01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Trivia - traffic, school and snow 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Trivia - traffic, school and snow

Temporarily, we have had to re-think our daily routine.  Why? Because school swimming training has begun.  It's complicated.  My husband is not only taking a packed lunch but a packed breakfast to work.  Forward planning is necessary.  Invariably things get forgotten.  Yesterday our middle daughter forgot to pack her school socks (she managed to borrow some).  The day before, my husband forgot his lunch.

The children are supposed to report to the school pool at 6.30am, dive in and swim a gazillion lengths.  It's only just getting light in Nairobi at 6.30am, so the children have been driven to school in the dark.  This, for us, this is a new state of craziness (we were already getting them up and out pretty early) - but each cloud has a silver lining.  There's far less traffic at 6am, so their route to school takes half the usual time.  Traffic is getting so dreadful in this city that getting up in the dark is the only answer to beat commuting time.  As long as we forego alcohol, put a line through our social life and make sure we are in bed by 9.30pm - then it's fine...


Our eldest daughter recently returned from her much anticipated school skiing trip. It was an enormous success. Many of the 35 children had never seen snow before. Apparently there were lots of expressions of; “Wow, this is so not like the snow in SkiDubai”. (funny). It brought memories flooding back of when we showed our three snow for the first time a couple of years ago. I can just remember their astonishment when they realised that snow was actually wet! Wet trousers, freezing hands. Convincing them in centrally heated rooms that yes, they WILL need their coats! 

When my husband first saw snow, he was in his teens. When the teacher caught him gazing out of the window at snow falling, he was reprimanded.

“But it’s snowing,” my husband said.  A friend of his helpfully piped,

“He’s never seen snow before, Sir.”

So they stopped the French class and let everyone go outside, especially to see him experience snow for the first time ever.

(BTW Are you not loving the David Attenborough Frozen Planet series showing on DSTV on Monday nights?)

When she got back, because their flight arrived late, my daughter was given a day off school. It was a sweltering hot afternoon and as I lead her through the local shops/dukas to run errands such as; nip to the hardwarem return the dvd to the shop in the basement next to the stinky downstairs bar that always has a TV blaring, and then outside, past the poor woman in a wheelchair, hawkers with flowers, fruit and second hand clothes, broken pavement, dust, beggars and so on, to find Daniel who has glazed eyes and shaky hands and a bandage (which intrigued my daughter), so that I could swap the dodgy dvds (not working) that we’d bought from him on Saturday.  I asked her, “are you having a little bit of a culture shock?” She nodded.

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