After four months of being away, I recently got the opportunity to drop by, see that beautiful city, catch up with friends and family. I was in Nairobi for only one week and I gathered so much in such little time. Here is the story…
Saturday 2nd February 2013
I wake up at Dawn. I have to catch mid morning flight from Dar. My taxi driver had promised to pick me up early morning so we could be the traffic to the airport. I agree to this arrangement which will see me go to the airport 3 hours earlier but I am OK with that because it means I will be closer to Nairobi. I have to admit there is a bit of anxiety and anticipation over could Nairobi looks like now four months later and with the elections just around the corner.But I am also anxious to see my mum, baby sister (the closest family I have in Nairobi currently) and my best friend and House Mate Jim.The 3rd edition of Me for My Neigbour is also happening on this day I am also anxious to be attending it too. I am a bit disappointed that my friend Makena won’t be attending due to other commitments but thats OK.
At about 1035 hours, I am on board the one hour flight to Nairobi. I can’t afford to sleep on this short flight. Anxiety and excitement are keeping me awake. There seems to be a smile on my face at the thought of being home and seeing every one I wasn’t able to see over christmas. There is the day’s edition of the Nairobi Star at the seat pocket in front of me and just like that I have found something that will draw my focus from home albeit for only an hour.The newspaper has a significant amount of political analysis given that Kenya is just about a month to the general election. There is so much about how Kenyans will most likely vote along tribal lines, how Mudavadi won’t win the Luhya vote among other non-interesting stuff some truthful, some half truth and others just out-right lie, but thats OK I will read the paper anyway.
The pilot has just announced that we are about to land in Nairobi. It feels like home.Usually I would be met by my mum at the airport but this time I am keeping my being in Nairobi a secret because I want to surprise her in church tomorrow.I switch on my phone and insert my Safricom sim which I haven’t used in a while now. Sospeter and Christine had tried to call. Christine did know I was coming to Nairobi I don’t how Sos found out. I won’t call him,if I do he will call my mum and tell her I am around and that way ruin my surprise. I don’t think mum would forgive me if she found out that way. So I won’t call.
But Ifeel the need to call someone, I must call someone and just hear their voice. Usually Joy would be the 1st person I call but not this time. It’s a hard thing to deal with that I can’t call Joy on my 1st day in Kenya after 4 months but thats just how the cookie crambled . But I really need to call someone, should I call my mum?No, that won’t make the surprise worth it? should I call Jim? No, for some reason this someone has got to be a woman…but which woman?Karen? No. Georginah? No. Jess? No. Juliette? Juliette,mmmmmmh!!! Juliette, yes Juliette. I will call Juliette.She and I have been friends for the longest time. She is special with a great personality. She is one of those friends of mine who never hold the truth from me no matter how tough that truth is.She is beautiful, level headed and charming and I have always enjoyed having intelligent conversations with her.She doesn’t dissapoint, she gives me that feeling of being home.
I am cleared at the immigration desk as quick as I wished it would be and soon am on a taxi home. I am about an hour late for Me for My Neighbour but Kennedy has assured me I will catch it so I relax. I have by now made a couple of phone calls and a quite a number of my friends know of my presence in Nairobi. I am mesmerised by Nairobi’s atmosphere. The city is engulfed in the campaign fever and all sorts of posters are everywhere. Out of curiosity I start a conversation with my taxi driver on the forth coming elections. It is to tell his tribe and hence is political inclination from his content, opinion and accent. I am a bit concerned though about his thoughts on the sensitive land issue which has lately sparked emotive reactions from a cross-section of Kenya. Due to the ignorance of the electorate politicians have used this issue to propagate propaganda and I am unsure whether we learnt anything from 2007/2008.But I am not here to discuss the elections so the conversation ends shortly and I keep my focus on getting to Mathare.
I join Kennedy and his friends on a Door to Door mission in Mathare. We are sharing food, clothes and other goodies with needy families in this neighbourhood. It is called Me for My Neighbour. This is not your usual charity of just giving what you have. No. There is something special about me for my neighbour. It is about hunting souls for christ by sharing his love. We visit 16 families and 10 of these have given their lives to christ. This is by far the most rewarding way of spending the 1st of my 7 day visit to Nairobi.
In the evening Kennedy and I decide to catch a meal at a christian restuarant in town and we are later joine by Karen and Robert. Karen and Robert have grown to be my favorite couple. I am motivated by how they overcome the challenges of youth to be so genuinely in love with each other. I am impressed by the young, beautiful and intelligent young woman Karen is blossoming into capable of holding her own. But most of all I am proud of the man my brother Robert is growing into.I can tell he loves his girl, has made her so happy and he is such a gentleman with her. I am proud of them both and will do my best to support them (but I say that only to myself).
It’s getting dark outside and my first day in Nairobi is slowly coming to an end. It has been a long day and I really must get some rest and look forward to the next day when I get to see my lovely mum.