Our apartment in Paris was more or less empty save for the mattresses on the floor, and the patio furniture that doubled as indoor seating. It was very romantic, tucked under the roof of an 18th century building, loft-like in its cavernous. It was rather freeing having nothing but my drawing supplies, gourmet essentials, and photobooks bought on lazy afternoons browsing bookstores. We were living like the ultimate minimalists, starting over with nothing and purchasing only things that we absolutely loved. It was therefore surprising to me that I felt a pang of envy over a friends junk drawer. Yes, I said JUNK DRAWER. Is a home really a home if it doesn’t have a junk drawer? Stray keys, old receipts, champagne cork, coins from foreign countries, screws, rubber bands, old birthday cards, and maybe even your long lost expired passport. Secretly, I began to pine for a junk drawer of my own. I started wanting things again. Things that have history and memories, and all that junk that we don’t need.
So when our container arrived this week filled with some of our things, it felt like Christmas. All our Junk! My Kitchen Aid mixer and Le cruset pans. Still in their uniforms from school, the kids demanded to know “where’s the LEGO!!!” And Don gleefully pulled out our growing collection of photobooks, eagerly placing them on the previously empty bookshelves. With each item, was a little story. The Champagne bucket!!! A reverie at the memory of buying it… a tenth wedding anniversary present to each other a bit late in coming. We bought it at the Puce Market in Paris and although we paid way too much for it, it was perfect. So, a few weeks later when I dropped it on the stone floor and flattened one side I seriously winced. But today, when I saw the dent, it made me laugh at the memory; it adds character.
So we’re setting up shop in Nairobi. Yes, a slightly crazy place to choose on the planet, and we have definitely had a few raised eyebrows from the those who say…,” but isn’t Vancouver one of the best place on earth to….” Yes, Yes. We have nothing against Vancouver, but the world is big and Nairobi is home for now. Don has found some great investment opportunities, and I am just bubbling with ideas. I might even learn to fly an airplane. It definitely feels like anything is possible here. It’s a a bit like the wild west, but with internet. Chasing goats on our bikes on the way to school, eating mangos everyday, and watching the warthogs dig up our lawn is all part of our day. I’ve planted a superb garden, complete with smuggled french roquette, and at least 20 chilli plants. If travelling was an attempt to slow down time, moving to Nairobi is like turning back time. When my mom visited a few months back, she commented that we’re living in 1940. Actually, we are beginning to feel quite smug about our wood burning water heater. Pity those whose heater runs on electricity when the power goes out. It’s not all fun though, I’ve learned much about country living since being here, for instance the very unglamorous infestation of baby ants, which has only been superseded by the infestation of RATS. Fortunately, we managed to get rid of the later, but only after they ate through over $500 worth of clothes.
Here is a video of our latest adventure to see the eclipse in Turkana, which is in the far north of Kenya. It is quite possible the driest, hottest, prickliest, place on the planet. Enjoy! xxo Jess