Holiday in Kenya!
Holiday month is over and WE Norwegians are back to work. It´s unbelieveable how first time moves. It´s now two days since I stepped back in Norway, though I still feel like I am in Kenya. Memories of my Kenyan stay are all very fresh in my head. As I left for Kenya early July, I had an agenda to go for holiday, just to experience Kenya again after a year of absence. Clearly, that was not the case. Instead, I had a busy schedule more than I had anticipated such that as I left Kenya last Sunday, all I longed for was to be back to Norway and take a rest. I am grateful to God for all the journey mercies.
Kenya is home, my real home. Norway is home too!! I didn´t realise that Norway has actually become my second home. As I arrived in Kenya, “Welcome back home” is what they told me. On landing at the Kjevic airport, Kristiansand in Norway, there were my friends and they all said was “Welcome back home” with huge smiles on their faces, an indication they had greatly missed me, of course I missed them too. Then I realise I have two homes, who else could be more blessed than I am??
Last year, five months after my stay in Norway I realised I miss Kenya more than before and wrote this blog post. 10 reasons – I miss Kenya and Kenyans.“East or West, home is best”! It´s no longer a cliché to me. It makes sense to me now. I stepped in Nairobi and I immediately remembered the hustle of the city. One hour at the airport as I waited for my luggage, just standing there, I felt very impatient. I just wanted to see Kenya.
There was my girlfriend Brenda patiently waiting for me. Finally, we got a chance to see each other after a year of absence. I had my plans well set out and tried to trash my friends and relatives from meeting me at the airport. I know how crazy my family and relatives can be. They can be a bit dramatic and so I had it all worked out, that only one person would meet me at the airport, it worked out well.
As we drove out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, (JKIA) into the city center, it felt so different. Wednesday night at 9.40pm, there was still traffic jam in Nairobi, the cars hooting left, right, center, drivers and conductors shouting and pedestrians crossing roads anyhowly, pot holes, overspeeding drivers driving past traffic lights some of which were actually not working, I quietly felt irritated and reminded myself, “Welcome home”, this is Kenya for you.
I choose not to irritate myself with that instead concentrate on the goodness that awaited me in Kenya. We finally made it to Langata Estate, I was received with a lot of excitement, with my friends not caring that the following day was actually a working day. We slept quite late. Midnight to most Kenyans is too late, of course it was the only day I got to sleep this late in Kenya. I didn´t know this would finally irritate me, especially when I got home where my mum insisted on sleeping immediately after 9pm news. Of late I am used to sleeping past midnight, so 9pm is too early for me.
Smiles, hugs and welcoming hearts are all I experienced while in Kenya. Being with my parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends was such a special moment for me. Many people trying to create time and inviting me for sleep overs, that was so touchy. I realised I had very little time and I just couldn´t please everyone. I am sorry to all those who tried to meet me in vain, it was a bit challenging. I also did a lot of travelling while in Kenya and I found it was very special. I got a chance to appreciate Kenyan scenery in a very different way. From Nairobi and its outskirts, to Mombasa, to Kilifi, to Voi, to Taita, to Meru, Embu, Mwea, Runyejes and Muranga, simply said just experiencing Kenya was so refreshing.
The local foods, kimanga, ugali, pilau, matoke, chapati, yams, mkimoo, mchicha, sukuma wiki and the many chickens that saw their death come early during my stay in Kenya are some of the things I just couldn´t get enough of. I am grateful to all who made my stay memorable. My one week at my rural home in Taita with 8 of my friends including 5 Norwegians was just the best. Memories of us trekking the Taita hills, fresh air, peaceful, quite environment and just the warmth, is all I have with me. This is definitely a story on it´s own.
I am happy to be back home, to be at Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) which has become my best working place, to meet my colleagues and all my friends in Norway, I just have the feeling of “ being home away from home.” I have made a decision that I am going to make the best use of my remaining time in Norway and hence, I have no time to miss Kenya. (It´s called being in denial.)
So to beloved ones in Kenya, stay well till we meet again. As of Norway, I heard you calling and I am back. For all who sent me several messages requesting me to blog, here I am. Blogging has officially resumed, been writing while in Kenya, so kindly do create time to read my blog posts and to send in your feedback.
Have a wonderful week ahead!!!