Hey guys! This post is waaayyy over due but I promise there is a reason behind the madness! Yesterday (March 4th) marks 4 years of living in Toronto. So much in my life has changed and the time has really flown by! Earlier this year I got to go back to Nairobi for the first time since I moved. You never know how people are really doing when all you see are their posts on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. social media is just social, it doesn’t show you the real, intimate and personal details of your best friends lives. It’s incredibly hard to maintain a relationship with people when you’re thousands of miles apart but boy am I grateful for the people I’ve managed to stay close with.
The journey was super long but some what enjoyable. It was my first time travelling by myself and it was incredibly eye opening. This was also my first time travelling with my Canadian passport (whoop) and I must say I was treated way better by airport officials as a Canadian citizen. Being profiled as someone to be cautious of just cause I’m Kenyan is degrading. On a more positive note, KLM is my absolute fave because of the food. I know many people hate hate hate airplane food but it’s my guilty pleasure. As a kid, I used to fly KLM every year and they had special kids meals with Dutch raisins, chocolate and a toothbrush and I felt like this was the most VIP treatment ever! Anyways, 20 odd hours later I landed in BEAUTIFUL Nairobi. Man, when telling you a smile took over my face when I saw the city lights from the window, I mean it! I must’ve looked absolutely mad. When i walked out it was a booming 19 degrees! keep in mind that i had just left Toronto with a brisk -20. I was loving the warmth! My Birth dad and my sister and my mum picked me up, it was so great to see them again. Best pick up squad ever. As we pulled out of the airport, the most “typical” Kenya thing happened. There was a guy in a fluorescent traffic vest who was directing traffic. He was telling some people to take a left turn and others to continue straight. We were one of the cars that were directed to the left, this route was so odd and random… we kept on driving just to find ourselves in the same spot we started in 😂 The man that was there just 10 minutes ago had completely disappeared. I couldn’t help but laugh, a random man stood in the middle of the street and pointed left and straight and tons of cars followed. He must’ve been having a great night cause if I got away with that I would be ecstatic
On my first full day, I had the great chance to volunteer at The Palmhouse Foundations scholarship interviews. This foundation sponsors 7 kids per rural district and helps them get a worthwhile and national school education. These kids had trekked to the location by foot for hours and hours. Many were orphaned and lived with their very elderly grandparents. These children came from homes where money was scarce and they were taking care of themselves. Many were at the age of 13/14 and they are so so smart. Keep in mind in Kenya education is a very big deal and it really makes or breaks some peoples lives. Kids have to work incredibly hard to provide for their families in the future. The 17 kids I met had 90% averages and really needed the scholarship. There was one girl who really touched my heart. You could tell that this scholarship would change her life. She came with her father who seemed very supportive which is fantastic. I think about her every day and hope the best for her. She was one of the scholarship winners, and I am so grateful that the judges were able to see what myself and my sister saw in her. She has inspired me to appreciate more and work hard because unlike many people I have the privilege of free education and that’s not something to take advantage of. As I mentioned in my New Years Resolutions post ( click here to read it if you haven’t already) I really want to make an effort to check my privilege this year.
Real Friends, How many of ’em?
While in Nairobi, I got to see some of my best friends in the whole world. These people honestly made me remember all the fantastic days I had before moving that I forgot about. It was great to see how much they’ve grown and changed. We finally had the chance to bond and catch up which gave me an indescribable feeling. I also got to meet some new people, it was cool seeing/ getting to know who my old friends chill with. It made me feel a part of their new lives. Coming home after a few years I felt slightly odd cause everyone had moved on but I did not feel left out for a minute. If anything I felt involved and as if we hadn’t been apart for that long. I also enjoyed getting to know people I didn’t know too well before leaving. It’s refreshing when you surround yourself with people who are out of your usual group. The vibes, convo and banter changes a little and I love having relationships with people that are little different
Your girl’s always eating!
Although I got with a lot of friends. I definitely ate a lotttt!! Let me just say, the food I ate was actually BLESSED. I got to go to the good ole Artcaffe which was great cause I was always there as a kid. But I also got to try some new places like “The place” This is a restaurant that’s attached to a golf club but it’s super isolated, has great music and gorgeous decor. At night they have amazing traditional dancers perform and sing which is always nice to watch. I also got to try a cute restaurant called the Steakout. They had a great backyard table set up, amazing greenery and it’s chill and quiet perfect for a nice lunch.
Nanyuki with my mum
For the last few days of my trip. My mum and I took a trip to Nanyuki and stayed at the astounding Fairmont safari club. The views of Mount Kenya were absolutely breath taking. Being right on the equator the sun was beaming !! It was so hot I actually put on sunscreen( and if you really know me, you know I ain’t got the patience for sunscreen) my mum and I went on a lovely tour of their local animal orphanage. They were all sorts of monkeys, antelope and I even got to pet a llama and a cheetah. These mother daughter bonding trips are the absolute best because you get to chit chat about things you never really talk about at home and you learn different things about each other.
I miss it more than ever after coming back and I really hope to go back as soon as possible! If any of you haven’t been to Kenya, I highly recommend it. Its vast changing landscape and nature will amaze you!
Thanks so much for reading xx