Lamu

December 4, 2013

I only rested that same day and left with some Muslim friends to go to Lamu. Lamu is an archipelago near Somalia.

During that time there was the “Lamu Cultural Festival”. Every day we saw different tribes from coast showcasing their culture. The public transport in Lamu is donkeys. The streets in town are too narrow to allow a car to pass. They are so small – we even had to step onto door-steps to let the donkeys pass. The only two cars existing on that island belong to politicians, but they can’t enter into town.

We saw donkey-races, dances and different competitions. The most famous one is the “dhow-race”. Dhows are the sailing boats that Lamu-people used then and now. It looks dangerous when they are changing direction with the wind…

We stayed at that friend’s place and were welcomed warmly. I knew his mother before from learning cooking in that restaurant. She is a kind person who knows how to cook. She invited me to come to a traditional Swahili-Wedding. After being decorated, we went into Lamu Fort, a historical site, to watch the Wedding being showcased. Only girls were allowed in that Fort. It was very interesting and she explained to me the meanings of each ceremony. A real Muslim-Wedding can take longer than a week.

Of course we also had to go to the beach. Lamu has the nicest beach I have seen in Kenya. I really enjoyed that holiday! Lamu is like a paradise and I recommend it to everyone. The funny thing: my Kiswahili has really grown – but Lamu people speak another kind Kiswahili. Their pronunciation sounds funny… Unfortunately I can’t imitate it in a written form.

People there are friendly to everyone – they love visitors. In that place, you don’t have to fear thieves so much, since everyone knows everyone. The Muslim Culture is preserved, I felt like being transferred to an Arab Country in the old ages. But being a Christian and walking with uncovered hair is no problem. I felt that people just accept one another as they are.

 

The journey back to Mombasa was hard. The road is rough and sleep not possible.


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