Saturday, August 26, 2017

Beautiful Nairobi

The days are gradually getting warmer although we're still in winter.  It's 12-13 C (53-55 F) when we drive to the office in the mornings.  A jacket feels nice but people here wear toques (knit hats), winter coats and gloves.  Who knew there was a market for winter clothing on the equator?  The day warms up and by 6 p.m. when we go for our walk, it's cool but not nippy like it's been.  It's actually very pleasant year-round.

And even in this cool weather, the palm trees and other tropical plants flourish.  I wish we could grow these plants at home in Alberta.  I love green growing things and it would be nice to have them year-round, like they have here.  This is a beautiful country.  I wonder if the people know how beautiful they have it here.

Now to everyday things . . . LeRon spilled a whole glass of water on his laptop keyboard.  The right person did it!  I've been known to spill a whole glass of milk.  Glad I didn't do it this time.  So we were up early to be downtown before the traffic gets heavy to take it to a Mac service center.  Yes, they have everything in Nairobi!

So pictures follow of some of the lovely foliage and street scenes.  As our mission is drawing to a close, I want to be sure I get all the photos of street scenes that I can.  We've lived here for more than a year and it has become "home" and I want to always remember the great times we've had here.

The rose trees by our flat are about 10 feet tall.  If I had time I would deadhead them so that more would grow.  I love the drops of dew on the rose petals in the mornings.  

My mother grew lots of irises.  These irises are over 6-feet tall!  Gorgeous orange/red blooms.

I can't get enough of all the different kinds of palm trees.  To my sister Arlene who lives in San Diego, California, palm trees are normal.  But even though I see them everywhere here, they are not normal to me.  I come from the dry climate of southern Alberta where it takes years to grow a tree!

A palm tree in silhouette.  One evening our little neighbor girl, Faye, and I went walking around the compound looking at all the flowering trees and bushes.  She loves flowers and trees as much as I do.  Her mother and I are good friends too.  Faye showed me where they had cut down a tree in January and now it has grown up from the roots and is probably 20 feet tall!  Imagine a tree growing that fast!!!

I made a batch of cookies to give the neighbor kids.  Ingredients are very different here.  The flour is different.  The sugar is different.  The only recipe that turns out the same is my brownie recipe.  I've made cookies a few times and they just aren't the same.  The brown sugar is very different -- too much molasses for me.  I buy a really nice brown sugar sometimes but right now it is "out of stock" as most things are from time to time.
Faye (right) and Joy came to get some homemade cookies.
These osteospermums grow to be 2-feet tall.  They are 6-10 inches tall in Alberta!  I love the delicate blossoms that grow in many colors

Lovely berries that hang down from the palm trees.

I don't know if you can see it, but each stalk of this cactus plant is actually a 3-dimensional triangle.  Does that make sense?  So interesting.

Love this silhouette

Joy picked a purple osteospurmum for me.  The petals are so perfect they don't look real.

Now we're downtown, close to the Westlands Mall that was the site of the terrorist attack in 2013.  It has beefed up its security a lot since then, as has every mall in Nairobi.  This street is full of shops.  Very different than the malls we generally shop at.

There are 4 stores in Nairobi that service Mac computers.  This one is an authorized dealer so we went there.  The two young men were very knowledgeable and we think they will have the laptop fixed in no time and hopefully for very little cost.  Nairobi is an expensive city but some things are much cheaper here than in the West.  They phoned us back this afternoon and have discovered the problem and will have it fixed by Monday.  Latest update:  They phoned us just now (3 p.m.) and the computer is fixed!!  How is that for service?  Because we spilled water, it's not on warrantee.  So costs $380.  LeRon thought he said $80!  Oh well.  Good to have it working.  We each have a laptop and we each NEED a laptop!!  After all, life can't go on without being connected!

Amazing to see the things people put inside their vehicles.  Bags of vegetables.  One time we saw a vehicle like this that was stuffed with hay bales!

And they carry lots of things in the backs of trucks and in wheelbarrows and handcarts.  All vehicles share the same road. 

Love this billboard.  Wish every country could want and have peace.

Now we're at the local Nakumatt store.  Nakumatts across Kenya are going bankrupt and closing down.  Sad.  But the funny thing is they are still selling things at normal prices.  They have very few workers in the store and very few customers.  No one wants to buy things at regular prices when they know the store is going under.  I wonder why they don't put everything on sale and close out quickly.  It's going to take years to sell everything in the store.  What does this have to do with a gorgeous bird of paradise flower?  Well, there's lots of these plants outside the Nakumatt store here at the Galleria mall (accent on the second syllable of Galleria -- and pronounced gal-air'-ee-ah).

We like to shop at this fruit and vegetable place at Galleria Mall.  We bought a whole bag full of fruits and vegetables for $14.  Prices are good and so is the produce.

Another dainty flower outside Nakumatt.
Look closely and you will see orange tips at the ends of the stamens.  Are those stamens?  We saw flowers like this in South East Asia.  Their long petals wave in the breeze.  So delicate.

Even though there are two mosques (this one and another smaller one) on the road between our place and Galleria Mall, we rarely hear the call to prayer.  We love hearing the call to prayer. 

And right next to the mosque is the "Scripture Mission of East Africa".  The building looks quite a bit older than the mosque.  We also saw a sign for the "Contemplative Evangelizers of the Heart of Christ."  Interesting to see so many churches here.  This is definitely a Christian country although there are lots of Muslims too.  I shared the gospel with the man at the fish counter at Carrefour and he so nicely listened to me and then explained that he was Muslim but that his wife was Christian.  I always have a nice visit with him when I'm in Carrefour.  Such good people.

This picture is blurry but I wanted to keep it anyway.  We drive past this place every Sunday on our way to church and many times in between.  I've always wondered what exactly was in it.  It's always closed on Sundays so that's good.  My neighbor, Pooja, bought some things here and told me about it so I stopped by today.  The lady makes curtains and blinds and sells pots and things to go in pots.  For 100 Ksh ($1US) I bought a bunch of dyed grasses.

I think the dyed grasses look nice in this Kenyan pot.  I'll of course leave it here when we go back to Canada.  But in the meantime it spiffies things up.

A close-up of the dyed wild oats!  The lady told me that she gathers everything "in the forest" and then dyes them.  Maybe we should dye wild oats and wheat, etc. at home and try selling it!!  Nobody would probably want the real thing.  They seem to like the artificial.


  1. Another interesting post. Hard to imagine Irises that are 6 feet tall!

  2. Yeah, that's crazy! 6 feet tall irises? Wow. But I just transplanted some daylilies and irises, and I"m pretty sure they weren't getting enough water and that they'll be bigger next year in this new spot. But I'm sure it's different varieties, too.

    Love the osteospermum too! And the palm berry things are pretty.

    I think the dyed wild oats are pretty.