01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: 2015 Africa Expat Life Update 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

2015 Africa Expat Life Update


1.       Teenager. I have a 14 year old who thinks that over 50% of what I say is SOOOO lame – make that 90% - totes, LOL, cray, cray, whatevs – I feel like the embodiment of Kris Jenner right now.  Said daughter gone away to school which is horrible. I’m trying to encourage her to become an online sensation (such as teen fave Zoella who, incidentally, has just bought her very own million pound house in Brighton) so then my daughter can buy her own clothes online and stop bugging me with emails that just consist of weblinks to random US fashion houses selling crop tops and eye-wateringly short shorts and miniskirts.

2.       Local News. I’ve stopped reading the local newspapers.  Phew, that’s a relief! Honestly, I couldn’t bear it any longer.

3.       Job. Loving enjoying my job as a local magazine editor, which goes hand-in-hand with a hefty dose of frustrations, but hey, I’m out there actually working, engaging. The best thing? It’s part time – so definitely can’t complain. Just ticked off two years and only just beginning to get the hang of it. Not sure why it’s taken so long to get my head above water on this one?

4.       School Run. The traffic is horrendous.  More horrendous than is imaginable.  Picture this; kids on a bus for 2 hours to get to school.  And the bus leaves at 6.30am. It’s still dark!! Alarm now goes off at 5.40am to take the younger two to school. Reduction in fuel prices made Nairobi residents race to their car ignitions, keys in hand and suddenly it seems like the number of cars on the road has doubled (again...). #Tired.

5.       Friends. Loads of stalwart expat friends have left.  Last year was the final straw when the security situation in Nairobi went haywire. There was a big exodus, but don’t worry – from what I read, they have been replaced by young Harvard grads who are here in Nairobi in their droves investing in tech and socially responsible, do-good start-ups which are all bound to be ‘the next big thing’ globally!  I blame MPesa for catching the world’s attention. Problem is; I haven’t met any of them yet. They are too busy working 7am-1am apparently.  Bloomberg article about the young Americans 

6.       Weather. The weather is great (lots of sun and the odd dose of rain but only when we particularly need it). Proper rains due end of March and it’s all downhill from there.

7.       World Affairs. Kenya is (finally) not featuring on my BBC news app on a weekly basis.  Phew. We’re clinging on to ‘not being in the news’, as this as it’s the best news we’ve had in ages!

8.       Hubby (do we hate that word?). My husband continues to be addicted to his smartphone, even though it’s Lent and this might have been the perfect opportunity to give it up.  Here are the games that we have finger swiped our way through over the past 4 years (in this exact order); Angry Birds, Temple Run, Hill Climb, Flappy Bird, Bubble Shooter, Jelly Splash and now Crossy Road.  In fact, I’m not entirely against these games.  They are a great stress reliever and make ‘waiting’ a lot more manageable. Shame the phone battery life runs out so fast. L

9.       Home. What else? Oh, the house is great.  So pleased with the extra space and no regrets there – but the landscape has changed. We are now hemmed in by monstrously large town houses on two sides and the building site at the bottom of the garden has been going on for two years and counting... Goodbye trees, hello massive orange painted walls, balconies, towers, windows overlooking and a grey block boundary wall topped by an electric fence that make us feel like we are bordering Colditz.

10.   Nairobi Life. Life is changing here in Kenya crazy-fast at the moment.  This blog is all about dispelling myths or preconceived ideas about expat life in Nairobi. A Danish friend who lived here seven years ago and came back on holiday said ‘it’s just the same – there are more buildings and new roads but in between are the old, familiar places that we used to love.’   But i feel that the city has moved on. Nairobi is a seething, churning, melting pot metropolis and there’s a feeling of optimism, entrepreneurship and ‘anything is possible’ here right now.  As usual, life is never boring.

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