As Andrew mentioned in his recent blog, we have moved into our new home in Nanyuki. It is a nice house with 3 bedrooms, electricity and running water.
Here are some of our experiences that we are facing in our new home:
To take a shower we flip a switch to turn on the hot water heater, and it is gravity fed. You then turn on the knob for the shower, and the lower the pressure the hotter the water. The water gets VERY hot, almost too hot (which I was not expecting). But then you are freezing when you turn the water off because it is still cold in the house.
Laundry is very different too. I am thankful that we do have a machine (vs. hand washing). Again, to fill the washer with water, it is gravity fed. The longest part of washing is the filling of the machine. But it only takes one hour to wash a load. Then we hang our clothes to dry. We have a very nice clothes line in our backyard that we share with our neighbor. With the low humidity it only takes about an hour and a half to dry all the clothes.
My new kitchen is very interesting. I now use a gas stove and oven, which has been fun so far. The first few days we used a match to start the stove, but then we learned that there was a starter button to do the same thing! (Although I kind of liked using the match) I use a big bowl to wash dishes. There is no hot water in my kitchen so I fill up the bowl using hot water from the shower.
We do not have a car right now so we do a lot of walking. To walk into town is a 25 minute walk, and we have walked it almost every day this week. I really enjoy this! It is back roads, and it is basically like walking through a neighborhood. There are kids all along the way who stare at us and yell out, “Hello, how are you?” over and over again. I am not even sure they know what they are saying, they are just excited they know some English. They get even more excited when we say to them in Swahili, “Habari ako?” Meaning, “how are you?” Even when we do get a car I want to keep walking into town.
The language in Kenya is Swahili, but most people speak English as well. I was afraid that it would be hard to study Swahili if everyone spoke English, but it is the opposite! I have a hard time understanding their English because it tends to be very broken, so it challenges me to learn Swahili. I have also learned that in town at the markets and other stores many will charge me more because of my white skin. Many people yell out things including the word “Mzungu!!” when we walk by. Mzungu is the word for white person. I am excited for the day that I can speak back to them in Swahili.
The cars drive on the left side of the road here. And the driver sits on the right side of the car. This took me a few days to get used to. And the roads are a little chaotic. There doesn’t seem to be rules on the road like in the US. Yet at the same time it is kind of like organized chaos, because it works. As of now, I prefer walking 🙂
The money currency here is shillings. It is not really that difficult to understand, but it is still a lot of calculating when we are out shopping for
many items at a time. The way I have learned it is:
8000 shillings=100 dollars. 800 shillings=10 dollars. And so on…..
Well, those are just a few of the many new experiences I have had so far. As I wrote about this new way of life, I hope I came across the way I wanted. Some of these things are not ideal to our (American’s) way of life. They are new and inconvenient to what we are used to. But it has all been a joy. The Lord has called us to this place, and these people, and this new way of life. I would not want anything different.
Here are a few pictures, for more check out our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-and-Abby-in-Africa/):
My first grocery shopping trip at the market
The school compound where we live.
Our newly inherited pets 🙂
My first load of laundry drying.
Nakumatt-Our equivalent to any US grocery store-very nice!