Today Im in a coffee shop in TRM Mall at Nairobi Kenya eating a hearty brunch celebrating my 3 weeks in Kenya. I can’t imagine how these 3 weeks have passed by so quickly -it seriously feels just being in a super long dream and yet Im wide awake.
Kenya weather has really been a dream coming from my country with almost 42 degrees heat index. It’s like having a fully air-conditioned city. The Kenyans are often well dress with their coats, lovely jackets, colorful dresses and boots-things we would love to wear in the Philippines but we would look odd in our tropical weather. I find that cooking here takes longer that what Im used to and hot pots are a must otherwise food will be cold in an instant. Hot milk tea is almost part of every meal and you’ll never find any ice around as there isn’t need of much. Kenyans love their juice, sodas warm and a hot tea, Cadbury cocoa and coffee is always a much better choice.
Kenyan food is very tasty and is always serve sumptuous by that I mean always a minimum of 3 cups of rice or a huge lump of its counterpart like mash potatoes, mash unripe banana, ugali (flour & maize) or noodles. They would always think im not eating well as they look at my plate, so for those who loves carbs- Kenya is seriously a good place for you, you would never be frown on asking for more rice.
So while chicken and fish are the most common protein we eat on the Philippines-i find that people here really really love their meats beef mostly, goat on a barbecue day, chicken are just serve when there is an occassion as its quite expensive and there are barely any seafood at all huhuhu, praise God there’s tilapia but its quite expensive really.
I find the people here are very warm and super friendly (seriously friendlier than Filipinos if there’s such a thing haha ). People on the road often greets you with “Sasa” slang for how are you? And you are more often than not really oblige to stop and just say: Im good or Im fine and greet them with a smile. When our students would arrive at our Sunday gathering, they would more often than not literally go around and say hi to everyone with a handshake. Hugging people here are quite a norm as I find the culture really very expressive in so many ways. conversations here are quite seriously very polite or it might just be as we are both using our non-local language.
Commuting is one thing I have yet to bravely do by myself-so far I only have the courage to take an uber. In the community I think Im the only Asian around and might be the only Musongo (foreigner) or I have yet to see another one. Being white or for any foreigner for that matter, as what the locals told me I will be often than not associated with being rich and having lots of money. They told me so many stories of how people steals phone-its crazy but Im just reminded of how it is for a foreigner to be as well in Metro Manila, it gave me more compassion for the Internationals in my nation as well. Keeping safe is thus a great priority in certain areas and Im glad that God has been keen on doing that for me.
Surprisingly amidst the poverty, there are few people begging on the streets compared to the Philippines. I find Kenyans are very industrious and would take whatever job is necessary for their upkeep- there are a lot of guys who sells a bunch of bananas on the road, they also sell a lot of ukay-ukay (which is really good for me), there’s a lot of older men shining shoes, fruit stands are everywhere and still so many vendors walking just selling shoes, mugs, fruits whatever they can carry i guess. Surprisingly as well I find very manly guys being in the saloons-cutting hairs and sometimes even doing manicures which is quite interesting as its not something I would normally see in my nation.
So many more interesting facts and trivias to share about this nation but this one is enough for today. I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to know another culture and good and bad I welcome everything Kenya has to offer. Cheers to all the missionaries trying to cope in a new nation, I salute you for your bravery to embark on the unknown.