A winner is a dreamer that never gives up – Nelson Mandela

Traveling through Kenya is so much more than just visiting different destinations, you’re going through a change in the deep and permanent ways of life. From the mountains to the beach, from the desert to the national park. From too much money to count to complete misery in such large amount. From new initiatives at world level to habits from back then. Where terrorism is highly feared, but Hukuna Matata the most famous word on an international level. Kenya leaves you speechless, which gives me new stories to tell.

When you visit the Maasai villages – which are the most traditional tribe in Kenya – the interpreter tells you about their way of living. For example about the fact that many men have an average of five wife’s and thereby taken into consideration that the woman is doing all the work; from taking care of meals and children to building the “houses”. They explain how the men learn to protect their cattle from lions, hyenas and all other wildlife. After a first slaughter you are to be seen as a real man. Interesting theory. Even more interesting is how these men win over the lady’s to become their wife. Of course, this depends on your wealth and what you are willing to pay for the woman in question. You’re allowed to be married as soon as the woman is circumcised, which takes place immediately after the first menstruation. But personally I was even more intrigued by their punishment system. If you accidentally murder a married man, you owe the head of the village 49 cows. For a single man or a married woman, this is 39 cows and for the single ladies nothing more than 29 cows. A small fee. The fact that they are housed on Kenyan land does not mean that you are hold responsible by the law of the country. Culture is still leading and the tribes govern politics, the future, the business world and everybody’s private life. But if you think it’s all underground, you’re wrong. That applies to (too) many subjects in this country. For example, people told me that they were transporting ivory, which political personalities are responsible for importing drugs, about the illegal ways they used to ensure they were able to fulfil their current position. Mothers rent out their babies to beggars, clean drinking water is just known in the cities of the richest tribes and houses are built of clay since 70% of the country’s population still has to live off one dollar a day.

For me, the everyday life is kind of bizarre. I recognize the faces of business relations in newspapers, I meet the entire crème de la crème of this country, yesterday I sailed the sea, tonight I will go on safari and at the time of writing I’m staring at a beautiful lake full of flamingo’s enjoying my African wine. Happiness is easy to define. One finds happiness in small things. A smile, a song, a word. And then you know you’re blessed.

The splendour is indescribable and endless. The creators of Lion King where inspired by Kenya for good reasons and to behold the migration with hundreds of thousands of animals crossing the border between Kenya and Tanzania is something no human will ever forget. Safari’s will never be boring and to run into an elephant over here is just a little bit different from your local zoo. Wherever you are, the rest of the world will slightly disappear from your memory. Sharing this experience brings new friendships and together we jump from one overpopulated pub to another, all trying to get familiar with the horizontal dancing style. The weekends you spend in nature are a yin / yang to daily life in Nairobi, both of which can be a relief. Toilets don’t grow on trees and hanging in a dark wooden cabin with moths starting a boxing contest with your femininity, my crappy apartment in Nairobi suddenly isn’t so bad at all.

A new start is about to come, it won’t take long or I will again find myself in a whole new storybook. Right now half of my mind is still in the Netherlands, I got my sight focused on Kenya but I can’t wait before I can smell the flavours of a completely new destination. Although this country isn’t perfect, in 1963 a little diamond was born.

Xoxo

BohemianGirl

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Saying goodbye or saying hello? – My first blog

Turn your back to all what you know and what is familiar, to live and not just to be.

Being strong and calm until the final second, when your mom gives you a big hug which says so much more than the word goodbye. That was all I needed to completely collapse, feeling like I just wanted to fall to the ground, grab my mom’s leg and overwhelm the airport with an enduring cry of “MAMAAA “. Of course, as elegant as possible I splashed a single tear from the corner of my eye. And so I went.

The first rung taken and Madrid de las Rozas has been good to me. It was a desolated little village at the boarder of Spain’s capital city, but with 29 degrees Celsius and not to forget about the remarkably well-dressed men, it wasn’t that bad at all. Interesting enough, it seemed that 99% of Spanish people do not speak or want to speak any English. And even though they should be able to understand easily that I am absolutely not able to say more than a jolly “hola” (which doesn’t even sound like that), we continue to chat further, after which I kindly nod and say my goodbye, completed with a ridiculous wave. Every time again. It took a while before I found the way towards the hotel. But later on when I had made it to the office it became a productive visit. My colleagues were very kind and I enjoyed meeting them in person. A fun day you could say.

At the time of writing I’m on my way to Nairobi, counting over 16 hours already. Kenya gazes at me. I gleam back.

Xoxo

BohemianGirl

Ps: If you could think of any activity for my Kenya-bucketlist, please don´t hesitate sharing via the reaction section below! I will try to follow up on all of them and keep you posted. So let me know.. what will I be doing the coming weekend?