Monday, October 29, 2012


Forgive me, readers, for I have sucked.  It has been 24 days since my last post. 

Yes, I’ve been busy.  But never am I so busy that I can’t find a little sliver of time to write an update when something remarkable happens.  No, the real reason is slightly more interesting than simply a lack of time.  The main reason I haven’t written is that I have felt as though I’ve had nothing to say. 

It’s not that life got any more boring – it’s never really dull here – rather, it’s that I’ve gotten too used to it.  I’ve reached homeostasis.  I’ve reached the point where life here is just life and it couldn’t be any other way.  All of the quirks and idiosyncrasies that at first were so interesting and notable are no longer cause for notice.  I still make sure to take pleasure in the little joys of everyday life, but not because they are novel; just because they are nice.  Even the sparkling excitement of going away for the weekend is abating.  I’ve been to most of the places that we can get to in a weekend and the appeal is quickly fading.  The people and the jokes change, but the experience is largely the same.

I don’t mean to say that I know everything about this place and its people.  On the contrary, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t understand.  I just mean to say that I’ve settled in.  My tourist goggles have largely fallen away and Mombasa is more and more becoming a place I refer to as mine.  If I had a few more months here, I would probably revel in my newfound sense of place.  As it is, it comes just as I am beginning the process of saying goodbye (perhaps because I am saying goodbye?).  And I’m ok with that.  I’m glad to know that I’ve been here long enough to achieve it, but I can’t wait to get to a place that doesn’t require such a severe settling in process.  A place that is already home.

When I left Lincoln 5 years ago, I knew I would be back and forth, but I wasn’t certain I would live there again.  I certainly never thought I would be so excited to move back.  But, time goes, things change and now I can’t even wait to be home.  I can’t wait to see everyone and just settle in.  To just be instead of constantly relearning how.   To take a break.

I’m a little bit nervous, though.  The fact that I’ve gotten so used to things here makes me feel like I may have a bit of a time readjusting to such a completely different world.  The potential for reverse culture shock is great.  So, if you see me in December looking a bit dazed and confused, please be kind.  I’m dealing with the fact that the mundane has suddenly become noteworthy again – then check back here because I’ll probably feel the need to write about it.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Object Observations

I think that one of the main things I have learned from living here has been the versatility of everyday objects.  I feel like, at home, we tend to associate objects with specialized purposes.  We rarely divorce them from each other, so, when we have a new problem to solve, we go and get the object we are supposed to use to solve that problem.  Here, it’s not so much an option most of the time, so I’ve learned to divorce the function from the object and repurpose it for new uses.  For instance, last night, I spent several hours applying paste from a coffee mug with a butter knife.  It was actually very effective. 

I also spent several hours reliving the gelatin smell of my synchro days.  I don’t even need an ingredient list to tell you that Kenyan paste is not vegan friendly.  It was the first time the connection between horses and glue felt real for me.