Sunday, November 02, 2014

Oh how we love camping

We had one of our better camping experiences last weekend.  It was a school event, camping inside an upcountry school grounds - fully catered, a fun crowd of fellow campers with similar aged kids, hot showers, flushing loos, great views.

All I had to pack was an in-car lunch and sundowners (crisps, beers, nuts) to reward ourselves once the tent was up.  Okay, it certainly wasn't the greatest nights sleep - at one point, when temperatures dropped, I was convinced I had developed arthritis all over - but we were home by lunchtime on Sunday and there was time for a recovery snooze.  If only camping were always that straight forward, then it might not be another 5 years until the next time I dust down our tent again!

Read more about how the Africa expat stereotype copes with camping by clicking here: (wine is definitely a must).. ;)

The Reluctant Camper

Fabulously Kenyan Music

I got really excited about a song recently because I thought that it was by a Kenyan artist, this was because of the 'Africa' scenes in the video - turns out it was Nico and Vinz who are Norwegian (Am I Wrong) - a bit sad on my part...

However, I feel I have recovered my cool credentials slightly since then as my latest favourite that blasts on the radio on a regular basis IS indeed by a Kenyan band Mankind and my 14 year old daughter, back from school in England, didn't even know it.

There's no music video yet, but it's a great track.

In other news, The Telegraph ran an article on 'antisocial expats' last week, for which I added my tuppence worth. Please read here:

Unsociable? British expats fail to make local friends

Also, read the latest Africa Expat Stereotype: Security Specialist here: (wink, wink, nudge, nudge..)

The Security Specialist

Monday, October 06, 2014

Expats moving on

A number of friends have done that thing that expats very occasionally do ... they've gone home.

Hearing news of one move, followed by another, then another, tends to rock one's foundations a bit. You ask yourself;  'Should we go?' 'If so, when?' 'What is our plan?' - But my husband and I never have a plan - we are generally just grateful to be working.  But it's harder to justify the expat existence when your children are studying overseas, parents are getting older back home, nieces and nephews are growing up at a startling rate.  Suddenly the family is split down the middle and it's not the expat idyll of young children and tea parties that it once was.

Our friends left Nairobi for various reasons but underscoring their decision must have been the fact that the past 12 months in Kenya was undoubtedly an 'annus horribilis'. The Westgate crisis, then grenade attacks and security threats followed by foreign office travel bans.  If anyone was toying with the idea of leaving, then they certainly cannot have needed much of a push. Kids coming home having done terrorism 'duck and cover' security drills at school was almost the final straw.

It just carried on being awful

But now it seems that the annus horribilis has 'gone global' - with Ebola and ISIS spreading its menace - meanwhile, things in Kenya (fingers crossed) have settled down a bit and long may it continue.

I mourn my missing friends and often think about how they are adjusting to their 'new' life back in England but we still enjoy a good lifestyle here - in spite of heavy traffic and heart-in-mouth moments, just as long as the relative peace and calm in Kenya continues - fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, the expat stereotypes series continues - hope it raises a smile: