Life in Mlambeni

October 26, 2013 - Mombasa, Kenya



Mlambeni is a small small tiny place in the Wundanyi constituency.

What I learned very fast is that people are more polite in this place. Let me say in rural places. Because there is no exposure to the “high life” in Mombasa or Nairobi and whites are rarely seen. Kids come and say “Mzungu, mzungu!” but it’s not rude. And they want to greet me all the time. Some look at their hands immediately after, to check if the colour has changed.

The youth fears the saga of Illuminati. It is all over. They browse “members of Illuminati” on Google. I still don’t understand this thing. If you like someone’s music just listen –don’t make yourself feel bad just because he/she is said to be Illuminati. Or?

What I’ve heard from Mombasa, some preachers have been shot and there are riots but people over here don’t bother that much. It’s sad how much religion can bring unease to a country. I'm happy to be here in Taita County.

Something is disturbing me: the assumption that all whites are so rich and they all come from America. This encounter might represent something:

Person: “where in the United States do you come from?” Me: “I’m from Germany, not USA” Person: “oh ok… is Obama doing?” Me: “…fine, I guess…?”

There are many burials these days. Some of them because of the mob-justice in Mombasa which ends deadly. Many people don’t wait for the law to take charge they like to be the law themselves. It can be scary.

A funny detail: the young people I meet refer to the music they listen to as “blues” and are talking about the Backstreet Boys for example. I just go with the flow and also call Akon a blues-singer.

In the short time I’m here now the weather has changed from cold and rainy to almost summer. The rough paths called “streets” get muddy enough for cars not to pass and cause many motorcycle-accidents. Motorcycles (piki-piki) are the most common public transport.

The experience of sitting in smoke to cook for almost three hours shows me where the back and joints-pain of many people comes from… It is highly uncomfortable. A lesson I can pass on: Muslims lick their fingers after a meal, to make sure they have eaten all the blessed food. The Christians I met so far don’t lick their fingers because it shows that someone wants more food.

I am in love with this place. Life is simple but good. It is calm, peaceful and the nature is amazing. When I go out at night to our small extra-house containing the pit-latrine, I often stop for some minutes to look at the stars. They are spread like millions of Diamonds on a dark background. It is beautiful and I wish for everyone to have seen a place like this.


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