Chuka

May 31, 2013 - Mombasa, Kenya

One day, my host-dad decided that I’ll join him on his way of bringing my older host-sister back to her boarding school in Embu. All on short-notice. We left Mombasa early in the morning, at 4am. The road to Nairobi is passing through Tsavo National Park. We saw Zebras eating next to the road. Just like that. On lucky days (in the dry season), one can see Giraffes or even Elephants. We reached Nairobi Town Centre after 7 hours. Traffic jam, the same like in Dar-Es-Salaam. Three more hours to get to Chuka. We were using Thika Superhighway – the only road reminding me of roads in Germany, with an extra lane to overtake the big lorries. These trucks are really stressing one out.

Chuka is a small place near Mount Kenya. The landscape is incredible. I couldn’t believe we are still in Kenya – having seen only dry Mombasa. Chuka is the place my host-dad comes from. A small village up in the hills. Everyone knows everyone and everything is simple. No water, no electricity, no cars, no nothing. The place is just quiet. And cool. I needed a blanket at night and had to wear a sweater in the evening hours. Wow!

The folks welcomed us and prepared Ugali and Chicken for us. I wish we could grow Mangos, Avocados, Bananas and Sugarcane in our gardens in Germany. It’s the best thing, to just go a few meters and cut the freshest fruits.

Everyone was kind to me. I only met friendly people. No stupid guys calling me names or something similar. They showed me around. I was able to see the Tea farm, a butchery from inside, the place to process the Ugali-flour and a village clinic. When I heard them talking, I noticed the same dialect my host-dad has. I understand now, why people say they can tell someone’s tribe only by hearing them talking.

The next morning was refreshing. There were no Tuk-Tuk-noises waking me, but the soft sound of cows mooing. It was calm, cold and relaxed. That’s when I noticed, as much as I like Kenya – I prefer German temperatures. The relaxed mood seems to be coming from the fact that everything is outside the door. The food is just in the garden, the family is around. Considering the money, people may be poor. But they are more rich compared to people in town, because they have the food in their gardens and the farm keeps them busy every day. They don’t have trouble looking after work and they don’t have to pay (a lot of money) for food.

On our way back to Nairobi, we dropped my host-sister in Embu, where she’s attending an only girls boarding school. It must be a hard life. I am lucky I always went to the same school and had my friends around for 13 years.


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