My memories from Kenya

November 17, 2021
Category: Home, Regenerative Stories

Anyone that knows me, knows that I was born in Kenya and lived there until I was 4. My name is a cool combo of my life in Kenya. My parents found my name in a British name book (Kenya was a former British colony) and Comfort is actually a very popular name in Africa. The only other Comfort’s I’ve heard of are African women.

People always ask me if I remember anything about it. Most people don’t think I would because I was so young when we left. I remember so much. I am so grateful for all of the memories of a place that continues to impact my life today. Here are some of the things I remember:

  • The smell of rain. Every day during rainy season, it would rain for about an hour or two and then a rainbow would come out. Somehow, it could rain and be sunny at the same time there. I’ve only experienced that a couple other times, and only in Montana.
  • Our huge backyard (at least it felt huge to me). I would spend hours building “grass homes” from the grass clippings from the mower. They were basically floor plans made with grass.
  • My most memorable spanking was because my mom told me not to visit David, our Kenyan grounds keeper and eat his food. He lived on our property and I would sneak to visit him and eat his sukuma wiki and ougali…my all-time favorite meal. I disobeyed and snuck to his house…and boy do I remember the spanking from that one! Later, I understood that they were protecting David because I was eating his hard-earned food and he was too kind to say no. I bet he actually loved my visits. I’m sad that I wasn’t able to continue them.
  • The dangerous monkeys that would come visit our yard sometimes, making us have to stay inside and play.
  • The tire swing that made me feel like I was flying so high. I would grab some leaves and throw them in my dad’s face on the way down, because my sister did. And then I felt bad.
  • My preschool where I learned to spell cat and dog and was so proud.  I was the only white girl in my class. And I remember the avocado tree in the school yard.
  • The sugar cane that we ate many Saturday’s for “sweetie day”. I tell my daughter that probably all the way through elementary school, we only got candy on Saturdays. It was a treat!
  • The beautiful tea fields surrounding us.
  • The amazing black tea that has a specific tannin aftertaste like no other black tea. The way that I love drinking it with cream and sugar, like the British. (Kenya had been a British colony so there were many British traditions that we learned there.)
  • The little fish pond in the back yard that my sister and I thought was “huge”. My parents would fill it up with a few inches of water and my sister and I thought that was the best thing ever!
  • The fire ants that instantly covered my body. They latch on so hard that my parents had to pick of one-by-one. Brushing them off wouldn’t cut it. Apparently I had an “ant scream”.
  • Going to villages that had no electricity. Staying in a mud hut and experiencing a dark like I have never experienced it. Inside the mud hut, you couldn’t even see your hand 3″ from your face. And then having to go to the bathroom in the outhouse in the pitch black.
  • The birthday party that my sister got to go to where I saw a meringue for the first time. I dreamed of eating meringues for years and years after that until I finally saw another one and figured out what they were. Still to this day, they are like a magical treat to me.
  • The Indian neighbors that would invite us over for dinner and feed us amazing food. I remember in middle school having an international day where we got to try food from all over the world. I tasted some Indian crackers/snacks that instantly brought me back to Kenya…a taste memory that I didn’t even know I had.
  • Mchuzi with chicken and rice. The best thing I have ever eaten, next to sukuma wiki. I remember the oil from the chicken and how the mchuzi mix and the oil from the chicken soaked into the rice in the most amazing way.

I’ll continue to add snippets of my memories of Kenya as I think of them. This probably isn’t as exciting to anyone else but it sure is good for my soul to remember. I’m writing this in the middle of another post about how my time growing up in Kenya has impacted my life, even this last year. I’ll post a link when I have it finished.

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