In the shadow of the mountain

According to the tribal legend, we are told that in the beginning of things, when mankind started to populate the earth, the man Gikuyu, the founder of the tribe, was called by the Mogai (the Divider of the Universe), and was given as his share the land with ravines, the rivers, the forests, the game and all the gifts that the Lord of Nature (Mogai) bestowed on mankind. At the same time Mogai made a big mountain which he called Kere-Nyage (Mount Kenya), as his resting-place when on inspection tour, and as a sign of his wonders. — Jomo Kenyatta, Facing Mt. Kenya

The city where we live, Nanyu­ki, is close to Mount Kenya. This is the sec­ond tallest moun­tain of Africa. We can even see it from our house. That is to say, we can see the clouds that are always block­ing the view. Dur­ing our first few days here, it would be the first thing in the morn­ing: see if we can see the moun­tain. But I have to admit that my faith in the moun­tain is slow­ly fad­ing. It is easy to imag­ine peo­ple think­ing this was where God lived; if you nev­er see some­thing, it becomes a myth.

Mount Kenya

On the oth­er hand, patience can get you some­where. The past weeks I was look­ing for a song of which I only remem­bered the melody. I could only wait for it to play on the radio (small chance as it was a rel­a­tive­ly new and west­ern song) and final­ly yes­ter­day it came: Pay­phone from Maroon 5. It turns out that those few bars of music that haunt­ed me for weeks say noth­ing else but “I’m at a payphone”.

At the equator

At the equator

Some­thing more easy was our trip to the equa­tor. It is a 10 minute walk from our house. We always cross it when we trav­el between Nairo­bi and Nanyu­ki. At the sign you see cups of water; those are used to ‘demon­strate’ that water at 2 sides of the equa­tor rotates to dif­fer­ent direc­tions. We skipped that one.

Wednes­day there was a huge fire at the air­port of Nairo­bi, you will have heard about this. I plan to fly to the Nether­lands for the wed­ding of Geert, so I hope every­thing will work by then. There have been some inter­na­tion­al flights now.

Well, that is it for the small news from the shad­ow of the moun­tain. The Kikuyu (peo­ple from this region) used to build their hous­es with the entrance direct­ed towards the moun­tain. Even though we have to go to the bal­cony, our bond with the moun­tain is also strong. We keep an eye on him!