My first days in Kenya

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017. It’s the first day that I’m in Africa. Maybe you’d think that I’m here for holidays? You’d be wrong: We helped a friend of Paul with moving in into her new apartment. But of course, I used the chance and followed with my camera. We bought a bed, mattress and a bunch of other stuff.

You can buy beds on the street here.
This is a harmless scene on Kenya’s streets.

We live between Two Rivers Mall and Ruaka. Ruaka is a fast growing town in Kiambu County, bordering Nairobi. The streets are stuffed with people and to be honest, I had a bit of a culture shock. As the only white person far and wide, I attracted many views, this made me feel pretty uncomfortable. And then I felt bad because I cannot even imagine how hard it is for different looking people in Europe. I never had the feeling to be stared at in a bad way, I guess in Europe that’s another case. Some of the people here call me “Mzungu”, which is Swahili for “white guy”. Others, who want my attention were shouting “John” or “Johnny”. Apparently that’s such a common name there that they just call everyone John. Little did they know that that’s my real name (I mean, yeah, translated into English ?).

In the evening we went to a mall to buy groceries and my Kenyan SIM-Card. It just opened some months ago and it’s like a totally different world. Very western and you can find nearly everything you are used to in Austria. There is even a Swarovski shop.

Inside the mall
Those are the typical Kenyan shops…


On Sunday, I got to know our friend and driver Samuel, who picked us up and drove us to Nunguni, the village where Paul grew up. It’s really good to have him, because we had to drive on Mombasa road, which is known to be Kenya’s most dangerous road. With a lot of slow trucks and only one lane per direction, it feels like we were driving on the wrong lane for most of the time. But I felt safe with Samuel on our side 🙂 (Actually, as I’m writing this I’m on this road again)

You have to know that the Yulu-family has a small restaurant, butchery and a football club in Nunguni. We bought some potatoes in Nairobi and delivered them to his restaurant “Yulu Inn”. The main reason for this trip was to take care of some business, watch a football game and for me to get to know Paul’s family. I felt really welcome by Pauls Aunt, Grandmother and his cousins Silvia and Noel. We got some good meal there and afterwards we left for the football game. As most Kenyans don’t take time too seriously (The other team appeared very late), the game got postponed and I had time to play with the children. I won’t talk about the football club too much here, because I want to dedicate a seperate article to them.

Samuel is one of our drivers. He is simply the best guy. So fun to be with him!
On our way to Nunguni we picked up some potatoes to get to Pauls restaurant.
So many people…
Unloading the potatoes
You see guys like him a lot in Nairobi. He sells a clock with your picture for 1500 Kenyan shillings, which is about 12€.
We saw a giraffe close to Mombasa Road, so we tried to walk towards it…
… but, of course, she always stepped back a bit. Intelligent giraffe 😉
Hobby-businessman Paul, outside the family restaurant.
This is Nunguni
Our potatoes got carried into the restaurant
Pauls cousin Noel. He’s such a nice guy with great ambitions. One day he wants to travel the world.
Noel, Paul’s aunt and I.
Paul is showing me his property.

The kids always posed when they saw me taking pictures.

Samuel also wanted to make a picture.
The Nunguni FC bosses. Apparently those are the cool guys, but maybe it’s only because of Samuel 😛
This kid is my favourite. You’ll see why in a minute. We began to pass to each other…
… and like ten minutes later there were a lot of children playing with me. Please enjoy this pic, I love it 🙂
Just look at his smile
Smiling the whole time 😀

They played a game with stones.

Warmup of Yulu Nunguni FC. This is Michael, with whom I had a great talk in the evening!

Getting stopped by security

Let’s skip to the next day. Paul was working and we met for lunch. I came to his working place with a matatu, which is like a big van used for public transportation. Funny experience, I’ll probably tell you more about that another time.

After our lunch I walked down the road where all the embassies are located. Suddenly a security guard stopped me and wanted to see the pictures on the camera. He said someone complained about someone taking pictures in this area. Apparently you’re not allowed to take pictures in the whole area. He took my data and phone number, made some pictures of me with his phone but everything was fine, because he didn’t find anything important on my camera. It was quite a funny experience, too 😀

Matatu, common public transporation vehicle in Kenya
Some houses here have security guards. Our other driver Elias told me that they are there more for prestige than for security reasons.
The waste here is really bad, a lot of people don’t really have those thoughts about the environment.
Those scenes are also pretty common
You see them very often.
Western world in Kenya
Meeting beautiful Yvonne for a drink. Maybe we’ll meet again for a photo shooting 🙂

8 Replies to “My first days in Kenya”

  1. Vincent Okusi says: Reply

    It was awesome interacting with you. You are most welcomed . Next time come ready for more adventure and excitement in Kenya and moreso in Nunguni. Our football club was glad to have you.

  2. sehr cool und spannend zu lesen!! Freu mich auf den nächsten Post!! 27.

  3. Dani Level Up says: Reply

    Love your blog! So nice to read and it almost feels like you’ve told me your story in person :*
    Nice job John!

    1. Thank you so much ❤️

  4. ¡Hola!
    Bin jetzt erst dazu gekommen alles nachzulesen haha ? Liests sich sehr gut Hannes! Spannend, erfrischend, natürlich. Kann mich richtig hineinversetzen. Keep it going!

    1. Asante Sana! (Vielen Danke auf Swahili ?)

      Bin schon am nächsten Beitrag dran, also ruh dich nicht zu lange auf deinen Lorbeeren aus! ?

      1. NICE!
        Ja keine Sorge, werd jetzt täglich brav lesen. ?

        …and always remember:
        to keep on believing,
        make all the things,
        and have fun during the tat


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