This is a well overdue update! Many many things have happened since last time I wrote here.
I travelled to Sweden to defend my Ph.Lic, surprised my parents in Montréal by showing up unannounced and spent a wonderful time home with my beloved ones. I then travelled to Austria, where my better half and I became fiancés, which was one of the happiest moment in my life. Then back to Sweden for a bit, and finally back « home » in Nairobi, with a new 2 years contract for the next chapters in Kenya.
To celebrate my return and our engagement, we took off to Lamu. It is located rather close to Somalia, and became (in)famous some time ago for some abductions. Those dangers are fortunately a thing of the past, leaving us with virgin mangroves and an island rather depleted of tourists and other beach goers. We rented a small apartment within a compound ran by a generous Dutch lady. The food was delicious and as fresh as it gets. Massive indian ocean crayfish, mangrove crabs, plenty of grilled fish, we were lucky that fish doesn’t make our butts enlarge too much. We took a day trip on a sailing dhow, through the channels, hanging out in the sun. I even got to try my skills at fishing, but fortunately our captain was luckier than me (so that we could get some lunch). We met people of an incredible kindness, who treated us as their equals, something that basically never happens in Kenya. I really appreciated the vibe of that island.
Lamu is rich in history, having switched allegiance several times over the centuries left a definite mark on that place. Islam is the most common religion practiced on the island, given the strong influence of the Omani sultans. People are obsverving the scriptures rather striclty, especially when it comes to alcohol (there is 2 places that serve beer. When the mercury goes well above 40 degrees, a cold beer is something that every sane human being needs…). An interesting thing though is that our captain, after a long day, would roll his ubiquitous ganja joint, and relaxed as the wind brought us closer to our home. I had to ask him, how this stood in front of Islam and the religious community. He told me: « Well, the only thing that would upset the imam would be if we showed up to the mosque right after smoking. Otherwise, it’s alright ». Interesting interpretation…