- Kids continuously chanting ‘Owarrooo?’ (Translation: How are you?) as you pass, beaming when you respond with ‘Fine thank you, how are you?’
- Chai with 10 million spoons of sugar. And having it in big flasks, ready to pour whenever you’re in need
- The smell: it’s the first thing that hits you when you get off the plane. Breath in Africaa. It gets right into your bones.
- African rain. When it rains, it rains!
- Sitting on the backseat of the matatu with the music blaring (miss you Jane Sanderson!). Matatus are the main form of public transport here. They’re minibuses that are very old and rickety, falling apart. The driving is not for the faint-hearted…particularly if you board number 9, which belts out hip-hop music, with bass that goes right through you. The drivers follow no rules in order to get to their destination asap. And they train you to jump from moving vehicles, James Bond style!
- The waging war on ants
- Mosque man’s call to prayer that wakes you at 5am. Actually, I’m sleeping through it now. But it’s believed that Muslim’s when you hear the call to prayer, that’s where the Muslims have claimed the land. I refuse to believe this and am claiming it back for Jesus..
- Dirt that gets up your nostrils, ingrained under your fingernails and your feet are permanently black, not matter how much you scrub
I spent a lot of yesterday on matatus. I took four matatus across town to get across town to church (I’m going to a vineyard church – quite Western and ‘middle-class’, but it’s just nice to be somewhere that’s familiar with home when everything else is so different). It takes an hour to get there and an hour home. So I had plenty of contemplating time (when the music wasn’t pounding through me!). One of the things I just love is just watching people out of the window. And realising this so feels like home to me. I love this city, these people.
And sure there are crappy parts too. The poverty is extreme. Corruption is everywhere. The crime rate is ridiculous. Prostitution is too common. Gender discrimination and violence is rife. I have stories I’ve seen and heard that break me, which I’ll share with you another time, ask you to pray, think about.
But for now, there’s something about this place that just gets right into me, into my very being that I can’t explain other than, right now, I’m home. This is where I’m meant to be.