I am intrigued by the people who completely unpack their clothes when they check in to a hotel. They literally make themselves at home, and put away their suitcases for maximum comfort. They operate with order and ease, always keeping tabs on where everything is. I am not one of those people, I like to live out of a suitcase, after all I am going home in a few days. When I travel with the girls, sometimes I make an effort to remove their clothes for easy access, but mine stay intact.
I’ve lived out of a suitcase, metaphorically speaking, in Mombasa for about four years. I have been operating with a hotel mentality in my home. Answering all the ‘ but when are you coming back to Nairobi?’ questions, with ‘Mombasa is home’. Yet to a large extent my clothes, dreams, hopes and ambitions have been packed in a suitcase, with those at the bottom often being forgotten.
Many people who meet me are shocked that I have been in Mombasa for six years, for starters Swahili is still not my first language, secondly my pace is still not as slow as the camel’s strides on the beach. But you can tell that I am not fresh from the capital city. I do not have the sense of urgency that Nairobi folk do. Nairobi folk are always in a hurry, everything is urgent and in a bid to get to their goal, sometimes the relational courtesies is overlooked. My first culture shock when I landed in Mombasa 6 years ago is how important greetings and courtesy were. A blanket greeting was often not en
My friend called me this morning at 8am, and I greeted her asking her why she was using the Nairobi clock. I rarely get calls from Mombasa folk at 8am. My ringer warms up at about 9:30am on a good day.
Trips to Nairobi remind why Mombasa is an ideal town, I pant from the worry I experience as I sit in traffic. I feel out of place when I am just relaxing in Nairobi. Life in Mombasa, reminds me of the conveniences and services that I miss in the city.
I started unpacking my suitcase about two years ago, when Miss K was two. Children have a way of changing your routine and the way you operate. For their comfort and experiences, you are forced to step out of your comfort zone, to make new friends and to venture into new spaces.
Mombasa is home, until the next assignment is revealed. I am learning to unpack my dreams and ambitions and lay them out into the cupboard, where they are easy to access. It is easy to miss out on the blessings that are within reach. It is not always a case of the glass either being half full or half empty. It is allowing yourself to see the season as the Lord does.
I’ll be sharing some of the gems I’ve found in Mombasa as I have unpacked my suitcase and gotten to know the place a little better.
Here’s to unpacking, putting away the suitcases, and enjoying our cups running over.