We’re almost six months into our second tour and while we enjoyed our time in Chengdu, China, we wanted something completely different for our second tour. Now that we’re in Nairobi, Kenya, our wish was definitely granted. In many ways, life here is easier than it was in Chengdu:
- The mail system is faster so my Amazon orders come at blazing speed (comparatively).
- DAIRY! ALL THE DAIRY! I can drink fresh milk and eat cheese and yogurt and ice cream. NOM NOM!
- I can find pretty much anything I need right here in Nairobi and not necessarily pay exorbitant foreign goods prices.
- If I have a hankering for Indian food, DONE (and they deliver). Want Thai? DONE (and they also deliver). Pizza? Take your pick of about three different restaurants-all excellent!
- Animals? YOU BETCHA! There is a park just 45 minutes away where you can see several of the Big 5. You can also feed giraffes and walk amongst baby elephants. All just a short car ride away.
- But the best part? THE WEATHER! It’s so beautiful and perfect nearly all year round. Like the wee bear’s porridge, it’s not too hot nor too cold. As a woman who is not a fan of winter or bundling up, I was not sad at all to spend my Christmas day poolside slathered in sunscreen.
That said, it’s not always paradise:
- There are real dangers and threats and you do need to be on your guard.
- This is not a walkable city nor is there reliable and safe public transportation so having a car is a must.
- The roads are terrible so you will be spending more on car maintenance than you probably would in the States.
- It’s true that things move at a different pace here in Africa and sometimes it makes you want to jab a pen in your eye.
All in all, this place is a refreshing change of pace and while we have always been ambivalent about Africa, we have quickly come to appreciate all the perks and quirks of Kenya. We have liked it so much that if we were allowed to extend here (entry-level doesn’t have that option), we probably would. Our daughter can’t imagine leaving and there are so many great things to see and do here. I’m glad we were assigned here because I don’t think we would have voluntarily chosen to bid hard on Africa but we can see why people fall in love with it and never leave.
Kenya-for the win.