Today was our final day in Kenya and we embarked on some souvenir shopping to end our trip. In all, we’ve had a fabulous time in Kenya and it was everything we needed it to be. But at the same time, we’re all looking forward to being back home in Mali. Although Nairobi is more developed than Bamako, we found it is still very much African and we experienced frequent power cuts each day, tap water that was undrinkable, and low (sometimes no) pressure showers.
Kenya is a notoriously crime ridden country where theft and crime are very common. It goes beyond pickpockets and purse snatchers into crimes called necklace snatching. When walking down the street, or sitting in a car at a traffic light with the window down, it is not uncommon for someone to grab any jewelry you’re wearing including watches, bracelets, and necklaces right off your wrist or neck. They’ll even grab cell phones out of people’s hands even as they are using them. It was also important to avoid being on streets at night. We were worried about these things and took many precautions, especially during our time in Nairobi. These precautions paid off as we were never the victims of theft. We are so grateful for God’s protection from this. Corruption is also a terrible problem in Kenya. Several places we went had signs saying “Report Corruption Here”. What a terrible and dark environment in which to live.
One of the things that drew us to Kenya for vacation was to be in an English speaking country. However, English speaking doesn’t always mean American speaking. We had to speak very slowly and deliberately to be understood because people had a difficult time with our accent – and even then, we found people often heard something entirely different than what we said. It made for some humorous memories that will continue in our family for a long time.
June is rainy season in Kenya and we saved a lot of money by staying here outside of tourist season. We were worried that we would be rained out of a lot of activities. But thankfully, it didn’t rain until today, and it was a light rain that didn’t affect our plans. All in all, it was a fabulous trip and one that will last in our memories for a lifetime.