Christmas in Nairobi

The weather is always great in Nairobi, so being 25 degrees every day makes me forget that it’s almost Christmas time. There are some tell-tale signs though, like the workers in Santa hats at Nakumatt:

xmas time at nakumatt

We live near the Junction Mall, and I saw them set up a Santa corner–but it was only now that I noticed his hours: a full two hours every Saturday…

Santa is available for 2 hours

Meanwhile, I was having lunch outside when the Maasai group passed by. At least that’s what I presume it was. Every Thursday there’s a “musical” Maasai market at the mall, but this group was very silent as they marched by…

The Junction on Thursdays

asking for money

It doesn’t happen all the time, but as a foreigner you can expect to be approached for money when out on the street. For me it’s usually the same three kids living somewhere near my street–and my preferred response is to give them some bananas or other food, if I’ve just come from the store. Once, a man asked that I buy him a bag of maize meal (which costs 100 shillings) so he could feed his family; another time, an old man asked for 200 shillings to complete the “bus fare” to his village.

Now for the first time it’s someone I know that needs help: the caretaker for our apartment building is raising money for his wife’s surgery through these business cards:

Money request

Quite effective! At least instead of simply asking verbally. (For some reason seeing it in print makes it more credible…?)