In many ways, life in Kenya has definitely been an exercise in patience.  There are of course the normal delays that come from the trials and errors that one might expect from settling into to a new neighborhood.  Not privy to the side street shortcuts, I have at first taken the more documented scenic routes.  While we've been lucky to have friends who have been generous with their advice, it always takes a little of your own sampling and relationship building before you know where to get what for the best price.

But then there is the traffic.  Having lived in the Bay Area, Boston, DC, and Seoul as well as being a seasoned road trip warrior with multiple forays through LA and NYC under my belt, I thought I had pretty much seen and endured it all when it comes to traffic.  But I tell you, you haven't really experienced traffic until you've been in Nairobi.  With no traffic lights, stop signs, or crosswalks but with a generous helping of roundabouts, the streets of Nairobi are often a disaster that happens again and again.

Now if you are lucky to make it through the traffic and arrive at your destination, there can also be the issue of "Kenyan time."  That is, if you agree to meet at 10am, that's really code for 11 or 12.  While I personally have not really been made victim to this yet, through the multiple warnings I've already received, it appears that Kenyans are customarily if not notoriously late.  I suspect that this may have something to do with having a more relaxed and laid back attitude towards life.  Having experienced the mind blowingly beautiful weather here, this is something I can understand and even admire.  Nevertheless, it's still something that I have to practice putting into practice.

Today was no exception as we were met with some rather disappointing news.  A few weeks ago, we were introduced to a beautiful house which after some negotiating and amazing luck, we found we could call home.  Fortunately/unfortunately this house was and after what we saw today, still is being newly built.  Weeks ago we were promised an October 1st move in date.  Today, sadly, we've been told that it won't be ready until October 15.  This of course, is not unique to Kenyan culture.  There are plenty of contractors in the states that tend to be overly optimistic with their construction schedules.  But it light of all the other delays we've had to endure, it was disheartening to say the least.  I'd be lying if I told you that it wasn't tempting to start throwing tantrums and cracking whips.  And I believe the Youn of two months ago would have done just that.  But today, I was different.

So walking home from the bad news, I took a deep breath and decided to take just one step further in embracing today's lesson in patience... I stopped to enjoy the flowers along the way.


Post a Comment




Follow by Email

Be sure to get the latest and greatest of oinge by signing up for email updates!