letters from nairobi


Bread, Birds, and Brunch
May 22, 2012, 11:17
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Hey! Hi! Hey there! Remember me?

Contrary to appearances, I haven’t disappeared into the Kenyan wilderness, eking out a prehistoric hunter-gatherer existence in the savannahs of Tsavo with only my wits and the friendship of sympathetic caribou to guide me. If only.

Nope, I’ve been here, in Nairobi, rapidly aging in what seems to be a twisted version of progeria – six months ago, when I arrived in Kenya, I was full of vim and vigor, ready for adventure. Safaris! Tiny airplanes! Road trips! Baby elephants! And now?

I spend an inordinate amount of time baking bread, hanging out with birds, and amusing myself by conjugating nonsensical sentences in Swahili.

Sad, isn’t it.

To be honest, it’s a shift I remember from when I moved to Nicaragua, and I assume it’s inevitable that novelty becomes routine after a certain point. This isn’t to say that my life in Nairobi consists solely of geriatric pursuits – I am planning a white water rafting trip for this weekend as we speak – but that things have settled down a bit. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Every weekday, I wake up to morning sunshine, take my dog for a walk, and brew a French press of Kenyan coffee. I spend most of the day out on the balcony, working, while dozens of rainbow-colored, chirping birds flit around, munching on sunflower seeds and building nests. In the afternoons, I practice Swahili, walk my dog before the clouds darken, and read or watch a rented HBO series as the sun begins to set. I cook dinner while listening to music and drinking wine, and after N. comes home from work, relax and watch a movie with a curled up, snoring dog and the sound of thunderstorms. On weekends, I cook elaborate meals with friends, take afternoon naps, and water the garden. On Sunday nights, N. and I make pizza from scratch and drink overpriced red wine.

It’s not always an adventure, but it works. And living here is, finally, beginning to feel like home.

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