Saturday, 10 December 2011


I thought as my last post was heavily about work (which is going great by the way - the SWOT analysis and recommendations for the Resource Mobilisation Team were extremely well received by the CEO and HR Manager and I have already begun acting on them), I would write a quick post (as am about to head out the door) about the domestics of living in Nairobi.

In terms of shopping, there are three main supermarket chains in Nairobi - all of which have branches near where I work so they are very convenient to access.  Supermarkets stock everything food related as well as appliances, dishes/cutlery, linens, household goods, hardware, stationary, and often clothes and books.  They are very much a one-stop-shop.  Food can be relatively expensive - particularly "western" foods such as pasta sauce and cheese - but I am slowly learning how to shop smarter using local foods.  For produce we walk into the local slum, Kangemi, where there is a large produce market where all sorts of vegetables and fruits (as well as live chickens)  can be purchased inexpensively.  The photo above is our pantry after a trip to the market.  I generally try to cook two or three times a week to have enough food to last for dinners and lunches for a few days.  There is often no power in the evenings which, despite having a gas stove, makes cooking difficult.

The other main domestic task is washing clothes - which is done entirely by hand.  I have discovered there is a learning curve to this as after my first (somewhat corner cutting) attempt my clothes were not exactly clean.  Strangely, the more work you put in - the cleaner your clothes get!  This is definitely my least favourite thing about my experience here so far - but at least I am developing strong arms and a strong back in the process!  (Although my hands are a mess!).  My housemates and I have decided to cheat a bit and every two weeks we have a local woman come to wash our bedsheets.

As we live in a big house we have also decided to employ someone to clean our common areas every week, a lovely woman named Beatrice comes and makes our floors shine!

In terms of other domestics - Monday is the Kenyan Independence Day and my housemates and I have been invited over to a local family's house for lunch and Andrea and I will be attempting to bake brownies to bring with our tiny easy-bakesque oven.  Watch this space!!

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