Enjoy today by looking back

Nairobi trafficTraffic is part of life in many large cities around the world. The traffic in the busiest of USA cities is nothing compared to the grid-lock that affects many urban centers, particularly in the “developing world.”

I loved our years in Nairobi, Kenya, but I do not miss the traffic. And it’s probably twice as bad as when we left in 2007. The roads were built to accommodate about 1/10 of the traffic they carry. So today it may take two hours to get somewhere that used to take 10 minutes, when we lived there in the mid-1990s.

I am very thankful to live in boring suburban Denver, when it comes to not having to regularly sit in mind-numbing Nairobi traffic.

Looking back at the past made me thankful for today. What experience are you glad that’s in your past and not part of your present?

I took the photo while sitting in traffic. At least sales people would peddle their wares while you were sitting there. Sometimes that was a pleasant diversion. I also wrote about Nairobi traffic when we lived there.


Nairobi vs. Denver

toyo-doorhandleThis lovely door handle broke. Toyota took almost two months to ship us a replacement. I thought that length of time was amazing.

Sometimes the “western world” has disadvantages compared with the “developing world”. If I had a broken door handle with this same car in Kenya, I could have gotten a replacement the same day. (Our Corolla is perhaps the most common vehicle on their crowded roads.)

Having said that, if we had an obscure vehicle in Kenya, we could have waited a year for the replacement. One of the aspects of my job when we were there last was to advise people about which car to buy. I always said go for the most common model… parts are easier to get.

The problem with having lived in a different country is that you can never experience the best of each place at once. I guess that is why there’s heaven to look forward to.


Flashback: Africa


It was nearly four years ago when we started living in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa.

This treehouse was in our backyard. Our neighbor, Roger Van Otterloo, built this with and for his son. He was a real missionary, in the traditional sense. He and his family built a life for themselves in the heart of the jungle, so to speak – in the heart of Africa – Zaire (now Congo again). They left for the big city of Nairobi when civil war broke out – when they had to leave.

You would never know from the photo that we were about two miles from the city center. The tree, by the way, is an acacia – the quintessential African tree.

If you want to read more about our life in Africa, kindly visit My Part of Nairobi.


Old but still active


My very first blog, My Part of Nairobi, was my chronicle of life in that great city. We lived there from 2005-2007.

It still gets almost as many hits as my current blog, even though I haven’t updated it since we left. I guess people find that life more interesting than this.

Anyhow, one of my favorite blogs is Africa Expat Wives Club. The author has an irreverant yet respectful look at life there. She and her family have chosen to stay, unlike us. So her blog chronicles life there – many of the struggles and joys of an expat living in Kenya.

So I was checking my Google Analytics stats for that blog and noticed that I had received about 140 hits from her link to me, just in the last month. Pretty fun!