I know I’ve been out of communication for over a week, but it’s with good reason. I’ve been traveling all over Kenya for various goodbye parties, circumcision ceremonies, and Christmas celebrations. Here’s the breakdown:
- Saturday, December 20th: Maasai village called Enkokidongoi for a goodbye party for a few friends.
- Sunday, December 21st: Back to Tala to wash some clothes.
- Monday, December 22nd: Back to Nairobi to in order to leave early the next morning to Western Kenya for the Kulechos’ rural home.
- Tuesday, December 23rd: Mabanga, near the Ugandan border with cousins of the Kulechos because nobody was free to take me to the Kulechos’ farm.
- Thursday, December 25th: Finally to Chepsaita, where the Kulechos’ rural home is. Bunches of family and villagers were gathering for the slaughtering of a bull for Tash’s brother’s circumcision ceremony.
- Sunday, December 28th: Back to Nairobi in order to leave for Ethiopia on Monday.
I’m headed off to the coast for a few days because work’s been slow. This past weekend I was in Nairobi and I went to a UB40 concert. I had never heard of them before, but every Kenyan who I told I was going was very jealous. It turns out that they are a British Reggae band that sings a million songs I know you’ve heard, like Red Red Wine. I went with a few volunteers and some Kenyans and we had a good time dancing and hanging out.
Music and dancing is really big in Kenya. There’s plenty of “traditional” music around, but the pop scene is overflowing too. There are lots of rap and hip-hop artists in Kenya and Tanzania, and lately I discovered there is even a Somalian hip-hop scene. Oh, but once you enter my house it’s almost always all metal, all the time! Here’s some music to keep you busy while I’m gone.
In search of fresh dates this weekend I went to Eastleigh, Nairobi’s prominently-Somali suburb. I had bought dates before in Nairobi supermarkets, but they’re both expensive and processed; I wanted the real deal, straight from the tree, man! The last month or two I’ve been going every other week or so to replenish my supplies. One kilogram costs 180 – 200 shillings (about $2.50) and it’s totally worth it. I also had some camel stew. When in Rome, right?
I have also discovered sweet potatoes. I never liked them when I was in the USA, I dunno why. I have learned that they’re pretty good here when you mix them with githeri (maize and beans). What I like is that I don’t have to add ANYTHING other than a few tea spoons of oil. No spices. No salt. I just boil the maize and beans in water for an hour or so, then peel, boil, and mash the sweet potatoes and then fry it all together with some oil. Natural goodness! Now all I have to do is start eating raw, uncooked vegetables.
Yes, I will cook authentic Kenyan food for you when I return to the USA.