It is so dry here in Nairobi. The grass is yellow and shrubs are wilting in the heat. When Nairobi dries out this much you can only imagine what it is like elsewhere. Apparently the fine dust in Naivasha is a foot deep and Lake Nakuru is dry. You can only image how desperate things must continue to be in arid areas like Turkana. Fires are breaking out in game reserves and precious forest areas like the Mau.
I have fallen into the habit of asking everyone I see when they think it’s likely to rain.
‘At the end of the month,’ said the gardener very definitely.
‘When it’s full moon, which I think is on Thursday,’ said a friend.
An older friend today said, ‘I’m not sure but I keep getting signs. My little finger was swollen this morning and my joints are aching which is usually a sign of rain on its way.’
Meanwhile we look up and it’s still clear blue sky.
A friend flew up here from Dar es Salaam on Monday and he said that the view on landing in Kenya was 'unbelievable', everywhere was so dry, so brown. A far cry from lush Tanzania. He had never seen the Nairobi national park look like that before.
On another topic, I went to a children’s birthday party with my three and six year old daughters last weekend. A teenage guest brought along five tame snakes as a sort of side show between the puppets and the cake. The snakes were handed around amongst the kids and I thought,
‘Only in Kenya.’
Some of the glamorous ‘old Kenya’ mums who grew up here were happy to drape them around their necks and study the beautiful markings close up. I shrank away, trying to hide. I spotted a small child trying to hand a snake back to his mum when he had had enough and she was dodging about trying to avoid touching it.
‘don’t give it to me, give it to him’ she shrieked.
The teenager was a bit worried that they might slither off into the bush(/the garden) and get lost. We asked him what he fed the snakes and he said mice and quails eggs – how lovely.