Kenya, Rants

It’s one thing to be white living in a rural area, but it’s another thing to be white and live in a rich suburb of Nairobi. I spent the last nearly two years living in Tala, where I was one of the only white people. It wasn’t hard for me to make myself at home, my current roommate was even teasing me the other day because I behave like someone from the shamba (farm) — shopping at the budget stores, eating boiled beans and chapati on the side of the road, speaking Swahili, etc. I guess I spent a lot of time learning to be mwenyeji (a local): becoming an expert at local trivia, food, language, geography, you name it. Now that I’ve come to Nairobi I realize the black–white dynamics are different than in Tala, mainly because there are more white people here. White people — Kenyan or foreign — don’t interact with the blacks as much, and they tend to zip around in taxis or private cars, go to separate dinner parties, clubs, etc.

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