By Marisa Notier
The Notier Notes
Our Sunday Scoop
Ever since the pandemic started, we've had to settle down as opposed to travel full-time, which means I've unfortunately been neglecting our blog. Tim and I have been stuck in Uganda and Kenya for nine months now, waiting for the world to go back to normal. And even though it might still be a while before "normal" is back for good, I realized that you don't have to be on the road every day to have interesting adventures. Living in Africa during these crazy times is an adventure in and of itself.
So I've decided to do a Sunday Scoop about our lives which will just be a short weekly update about how things are here, from the bizarre to the ordinary. And since we're all pretty much stuck at home, I'm hoping it can bring you to a far away land on the other side of the globe, even if it's just for a moment.
This week I've decided to introduce you to our home in Kenya. We're renting a haphazard house in an even more haphazard town called Nanyuki, which is within sight of Mt. Kenya, Africa's second tallest mountain after Mt. Kilimanjaro. The weather here is cool due to the altitude, but we're on the equator, so the sun can be intense.
This is the house we're renting from a friend of a friend from Uganda. I would definitely call the place a "fixer-upper" even though it was built only nine years ago, but I think African construction is a bit like making gingerbread houses - you put some concrete walls up, paste on some wooden beams, cover it all in plywood boards, and then top it off with a tin roof, and voilà! You have a house. Sort of.
It's not a square house, it's a something-a-gon with not a right angle in the whole place, as if every room was an afterthought. The plumbing is exposed, the wiring looks like a rat's nest, and when we first arrived, it was so filthy and cluttered with other people's belongings, I wanted to leave immediately.
But Tim saw the potential, and now I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. After washing all the cushions, and mopping up the place (and killing more spiders than I've ever seen in one residence), it's perfect. Well, if you close your eyes, it's pretty much perfect.
This house is a real upgrade from where we were living in Uganda which didn't have a washing machine, or a TV, or internet, or an oven, or hot water for a shower... this place is like a palace in comparison. Plus, it has a garden with herbs and tomatoes, sugar cane and bananas, and there's even a tin "garage" to store the bike.
But best of all, there was a stray cat that had kittens a month ago in the garden, so now we have two cute kitties running around. We really couldn't be happier with how things have turned out.
So that's my update this week. Next time I'll take you to Ol Pejeta, the nearby wildlife reserve where we fed a blind rhino and almost got charged by his rhino brethren while riding horses through the park...
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