A lot of things are different here in Kenya. Hakim once told me that lions do not cry in Africa. It is a hard place. This should be a better story, but it is early in the morning. Still, a lot of things are vastly different in Kenya. For example, I was so certain when I awoke a bit ago that I had slept through the night until 4 or 5 am, but upon checking the time, it was 1:11 am. Many things certainly are different.
Take mushrooms for example…. they appear the same, however, they apparently grow out of the floor of the apartment we were scheduled to use for 2 weeks upon our arrival. Here is a photo for the visual. I deleted my photos accidentally. We had traveled 35 hours, exhausted from the Colorado process and the move, and instead of finding a place to lie down, we find a moldy, decrepit serviced “apartment” at a supposedly upscale hotel, broken windows, electrical sockets pulling out of the wall, a wall desk pulling out of the crumbling plaster, moldy floors, a horrid smell and … “Hey mom, what’s that? Is that a mushroom growing out of the floor? Mom, seriously, MUSHROOMS GROWING IN THE FLOOR?!” The boy was traumatized for life. Fortunately, knowing ourselves well, Hakim and I realized long ago the potential for this precise thing and made sure the boy had a combo college/therapy fund available for just such trauma. Someone suggested that the mushrooms provided dinner vegetables and to go with it.
Yes, mushrooms were growing from the wood parquet floor.
Eunice to the rescue…. validating that the facility was very rundown and not to expect such a thing. I even cried it was so bad, and lionesses do not cry in Africa!
Other things are different in Africa. Heinze ketchup reportedly tastes nothing like American Heinze ketchup. Quesadillas are a version of a white cheese melted between two layers of Kenya flat bread (the name escapes me). You know you have seen a butcher’s window when you see hind quarters handing from a hook, tale and all. You know you are in the presence of a pharmacist any time you see “chemist on site” signs. I cannot help but think of the old alchemist visual. Look it up kids. In Africa, sim cards provide the bulk of our communication ability… sim cards for the phone, the Samsung tablet, the computer…. all paid for by credit for MB or GB. Yes, and so Skype will be limited because a single conversation may cost $100 or more. You know you are in “real” Kenya at the point where the pavement stops. More on the pavement when I fully absorb our day of apartment hunting and our amazing experience at the Kibaria neighborhood yesterday. The pictures are accidentally deleted so I am in mourning.
A day of apartment searching yesterday became memorialized by my request to the landlords that I not be given mushrooms in my floor!! All parties appropriately humored me, but I kid you not, upon entering the hotel last night, the desk clerk who had originally checked us in asked me curiously why I was not in the apartment side of the hotel any longer. I suspect no one ever goes over there, ever, much less to pick mushrooms for dinner!


  1. Wow. I wish I could be there to help you get settled in. No Skype?! I’m afraid to tell the kids, they will be heartbroken.

    • Wow, wish you were here too!!! We are finding a cure for the Skype issue. My friend showed us the option of this portable modem/usb thumb drive thing and I got one to use. You pay for time and GBs but should follow us wherever we are. Just have to temper the conversations with video/audio as nothing is “unlimited” here. 🙂

  2. Kind of weird for me. This is one of the few major moves you have made that I was not at least a bit player in. Sounds like a tough one. Hang in there. Love you both (even if from a considerable distance)

    • Oh man that brings a tear…. can I tell you that you NEED to be here?! The wiring for the “cooker”, the pipes for the “lav”, the locks on the doors… haha. Seriously, I miss your leveling presence, but I get it that it’s a long drive. Still….. Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, lions and leopards and baboons…. you gotta come try this!

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