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Let’s not forget about the messy bits…Africa expat challenges

Going back to the theme of today’s Curated Content – and how online marketing, blogging and digital content generally is so beautifully presented that lifestyle blogs may occasionally make life seem too perfect, polished, exotic – but let’s not ever forget that there are also the messy bits. Whether you are a travel writer, fashion blogger or the coolest photographer on earth. So just to reset the balance on AfricaExpatWivesClub in Nairobi:

  1. We get sick.  Is it just me who suffers from damn tummy ache every night in Nairobi, no matter what foods (or drink) I avoid? Seriously. I’ve been googling stomach cancer and undergoing stool tests are a matter of routine in our family – but it’s funny how the tummy pain goes away whenever I am not in Kenya. :/ It’s always worse during dry season. Oh and the dust!….
  2. Our beloved dog died. Heart breaking, heart wrenching for anyone – but do other people usually have to stage a burial in the garden? The vet was a legend though and met us in the dead of night to put our beloved Alsatian out of her misery.
  3. I miss my kids who are at school in England SO MUCH! This expat life lark seemed to make a lot more sense while we were all together muddling through as a family of 5 – but now our disjointed family spread over x2 continents is significantly less fun. Especially as communicating over Facetime means that chatting is full of connection failures, frozen screens etc.
  4. We’ve got no water. Which is never fun. I ordered a water delivery truck 3 days ago and when I called up yesterday to see where it had got to, I was told, “sorry, we’ve had a few emergency deliveries to do – like delivering water to hospitals”. So that made me feel pretty bad. The fact is, there is no water in Nairobi. We’re all desperately waiting for rain that hopefully should fall in the next week (or day!) or so. Checking my iphone weather app has become an obsession not just for me but for my 11 year old daughter too. Funnily enough – it was exactly the same scenario this time last year: (Read last year’s end of March post: Nairobi Heat Wave)
  5. I can’t read the local newspapers any more. There’s a collective disillusionment at the moment, exacerbated by the 100 day doctors strike, desperate suffering drought victims in north Eastern Kenya who never seem to receive the aid they need (since so little effectively filter down to reach the people who need help most), terrifying land invasions in Laikipia and the Presidential election in early August that may well prove to be a problem. And this is the feeling from the Kenyans I chat to. Oh and foreign powers are definitely cutting aid to Africa. It’s actually starting to happen (however, I feel ambivalent about this – it could somehow, miraculously prove to be a good catalyst for change).

So anyway, I digress but suffice to say that we all have our share of Messy areas in our lives. On a personal level, in a wider context, fighting our own battles, making life work the best we can. So let’s not let Facebook or the shiny Blogosphere make us believe any different. And on a related theme:

READ THIS: Article by 20 something TheExpatMama in Singapore, which was posted on Huffington Post this week: Independent/Dependent: Confessions of a modern Expat wife.

Related post: When staying somewhere a long time makes you kind of tough

*Please pick up a free copy of NOMAD magazine from any Artcaffe etc. Great off the beaten track articles from Kenya and beyond. This first issue’s theme is Kenya’s lakes. I have a small article on page 25.

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Let’s not forget about the messy bits…Africa expat challenges


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