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Less is More

I’ve been in Kenya for over a year-and-a-half and I’m getting used to life here. It feels like less of an adventure and more of…well…just where I live. There is less and less that I feel is worthy of a blog post.

I think that’s coming across in the quality of my posts. My stats have gone down and I am not surprised. I mean, who really cares if I eat lunch?

I’m not going to stop blogging. There are still some things worth writing about, such as trips and (although more rare) there are some tips and learnings worth sharing.

I am going to cut down on how often I post. I’ll go down to once a week, on Wednesdays.

If readership keeps dipping and/or if I’m struggling more to think of something to post, then it’ll be time to stop the blog. For now, it’ll just be less frequent. Hopefully this will result in improved quality with each post.

Trying New Things #3: Lunch

I haven’t regularly eaten a proper lunch since I was in my late 20s. What do I mean by this? I mean, I don’t know how to do it anymore and I need to learn how. Let me clarify.

Looking back to before we moved to Nairobi (or when I worked in an office setting here), I was able to do a working lunch meeting, or break for lunch during a long meeting where food was catered into the office. I could, from time to time, go out for lunch during the work day. But, most days, while working, either at home or at the office, I just shoveled in food and went back to work. At the office, I ate at my desk. At home, I’d have lunch already prepped (if it wasn’t prepped I just wouldn’t eat) and I ate standing up in the kitchen and then go back to work.

Now, I am able to go meet friends for lunch and I try to do so now and then. When I’m at home I still grab whatever (unless there is nothing prepped and then I just won’t eat) and eat standing up in the kitchen. This is not healthy.

It’s not just a matter of eating. The issue I have is taking a break. I have lost my ability to take a break in the middle of the day. Again, this is not healthy.

I’m trying to change this. My first attempts were futile. I’d force myself to sit down (good). Unfortunately, I’d be done in under ten minutes. Trying to read while eating didn’t help (you need hands for both activities). Listening to an audiobook or watching a show didn’t help either. I’d be done eating and then felt like there was something better to do with my time.

I’m changing my approach. Since it’s more about the time and taking a break and less about the eating, I’m putting less emphasis on the time spent eating.

I’m preparing lunch. So far, taking the time to do that is very relaxing for me. Then when I eat, I’m calmer and able to eat a little more slowly. I’m still eating pretty fast and I still eat standing up sometimes, but that’s improving. I’m also going to try to take a walk after lunch.

We now live in a walkable estate so why not take a nice stroll after lunch? I’ve only managed to do this once. I have gone around our garden a number of times after eating. I still keep thinking that I should get back to whatever I was doing. But I’m getting better and I’m realizing that I always (ALWAYS) feel better after I walk a bit (even if it’s just going around the garden).

I’m working on it.

P.S. The main photo is a tuna patty with a dollop of Greek yogurt and caviar on top of puréed cauliflower. It would have been a lot fancier if I took more than seven minutes to wolf it down. I did pause halfway to take the photo. 

 

View of Lake Navaisha

Video: Easter Weekend

Here’s a short clip of our weekend in Navaisha over Easter.

Easter Weekend at Olerai House from curriedpotato on Vimeo.

Review: Olerai House

This past Easter we spent the four-day weekend at Olerai House in Navaisha. We had a fantastic time. You can read about it and see the video in my last two posts. It was a truly unique experience.

The best part, for me, was the set up. There isn’t a big common area, but each room is spacious with lots of sitting and lounging space should the rains take you inside. Lucky for us, it was clear and we got to hang around in the many cushioned lounge areas set up outside.

You can sit or lie down and just watch the animals walk by you—literally right by you. The zebra were constant companions, coming quite close. We also had giraffe strolling along. In the distance we could see waterbuck, gazelle, buffalo, and baboons. Some hippos came up toward the evening. (The staff keeps you safe so no worry about charging hippos. Also, they constantly clean up so no worry about zebra poops….zebras do like to poop. I’m happy to say that while I watched my step in a couple areas, it wasn’t a minefield and I didn’t need to worry about stepping in poop.)

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Our room was very nice. It was big. The bed was comfortable.

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Olerai House - our cottage

There were lots of little things that made the room very user friendly:

  • An outlet near a mirror, which made drying my hair much easier
  • A larger power strip so you can charge whatever needs charging
  • A tray of amenities in the bathroom, beyond just soap and shampoo
  • Robes
  • Skylights to let in tons of light but keep things private

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Service was very good. People were attentive but not hovering…except for one guy and I’ll get to that. We felt pampered but not pressured.

The food could have been better. It wasn’t bad, but for the price we paid, we should have been given option at each meal. You just got whatever they made. You can tell them dietary restrictions, so that’s not a concern. But, still, a choice between two or three main courses would have been nice.

This leads to the one guy who was annoying. He served the meals and was in charge of meal service overall. He was incredibly pushy with the food. He kept pushing us to take more with each serving, pushing harder if we didn’t want seconds. It was rather intrusive. I stopped being polite at one point and told him to just stop it.

If I have any suggestions for Olerai it’s to tell that guy to back off and to offer guests a choice in meals.

Other than that, I loved it. It was the perfect place for a perfect long weekend.

Public Domain Stock Photo of colored pencils

Trying New Things: #3 Colors

I like black. I like gray. I like neutral tones. I prefer solids over patterns and prints. None of that is going to change. At the end of the day, my closet will remain dark and neutral. Most colors will be muted, like maroon or olive green. But…I’ve been breaking out into some colors, real colors.

I’ve done accent colors before. I do like red even for an entire piece of clothing. But I’m exploring beyond the safety of red. (Yes, red is a safe color. It’s bold without being creative.)

I’m even going into…PRINTED CLOTHING!

This is a big deal. BFD. It’s brand new thing for me.

How did it start? It started when I got a gauzy, cotton kurta to wear in Stone Town, Zanzibar. I liked it and felt I should get another. I got it in yellow.

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Granted, this is just sort of like a cover up for the beach or to wear in places where women need to dress modestly. Still, it’s a bright color. Really, freaking yellow.

Then a friend of mine started a clothing line. (You can see some of her work featured in my Fashion High Tea post. Sambara Fashions, if you’re interested. Her website will be up soon and she ships all over the world.) I got a few of her tops and dresses. You must admit, this is bold for me. Yet, it feels natural and right.

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Mind you, I won’t be living my life in Kitenge, but it’s nice to have these splashes of fun in my wardrobe.