Month: February 2016


Freedom of Digital Entertainment

Once upon a time, when you lived oversees, you had no idea what anyone watched or listened to in your home country. Thanks to DNS and VPN services, we can watch what we want, where we want…well almost. Score one point for people who want to watch or listen to things they enjoy. There will always be governments that they try get in the way of that. We all lose points for that. What’s worse is when the content providers get in the way. You would think they would support the freedom of the arts (using “arts” loosely to cover everything from Sons and Lovers to Lady Gaga). That is not the case. Netflix is almost global now. It’s here in Kenya. I’d gladly pay for the Kenyan service. However, I won’t. The reason is House of Cards, one of my favorite shows. It’s a Netflix show. They don’t offer it in Kenya, not yet anyway. It’s not a licensing issue. It was a business decision that didn’t take customers into account. In other words, it …


When the prospect of moving to Nairobi first came up, I asked my husband about the bug situation. Would there be a lot of creepy crawlies? What about roaches, would there be roaches? Also, mosquitos find me quite delicious. Would I need to worry about those blood suckers? I was assured that it wouldn’t be as bad as I was imagining. I am happy to report that what he said was true. (This is evidenced by the fact that I still live here.) There are some bugs, but not that many. Because of the altitude, Nairobi is cooler and drier than you’d think. It does get hot out in the sun. But it’s not a hot and humid place that makes for a thriving bug population. There are some mosquitos, but very few where we live and Nairobi is not a malaria zone. (The coast is a different story.) I’ve seen all of one roach, and that, I’m pretty sure, came in from outside and was quickly and easily eliminated. There are a few crickets that …

Maybe it’s not too soon

I’ve been feeling a little homesick lately. Don’t get me wrong—I love it here. Nairobi is thriving and fun and I love our country house. And we are indeed settling in nicely. But..and maybe this is really just the excitement of our upcoming visit home…I’m missing New York. I still read New York Magazine and take glimpse of the The New York Times now and then. Lately, when I do that, I feel little pangs of longing. This trip will help. I’m hoping the current mayor hasn’t turned the city into a complete sh*t show. (I have strong feelings about that guy.) Even if he has, it will be good to go home for a bit. It’s only a few more weeks until I get my fix.

Settling In

The house is coming together. We almost have all our furniture. The outdoor furniture isn’t ready yet but should arrive soon. We still need a guest bed, but think we’ve found a place to get it. We’ve gotten most of our art up on the walls. We have our household help in place. Our housekeeper has been with us since October and she’s fantastic. We finally found a guy to manage the yard. That part was harder than you’d think. There aren’t too many lawn services. Mostly, people have gardeners, full time gardeners coming everyday. We don’t need that for our small yard. But I finally found someone to come a few times a month to keep things neat and tidy and mowed. We also found a part time cook. Most cooks are full time and live in (often a housekeeper who does the cooking). That would be overkill for us. We found someone to come in once a week to make a few meals that we can either eat the next couple nights or …

Silly Mood

I’m in a silly mood. When in such moods, I sometimes think about potential band names or album titles. I have no interest in starting or joining a band. It’s just a fun naming game. So far, the top ones I’ve come up with are: Broke Down Matatu Crazy Matatu Peponi Road (side note, I’d love someone to parody Thunder Road and make it about all the pot holes on Peponi Road) Scam the Mizungu Polite Notice (all the signs here seem to marked as “polite notice”) Junk In Your Trunk (there are also signs at security check points notifying drivers that security is going to check the junk in said trunk—this is also a polite notice) It’s silly. I know. But it’s fun.