land of milk and honey

A nation at crossroads….

Happy new year folks! I wish you all a lovely year – no perhaps that’s not true. I wish you all a restless year, the kind of restlessness that gets each of us to think of what our purpose in life is. But more so now, the Kenyan in you needs to be restless for this nation, for the leaders we have, for the upcoming elections, for the crossroads point we are in. Let me not get ahead of myself. (more…)

Nairobi Half Life (or is it just Nairobi Life)

I have had a beautiful week, took some time off and rested. Good week and some rest means adds up to me struggling with a long list of things to write about! I guess that is what happens when we rest, new juices are filled, you see the world through new eyes. Everyday should be a resting day, then perhaps we would have lots to share about, well more of wishful thinking.

I finally got to see Nairobi Half Life! (more…)

The land of milk and honey

THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

Before my eyes are blinded on the beauties of this country let me write what else I see.

Growing up, there was this craze with going abroad. Every person who had a big dream for themselves, wanted to go abroad, to the land of milk and honey. However, nowadays I hear and see less and less of this. Not sure if it is because I am now older and so I don’t get to hear of this craze, I hope I am not this old!

Home is best

I want to believe it is because we are increasingly realizing there is nothing like home. And there really is nothing like home. You know the way when you are in your own house you can afford to raise your feet and place them on your side table or even chair without thinking much about how they look or even smell! Try that in another person’s house, however good they may be! When you are in someone else’s house, you have to be polite and at your best manners lest they kick you out. The same thing applies to being in a foreign land. It just never is home.

The food

First, the food is just not like our home food. The food in these lands is either too much of junk or too processed and therefore the taste gets lost in the food. No wonder these lands quickly discovered spices.

You just cannot afford to eat this food as plainly as we do. You know the freshness our onions, tomatoes, dhanias bring, nothing like that. No wonder most Kenyans will not leave this country without royco! It is their savior. Then you miss things like ugali, nothing like our ugali. Again, no wonder most Kenyans will not leave behind a bag of jogoo. We may not know it, but the freshness of our food, that we get fresh from our gardens make a lot of difference. That is until your taste birds adopt to the junk.

Culture

Then there is the culture. Africans are naturally warm, sometimes to fault, but warm anyway. I worked abroad for a few months and one of the things I missed is just hanging out with friends and families. We have a warmth that is not found anywhere else. I missed going out for the 1 hour long lunches of laughing and enjoying each other’s company. I missed being able to just walk into a friend’s house unannounced, dare you do that in those foreign land. I missed nyama choma weekend plots! Nothing like this; seat, hang out and laugh all afternoon. We are warm. Wait till you are in a foreign land then you realize even the best of them just do not have the African warmth!

I used to go to a church where amazingly, after the service, it was only the Africans who would remain behind, freezing way but deciding to have small talk. That is what Sunday is all about right, catch up with family and friends. The inhabitants of this land would find us weird.

Lastly, I should mention the weather in passing. If I get into this I will belabor the point but believe me, there is no where else wjere there is weather like Kenyan / African weather.


The shock of systems that work

You might then ask why people choose to stay in these foreign lands. Well most will tell you even after 20 / 30 years away, they intend to come back home.

However, truth be told the developed world has an allure. At some point most will weigh the cons I have just talked about to the pros of staying in these foreign lands and sometimes walking away from the pros can be hard.

I mean how do you walk away from a land where systems work. You do not need to bribe to get a service from a government office. The speed of the services is surprising, without a ‘kitu kidogo’! Traffic rules are followed. Transport systems are so orderly it is shocking. All basic services are just that, basic. You can sue the government for a 2 min power cut. Water is basic; you don’t need boreholes or water pumps. Accessing bank accounts is at the comfort of your household. Shopping malls are an experience. You then begin to see why this world struggles to say Kenya is developing, in all fairness underdeveloped might be closer. You then see the difference between our world and the developed world

My prayer is this

I have a dream. That one day, these systems will work in my country as well. That this nation will rise up to be all it can be. Imagine a world where our pros; the food, culture, weather just to mention a few, marry with the systems that work effectively. Just imagine! That is my dream.

The reason I love my country is this, we are in the middle of change, of something big. We are not yet there, but we are moving towards this. And the prospects get me excited! The city under the sun.