Arriving in Kenya from Egypt made us feel a lot like at home. The Kenyans are very friendly which remind us very much of Brazil. But we heard a lot they calling us Muzungu.
Here, everyone who is white is a Muzungu and everywhere you go you will hear this word. It can get quite annoying sometimes, especially because we are always reminded of how we are not considered the same. Nevertheless, they tell us “being a Muzungu is a very good thing”. Everyone wants to talk and meet us. Everywhere we go, people approach us – in a nice way – just to have their moment of speaking with a Muzungu.
Anyway, this is a word in their national official language, Swahili. A very interesting fact, the film “The Lion King” is based on this language. Simba means lion; Rafik, friend; Hakuna Matata means…… no worries. We knew that already! So basically, the film was “filmed” here!! How amazing!?
Our time as Muzungu in Kenya
We are living in an orphanage in the outskirts of Nairobi with 15 children. The place has been “officially” opened last week when the kids started school but they have been here since last December. The place has no electricity, no internet, no gas, no this, no that…but is full of activities, discoveries and a lot of learning all day. The day begins at 7am and ends at 9pm.
It’s a small project with big aspirations and 100% transparency. We believe in the project because we can see everything being created from the scratch but we will explain it better in a next opportunity (we have actually came today to the city only to sort out an issue and need to go back ASAP to pick up the kids from the school).
Curiosities about Kenya
– Kenya is formed by 42 tribes;
– The common language to all is Swahili. The second language is English and only the ones who haven’t been to school don’t speak.
– It’s winter time here (however the weather is pretty much the same throughout the year) and the temperature varies from 18 to 30 degrees. Still, many of the people wear heavy jackets, scarf and hats.
– We commute from the orphanage to the centre by pic-pic (moto-taxi who carries up to 3 people plus himself and with no helmet – sometime with food shopping too!) or hitchhiking.
– The food reminds us about Brazilian food, normally made from rice, beans and potatoes. But somehow our stomach is still finding difficult to digest it well – Tiago has diarrhoea from day 2 (detail, toilets are holes dig far from the place where we sleep). Well, Hakuna Matata!