Relaxing Sunday in Nairobi

Day 13

I finally woke up on my own today without the help of Rose turning the lights on or the incessant noise of the rooster outside my window, but I suppose that is the beauty of ear plugs.

Sunday mornings appear to be busy here with people showing up in their Sunday best ready to go to church. Sorry to say, bad Catholic that I am, I opted out of going and I sat and read Jane Eyre for an hour and a half before going to get ready to go out. As I was headed to the shower Barnabas approached me asking if I was coming to church. I politely declined (yet somehow felt guilty) but I told him Ian and I were going into the city. I was then informed that he had just been next door and Ian said he was going to church. So I had an extra two hours so naturally I prolonged my shower and was sitting at the table on my phone when none other than Ian walked in. Apparently he remembered he said he would meet me at 10 a.m. so decided against going to church. So I now had to rush around to get ready which somehow still took me 45 minutes.

We headed into the city with me sitting in the aisle seat, which I declared I would not be doing again because somehow everyone’s butt ended up in my face as if I wasn’t there.

Once in the city our first step was the grocery store, after about a half hour of aimlessly wandering around we found it. We grabbed a basket and perused the aisles, we were going back to the park and were going to have a picnic of sorts.

After checking out we walked a mile to the park and were searching for a shaded area when two kids in tattered clothes and no shoes started following us and asking for money. I felt so bad for them, but they wouldn’t leave when I asked them to so I got very annoyed. I love kids generall and you’d think it would be difficult to tell them to go away but after they swarm around you asking for money and your food a nerve just sort of snaps and it’s stressful. Ian was nicer than me and said it’s okay and listened to them talk about how they don’t have parents and haven’t eaten since Monday and the worst part is you never know if that is true.

But knowing we had extra rolls I grabbed two, one for each, and Ian gave them some money. After they were gone he said “awe you DO have a heart.” Let it be known I do care, but if I give money to everyone who asks I will have nothing left. Naturally I told him I do have a heart, he said “I know, I’m pretty sure if you didn’t you wouldn’t be here.” Touche new guy, touche.

Sitting in the park for a few hours was incredibly peaceful watching the birds circle above and dip down to touch the grass before flying upward again.

Unfortunately the afternoon was continuously interrupted by people of all ages begging us for money and trying to take our food. At one point no less than seven boys approached us at once asking for our food and money, I guess it was amusing to ever one else because the people aroundus were laughing. Keep in mind we definitely stood out given we were the only two white people in the entire park. And that is not an exaggeration.

Walking out of the park we passed several horses when I spotted right in front of me two camel! I should have gotten a ride, it was only 300 KSH but I was content to just look.

It was about 4 p.m. at that time and we decided to grab a cup of coffee before heading back. Walking towards the coffee shop people continued to approach Ian for money but only once did anyone ask me. I told him they all can tell he’s a pushover became instead of ignoring them, he will engage. And that, my friends, is how your wallet gets considerably lighter.

The coffee shop was adorable, after ordering we walked upstairs to a restaurant where we chose our seat. They had a balcony filled with flowers and plants and naturally I chose to sit there. They brought our coffees up and after finishing them we headed for the bus. Getting on I chose the window seat so as not to have anyone in my face, but go figure, with Ian on the outside, not a single butt was put in front of him.

Back at the house we have a guest staying with us for the night. He is an older man by the name of Bob who lives in Upstate New York. He and I talked for about two hours about many things and something he said stuck out. He told me what I’m doing is such a great thing and it makes me a model for others and I should be proud of myself. I told him about my blog and he seemed impressed and asked me for the link. He wants to read it and told me he works with a volunteer organization back home and would love to show it to his volunteers, that maybe it would inspire them. It was such a nice thing to hear and it was great to meet someone from home. It was a solid end to the day.

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t know if I would exactly call it relaxing. It sounds like a bit of a stressful day between yes you were going with Ian, to he was going to church, to yes we are going so hurry take a shower and get ready…haha then being swarmed by children and others for food and $$. That can’t be easy. It seems like you are learning so much from the people and your experiences…Keep it up! Oh and by the way, we are learning too so we thank you!

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