We have now been here a little while and we are finding our feet in terms of survival – feeding ourselves, clothing ourselves and sourcing all items that we may need! There is a local supermarket which sells just about everything (except for clothing) but it is so ludicrously expensive, and Phil and I have found that sourcing food produce and other necessary items we may need from local traders is far more cost effective.
The staple foods come as fresh as is ever possible from a local grocers stall, owned by a friendly chap called Richard. The fruit and vegetables here are amazing and plentiful, along with a wide variety of lentils, pulses and beans.
Fresh eggs are constantly available laid by Richard’s own chickens. (chickens are known as ‘Kuku’ in Swahili)
The meat here is also amazing and plentiful. We have found that red meat is incredibly cheap and the steaks are a firm favourite in our household. Some of the local butcher’s stock meat which I have not been brave enough to try as yet but nevertheless, there is no difficulty in finding good quality meat to accompany the fresh fruit and vegetables.
We are incredibly fortunate to live next door to a dairy where the cows are in impeccable condition and produce the most delicious milk, butter, cream and yoghurt. We have also found a cheese factory. Anybody who knows us will appreciate that we enjoy cheese nearly as much as I enjoy chocolate so the cheese factory really is a joy to behold. Their Piri Piri Halloumi is an absolute treat!
New clothing cannot be found so easily. Clothing is all second hand and sold at ‘Mitumba’ which is a market place selling second hand clothing, most of which has been donated by European countries. This however, is great for the bargain hunters amongst us. Bartering and haggling over price is a must! Phil and I sought trainers and we were able to find a pair of trainers each at a knock down price, despite the trainers in question bearing a very respectable brand name. Despite the lack of new clothing, there is a local seamstress who can make anything, or alter anything.
We have found the local Kenyans to be incredibly resourceful and they can make anything. So far, we have had metal brackets made along with a metal gate latch, by a local welder who operates at the side of the road and we have beautiful garden furniture made from local wood and sturdy bar stools have been made to our own specification. If we cannot find something in the shops, or at the market, we have found that it can be made by one of the many local tradesmen!
There are no giant super stores, there are no shopping centres to speak of, but there is no shortage of everything and anything we need to survive in this wonderfully primitive country, including the most wonderful hospitality.