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.
We live between Two Rivers Mall and Ruaka. Ruaka is a fast growing town in Kiambu County, bordering Nairobi.Â 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.
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 aÂ 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.
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 😀