“… to learn the lesson of Acceptance… as only through Acceptance, you will find the secret of existence… and you will be happy in a crowd or sitting alone… and you will use all that happens in your life, your joy and your sorrows, to become a better person, so that even death at the end will be good, because it is part of the game…”
I Dreamed Of Africa, Kuki Gallmann
It has been cold in Nairobi lately, around 15 degrees even during the day. Life has been quietly lately as I spent most of my time at home, reading and trying out new recipes. I’ve made some new friends, wife and son of Rob’s new colleague, who have been coming weekly to my house, spending time together either at the pool with a glass of white wine or taking slow walk at the small garden outside where the young boy can run around.
Weeks ago, a neighbor of mine, who brought me to Pilates too, had borrowed me 2 books about Africa. I was teasing with Rob if I can finish the books soon, as I have many other more interesting books lining up (silly me to even thought so), waiting for me to “read them”. The first book which I had just finished reading, and to my surprise, it doesn’t take long as I thought, was I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann. This book is about a lady, who had followed her dream, to move to Kenya, a place she called Home. A story about her life, her adventurous encounters, her family and life and death she had went through. I can almost see myself in places she went, houses she stayed and feeling her emotions like a roller coaster ride. I felt her sadness when she lost her son, her emotions that she was describing, made me cried myself silly, sitting in a restaurant alone, keeping my head down, hoping no one will notice the red and swollen nose I had. I can see Kenya during the 1980s in her story, and can imagine the vast image of red-brown landscape, with animals nesting freely. A sight, which is so different from the Nairobi city now, where lands are claimed by tall modern buildings, and local Kenyans wearing westernized clothing.
I went through some photos recently, photos we took during our very first visit to this country last year to check out the place before we decided to move here. It was more than a year ago… How time flies. I still remembered when the plane finally landed in Nairobi Airport, an old-fashioned and rundown Airport greeted us. Almost immediately, my heart is panicking and afraid to imagine myself living here. However, the tours to the National Park, the Elephant Orphanage, Karen Blixen house and some others popular touristy places during our tight 2 days trip, changed my mind alittle. A city girl who had never leave her hometown Singapore, moving to Nairobi, I am scared but I knew it will be a life changing experience for myself, for I am searching to find a different form of happiness in life, not the material kind. I had imagined myself to live abroad when I was younger, but Kenya was never in the picture. Kenya to me then, was a place which I will see in the television programs, probably from Discovery channel.
Cheeky monkeys welcoming us to the Nairobi National Park
View from part of the National Park
We didn’t realized we saw a lion until we zoom down our photo! Hey man, we are searching for you the entire day! (sorry… it is a little blurry!)
A blind rhino which has been deserted by his family but adopted by the Elephant Orphanage
Visit to Karen Blixen’s house
p/s: Thank you for reading.