on this apartment, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that. He had assured me I would be living with a family, and I was fine paying for my upkeep with a family, but not just rent on a random apartment. He assured me this was not the case. I have my suspicions that this is in fact, Justus’s apartment. He told me he is really trying to do important things with the school and that the money he can get from volunteers is really important to this effort. So, like a bleeding heart liberal…I caved. But I still told him I would have to think about it. He left.

He came back a couple of times within the next hour, for no real reason and it was kind of creepy because we weren't up or dressed yet. And all he said was if someone asks me for money, don’t give it to them. Even if they said Justus said give me money. What, was I born yesterday? Then he said ummm. And just continued to stand there. I have no idea what he wanted. Then he said ok and left and then he came back. I did not open the door. I just said, “Justus, I’m not dressed” and he said oh, ok see you at 1pm. Then he didn't come back til almost 2 to get us, when the phone place, Safaricom, closed at 2pm! 

I did end up giving him the entire 10 Euros a day for the kid and myself. And I told him that I couldn't wait to see the "feeding" (I hate that term! It makes the kids sound like livestock!) program he started.

The fun part was we took a bus to Nairobi. And it was just like the tv show, Sense8! First, it took us about 50 minutes to walk to the small town of Githiryi, all on a dirt road and the railroad tracks. It was really neat just looking at the different scenery. 

The road in front of our apartment building.

Walking to town!

For those of you who don't watch Sense8, I'll tell you about the buses! First of all, the buses are privately owned and they are painted all over, like the one in Sense8 is called "Van Dam" and it has painted pictures of Jean Claude all over it. Although I didn't see a Van Dam bus, I did see Biggy Smalls, Tupac, Rhianna, and a bunch more! So  the buses are painted from top to bottom, they are covered in bells and flashing lights, and their is a man, I guess I'll call him the barker, who stands outside the bus, yelling for people to get on this bus. Yelling really loud and they bang on the bus and basically try to make as much noise as they can. Once the bus takes off, they are the ones who take the money and let the driver know if he needs to stop. They don't take off until every seat is full. And when people get off at a stop, they still try to get new people on and will wait! So you could be waiting quite a while to get to your destination! Me and the kid were so excited! 

The kid and our "sponsor", Justus boarding the bus to Nairobi.

Unfortunately, once we arrived in the city, the phone place was closed. This was only a big deal because I had wanted to save my cash and use my credit card for big purchases. Just frustrating when we were ready to go with plenty of time, but Justus was why we were late.

We walked all over looking for another phone place so we got to see some of the city. We passed by a square, I forgot the name of it, but there were tons of people there...skating! They had all kinds of skates for rent and all kinds of people would come for a Sunday afternoon skate!

We also passed some news stands, and it was so shocking and amazing to see all kinds of magazines; exercise magazines, parenting magazines, news magazines....all with black people on the cover. As an African-American, I'm just not used to that. We get so used to the reflection in the world just being white people all over, that it really took me a second looking at these magazines. I never really thought it would be that big a deal seeing a reflection of myself, in ads and magazines and stuff, but it really is! Seeing black people advertised just everywhere, really gave me a sense, pride. I was like, hey, look at us! It really just gave me an unexpectedly good feeling! 

Did I mention that Obama came while I was there?!

Black people were even on products!

After the cell phone bust, we went to two restaurants that were cash only.  I ended up spending all my cash on feeding the 3 of us (yes, I paid for Justus too!), So by the time we got off the bus back in Githurai, I needed money before we could go shopping. Here is another instance of English being a subjective language. I told Justus I wanted to take a tuk-tuk back to our house, run in the apartment and get money and jump back in the tuk-tuk to go shopping. He said you want to come back here? I was like yes, even though I had told him this already. Anyway, he went off to find a tuk-tuk. Literally, forever later, we still had no tuk-tuk! I asked him what was going on cus there were like a million tuk-tuk's on the street, and he said the drivers didn’t want to wait for us at the store! I just looked at him like he was insane. Then explained. Oh, oh, he said. Still took awhile but we finally got a tuk-tuk.

Worse ride ever! More on that later. We finally made it to store, purchased everything, including fluffy pillows! What a luxury! I paid cash. Then I asked him to checkout prices for refrigarator’s (cus I couldn't live for a month in a place with no fridge!) and we waited. And I looked at a sign…the visa/mastercard logo. This place took cards!!! 3 nightmare tuk-tuk rides could have been avoided, so easily!

I’m tired. Tomorrow we meet the kids! I’m excited! Pray I don't get harassed by mosquito's tonight! I promise not to gripe so much in future posts!

Ciao for now!


  1. Oh I love hearing your journey the good and bad parts. Ommm why didn't he come back on time smh. I do love seeing my people on products though Love it!

  2. Okay it really does look like the bus from Sense8. I want to laugh, but I am kind of scared for you. Sending you love and light on journey and hoping for the best.

  3. So awesome that you get to document your trip. You will be able to go back, read and see the pictures as memories. All of the good and the bad. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey. Stay safe and have an awesome time!

  4. How dope is it seeing Black faces on the products and across the covers of the magazines?!? Love seeing the environment and the difference between the shopping area & the local roads. 30 days, wow, Hope you & your little guy have a great rest of the trip!

  5. I love how you are capturing the essence of it all. Truly amazing. Love the photos.