It’s hard to believe that one week ago, today, I was leaving the States to come live a life I knew nothing about. I’m learning a lot and trying to keep an open mind. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but this life here is nothing like what I expected.
I stayed up late last night enjoying being able to leave the lights on as late as I wanted, plus I had a good book to finish. It was so quiet this morning, I slept in until 11 a.m. before slowly getting out of bed. I walked into the dining room to see Lydia and Virginia sitting at the dining table. It was just the 3 of us in the house and I sat down at the table, taking a minute to just enjoy the silence.
I got dressed a little later and we left for the Nakumat. We decided we wanted to eat as much good food as we could before the family returned from their trip.
We got frankfurters and I got ketchup and was lucky enough to find some presents for people back home. After that we walked over to the market to buy fruit for a fruit salad. We decided to only get fruits with a shell to keep the flies away from the good stuff, this included pineapple, mangos, apple-mango and watermelon.
I requested that instead of riding the matatu (a mini bus) back to the house we walk. I knew the sun was hot and our bags were heavy but I miss running and my body aches for some form of exercise.
The 3-mile round trip walk takes a little longer after having to dodge obstacles
such as cars, people, gaping holes in the ground, pipes that have come to the surface, goats, garbage, chickens and every half a block jumping a drain that is
actually a deep trench dug horizontally in the sidewalk. We have to watch where we are walking for fear of spraining an ankle or getting hit by a car.
The whole way home people shouted at us left and right “How are you!” Naturally we didn’t respond because getting pick pocketed is a big problem in Kibera. When we didn’t answer they yelled “Mzungu! (white girl) How are you?!” As if yelling white girl at us would make us pay more attention. Adults and children alike did this, and some would shout “Mzungu!” Just because they thought it was funny.
At one point I turned to Virginia and said “why do they just yell that at us? I feel like telling them thank you for letting me know, I had no idea I was white!” People seemed to approach me more than the girls, at one point a man asked me to take a sip of his water. It could be because Virginia and Lydia seem to fit in here more or it could be that I am wearing a Jets hat and a finals blowout t shirt from college, looking like a typical American.
25 minutes later, we arrived back at the house sweating and out of breat. Virginia went to lie down and Lydia and I got to work making lunch.
It was like a buffet of leftovers from dinner last night and the fruit salad and frankfurters we bought today. I even went back for seconds.
The rest of the day we spent relaxing, I even figured out how to get into my Netflix from Africa. It was a real achievement.
After taking an hour long nap I was woken to eat dinner. Still half asleep I sat down at the dining table, glad to be eating a good meal for the second day in a row. We wanted to finish all the food we bought before the family got home or they would eat it, so I was told to go back for seconds. Who knows when I’ll eat this well again.
We washed the dishes together and
now sit in the living room that no one uses, enjoying the silence.
We write and play on our phones and it is peaceful. You know they say there are 2 types of silences; awkward or uncomfortable silence and the kind where you just enjoy the company. This, is the epitome of tranquility.