1. Passion fruit only costs $2 for 2kg — you read that correctly $2 !!!
2. What do you do when you really want Mexican food and you cannot buy any tortillas? Obviously, convince our friend from America to bring you taco season and then convince your other friend to help you make your own tortillas for 3 hours.
3. Why is that wine in a basket? Obviously, because we are in a fancy hotel. Extra points for not tasting like feet.
4. For future reference: chips (crisps) labeled ‘tingy’ just taste like the Kenyan (hence slightly stale and a bit off) version of sour cream and onion chips.
1. They choose to have conferences in better places (see attached photo).
2. Did you see the above photo, that is sufficient evidence.
When I head back to the US, I may be giving a seminar about my travels in Africa. While thinking about what I would talk about — I realized that I have very few things to actually show my department to convince them in Africa. For instance:
1. I have no photos of any wildlife including giraffes, elephants, and lions.
2. I have more photos of me wearing a down coat than not wearing one.
3. Mostly I just sit at desk at my computer surrounded by either British people or Americans.
4. I have no photos of Massai warriors (including Massai warriors on mobile phones).
5. I have visited two African countries and did not think they were the same.
Well, I should probably make sure I have something to show my department so they believe I’m actually in Africa — but you could check my IP address — I swear I’m here!
1. You are more novel than regular white people.
2. If you are around other white people, you will distract all of the children so then your friends can walk more peacefully.
3. But most importantly, you get called a diverse range of names (and I hear diversity is a good thing) including:
- “mzunugu” = white person (but only when you’re wearing sunglasses and they can’t tell that you’re secretly Asian)
- “Ching Chong” = you know, what China sounds like in Mandarin (the frequency you are called “Ching Chong” increases with the number of Asians walking together).
- “Ni hao” (and less frequently kinchewa) = hi
- “China China” (because why wouldn’t you just repeat the name of the country you think a person is from… my favorite is” Djibouti, Djibouti”… or “Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland”)
- and the best is…. “Gangam Style” (which must be accompanied by the dance)
Other observations, in Ethiopia they called me “China China” much more than “Ching Chong” (which is more common in Kenya), I guess China China means Asian person in Amharic whereas “Ching Chong” means Asian person in Swahili. I will have to ask my Swahili teacher.
1a. It is warmer and humid here. These are the kinds of details I should probably be able to infer without having to actually go to the place.
Now… Kilifi versus Eldoret (as I generalize for both places based on limited sample sizes and without any analysis about the heterogeneity of the populations):
1b. Kilifi is filled with British people. Eldoret is filled with midwesterners.
2b. People in both groups like football, but are not talking about the same thing.
3b. People in Eldoret have MDs, people in Kilifi have PhDs.
4b. Brits spend much more on their research facilities in Kenya (they have wifi, in their offices!).