Taita Hills

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After some days in Nairobi it was time to move on. I was planning to go to Malindi to visit some friends, but then one of them was home in the village in Taita, so when he invited me over I decided to go there instead. After a six hours long bus ride towards the coast I arrived Voi, and Ken came and met me there. After some hours of shopping we went to their home in Merryland close to the towns Mwatate and Vundanyi . I got a very warm welcome by his family, but the children were a bit shy in the beginning. It was a small house with kitchen, livingroom and two bedrooms – containing the parents, his sister with three children, a cousin, Ken and his sister´s child Ben, a cat and occasionally some chickens.  But I managed to settle very fast, and after the one or two nights I planned to stay ended in four.  I really found a home away from home.

During the days ken took me around the village Mwatate and the town Vundanyi, the town on top of the hills. Both are typical Kenyan small cities, nothing really special. We had a walk up the hills around the area where his father grew up and they used to live, and I think I shook hands with around a hundred people, all relatives. And it was still just a small share of them. In the evenings the mother and the sister Samba cooked nice food. The children was not really so shy anymore and in just a day they were chatting in Kiswahili to me like I understood everything they said,  playing around, squeezing my skin fingers and my hair, and called me “auntie mzungu” (mzungu is the Kiswahili word for white person).

With some help from Samba I found a woman to braid my hair. It took a whole day!! I sat for 11 hours, my whole body was screeming in the end – so I can just imagine how tired this woman was. I didn’t finish until 11 in the evening, but still when we arrived home they served us dinner.  Some things, for example labour, are extremely cheap here, especially in the villages. I paid 600 KES, equal to 48 kroner for this work. And that was for sure mzungu price as well. Having so much hair felt really weird, when I was going to bed the first night and trying to lay down I was thinking, now – where should I put all this hair? It feels almost like wearing a helmet or a tight hat.

All of a sudden it was Sunday and time to leave. I had to be in Nairobi by Monday morning to meet the organization Im going to stay with. It was a bit sad to leave, I had such a nice time there. But I have to admit that I really appreciated a hot shower and electricity when I returned to Nairobi. I went back to the YMCA since I had stored some luggage there, and then met James in town for a soda before going to bed.  Next up: Naro Moru!

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