In a transition like this, one of course builds up more expectations that one realizes, some of which may be totally unfounded. ("I don't know why I thought it would be like that, but I did...") These expectations can lead to surprises, some pleasant, and some less so. A few surprises from our first few days:
Pleasant: Vines growing in through our shower window in Nairobi.
Less-than-pleasant: Our first shower at Tenwek being ice cold and filled with enough sand to make the bathtub floor look like we just returned from the beach.
Pleasant: Each apartment has both 110 and 220 electrical outlets
Less-than-pleasant: We left one appliances' AC adapter in Nashville, Tennessee.
Pleasant: The Rift Valley escarpment is more beautiful than we imagined, and our wildlife viewing began on the road to Tenwek, where we saw about 100 gazelles and 100 zebras.
Pleasant: Our second shower having nice warm water, and less silt than the first.
Pleasant: Our "shamba" (garden) is growing some cilantro.
Less-than-pleasant: Unthinking, I discovered it was really cilantro by chewing down on it, without washing, before remembering that many neighborhood pets relieve themselves in our shamba.
Pleasant: My favorite carbonated beverage, Bitter Lemon, is here in abundance
Less-than-pleasant: Mosquitoes are even more abundant, though apparently malaria is still rare.
Not surprising: Cows on the street by the dukas (shops).
Not surprising: Anna Fader takes to Tenwek like a fish to water.
Not surprising: Two nights ago, when the Cropseys hosted us for a McCropder dinner, John demonstrated how well he is adapting to "Africa Time".