My first weekend

Today I stayed in bed until 8AM!!! What a luxury!!  I did feel supremely guilty hearing the kids SCREAMING in the living room, but too bad – it’s my day off…In the morning I rested, marked essays, and so forth.  There was one excellent essay – about how the girl’s favourite time of day is English lessons, because her new teacher is so amazing and brilliant… full marks for her I say 🙂

After lunch I decided to man up, and confront Africa head on.  I put on my hiking boots, and put on my headphones (I haven’t been listening to music for fear of being mugged so far).  I set off to the Karen Blixen museum.  It was a loooong walk – about 7 kms from my house.  I decided to hold my white head high, and shout Jambo to anyone I meet…I can’t stay in Africa for 3 months and be scared to go anywhere.  Surely no one will hurt me for being white, if I’m nice…

I came to a crossing, and couldn’t decide which way to turn.  So, I turned to the nearest person, and asked the way to Karen Road.  He smiled, and said – “Oh, you want to go to your country club?”  No… I said, I want to see the museum.  His attitude changed immediately, and grinning, he directed me to the “fantastic museum” (It’s a state heritage site).  Country club, in Africa?? No wonder they think white people are bonkers…

I had my first meeting with the African sun today.  So all in all, I slightly regretted deciding to walk the whole way by the time I got there.  But I’m scared of the matatus, because of their deadly driving.

The Karen Blixen house was very nice – lots of movie props have been donated by Universal Studios, to help make the house more authentic.  I took a stroll in the gardens, and met the cutest animal that was chilling on a cactus tree.  I can’t remember what it’s called.  But it makes very funny noises, and they are hunted for their furs.

Afterwards, I went to Kazuri – a bead factory, set up to give single mothers a profession and means of earning a living.  They hand make and hand paint allsorts of beads, and make jewellery.  The factory was closed, so the ladies in the shop told me to peek in the windows.  I was just peeking, when I was accosted by a security guard.  He told me to come with him, he’ll give me a private tour.  I was naturally, terrified.  He took me by the back route, to a shed, assuring me we were going to look at how clay is made.  I couldn’t think of a way to run away 😀  And, it turned out he was taking me to see the clay.  Then he told me to come inside a shed.  Once again, I was sure this is where I would get macheted to pieces.  But no, he showed me the kiln.  Then he laughed, and put his arm through an open window, opened the workshop door for me and took me on a guided tour of the workshop.  We went out, he smiled, wished me a nice day, and left me.  Just goes to show where the world has gotten to – I was genuinely terrified, and convinced he was luring me into a shed to rape and kill me.  In fact, he didn’t want my 7 km hike in the heat to be in vain.

I chickened out of getting a matatu, and started walking home… however, a matatu saw me on the roadside, and stopped.  So I thought, now or never… and hopped in.  I smiled jovially at the bus of black people, and held on for dear life.  Needless to say, I survived that aswell 🙂


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joe
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 16:14:58

    Hey Gabz,See…it was'nt so bad after all,and the stereotype of African people with machetes is lame.Am not denying that it happens,but hey its Nairobi- Kenya and not in the middle of Congo or Rwanda…lol.Am glad you are experiencing this personally with no media showing of starving,bedridden people of "Africa." Hakuna Matata!


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