Friday, January 18, 2019


Our teacher ended class yesterday saying, "I will see you on Monday." With jubilant confusion, I  turned to Rose. She tilted her head to the left in recognition of my puzzlement. "Why aren't we having class tomorrow," I whispered, embarrassed that I had missed an important message. Rose giggled, exposing her chiclet shaped teeth, heartily gapped in the middle, "Hapana Mary, (pronounced Mareeee), today is Friday. It is the weekend!" I lost a day somewhere in the middle of my time warp travel.

My first weekend in Nairobi—no children, no husband, no parents or extended family, nothing on my agenda that grips my time and chokes my breath. It is a luxury, to be sure. Young enough to be adventurous, but old enough to temper throwing caution to the wind, I have made safe plans to drink in the culture of East Africa. The barrage of daily emails from the International SOS and Vanderbilt University would cause anyone with a timid and overly concerned constitution to stay inside the locked compound. The warning messages are vitally important, and I am grateful for them. Hearing these types of warnings and new stories at home, I would never have let my children travel to this area, fearing  for their lives.  Yet, the alarmist nature does not necessarily equate to reality. The city is alive this morning and waiting to be captured!

Rubert, a Cuban American chaplain who lives in Nairobi with his wife and small children, offered to take me around town today in order to purchase items I discovered, after this first week, that I need. I am so thankful because navigating this city in a car seems way more dangerous than the possibility of another terrorist attack.

After a breakfast of ngumu kuchemsha maya (hard boiled egg), mkate kahawia (brown bread), and the small wild tomatoes I pick every morning on my way to the dining room, I am getting ready for a day in Nairobi. Tomorrow, I am heading out for my first safari experience!

Upendo Sana (much love).
Mary ( Mareee)

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