Jambo! (English after Japanese)
Actually, people live in Kenya hardly uses "Jambo" as a greeting. I only heard it in the announcement at the airport...
Now, three weeks passed since I have stayed in Kenya. I am in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The schedule was that I would stay Kakamega three months, but because of some reasons, I will stay another town from next week.
Today, I would like to talk about four things what I noticed in daily life in Kenya.
" Mzungu" means " white peoples " in Swahili language. I think we, Japanese are not white person. But in Kenya, Japanese are also looked as a white peoples. When I walk outside, people call me "Mzungu! Mzungu!" If I wave my hand to children, they will be happy.
Or I am often called "Chinese". It seems that many Chinese people live in Kenya to construct bridge or load. Sometimes I met Japanese but not so many.
I think one of the reasons is that there are not so many Japanese people in Kenya, it seems that many Kenyan people don't know Japan well. Sometimes I people said " I know that Japan places in Asia. But I don't know where is it in details." " Where is the capital city of Japan?" " What the deference of Japan and China?" Of course, some Kenyan people know Japan well. But I was surprised that how many Kenyan people don't familiar with Japan...
There are not so many foreigners in Kenya, not only Japanese. Children sometimes touch my skin and hairs, and ask me many questions.
Is is the same in another country in Africa?
There are many roughness like small mountains in concrete road. Sometimes we can see it every fifty meters. I thought about why there were so many roughness. Did the ground rise? Did construction workers make a mistake?... I asked it to Kenyan friend, then she said " To control the car speed." When we passed the roughness, driver have to slow down the speed. She also said that Kenyan people don't slow down without such a roughness.
And, there are a lot of animals in Kenya. Such as sheep, goat, caw, donkey, dog, bird, cat, monkey...So sometimes, we can't pass the road because caw are passing. When such a situation, we can pass after a few minutes.
It seems that many people, who live in not only Nairobi but also rural areas, have a smartphone. I also saw some people have a tablet. Even if tap water are not available in the house, some people use smartphone. Sometimes wifi is a little bit slow, but we can get information in many areas like Japan. It's awaiting things that people can get information in many places not only big cities but also small cities, isn't it?
Many Kenyan people speak local language( about 40), Swahili and English. I can speak only English so I talk in English with Kenyan people. Little children and people who couldn't enjoy enough education can't speak English, but most of the Kenyan people can speak English.
So if you can speak English, you can live and communicate with people in Kenya. But actually, it seems that many people use Swahili in the most of the time like ordinary conversations. So I can communicate with people in only English, but I think Swahili language will make good relationship more. When I greeted with people in Swahili, they looked happy.
So if you want to stay Kenya longer, I recommend you to study Swahili, at least greetings. ( I know only a few greetings in Swahili...Habari? Ninaitowa Sayuri. Ninatoka Japani. Asante...)
Thank you for reading!