Karibu! Apologies in advance but this is going to be a fairly short post to cover what has been quite a busy few days. I suppose the big news is that I moved into my house today (Saturday). And it’s lovely. More than lovely actually, it’s gorgeous. I’m living out of the city itself in a compound/estate called Mountain View. It’s above Nairobi, on the main road leading west out of the city which will be handy for trips in the coming months to Naivasha and Nakuru National Parks! There are about 250 houses in Mountain View, some of which are rather fancy. The whole estate is really lush, loads of trees and greenery and that, combined with the fact that we’re a good bit out of the city, means that the air feels so much fresher up here than in does down in the city centre. The whole place is super secure, with 3 gates separating our house from the house, and lots of askari too (security guards). Because it’s so secure I think I’ll be able to run here which is brilliant, and necessary. Having spent a week getting very well fed during ICT I’m already feeling a little squishy! There are also some other VSO volunteers living in the area.
The house itself is a spacious 4 bedroom place. We have a big kitchen, and also a good size living room and a dining room. Before I make this place sound like a holiday destination I should probably state a few things. The house is situated outside of the city, and quite far from my office. Well not as the crow flies but getting to work in the morning will require a bus/matatu combination (matatus will be explained in a latter post, I promise). Our water and electricity supply is rather erratic. I’ve been in the house about 7 hours and we’ve already had a – albeit brief – power cut and according to the other inhabitants the water is often shut off over the weekend. Which might make having showers rather difficult as there are 4 of us in the house. I moved into the house with Nicole, one of the other new arrivals and the house already has two inhabitants, Barbara and Sandra (Sandy). Barbara and Sandy could not have made us feel more at home and even cooking us a fabulous pizza dinner for our first night here.
But through all of this post I’ve skipped a vital step in today’s big move. Our shopping trip! We were picked up in a truck this morning by Meshack from the VSO office who dropped us up to Mountain View with our bags and then took up shopping for homewares. VSO provides a soft furnishings allowance to enable volunteers to get some pieces to make a house a home. So off we trotted to Nakumatt (a supermarket chain here) to pick up sheets, a blanket, mugs, Tupperware, and lots of other random bits and pieces. Oh and a mattress. Very important that one. I spent a good twenty minutes in the mattress section of Nakumatt Westgate asking the shop assistant to show me lots of different mattresses while Meshack and I sat, lay, and in certain cases bounced, on them until I found a reasonable one that was in my price range. And then it was all piled onto the bag of the truck and driven to our new house. The rest of the evening was spent unpacking and also having a good walk around the area to begin to get acquainted with it.
Ok, I’m going to have to stop here for the time being as I’m falling asleep typing but in the next post remind me to cover work stuff and the last few days of our training.