Monday, January 4, 2016

Baridi Sana, Sio mbaya

So for all you non Kenyans reading this post the title has probably thrown you off. Why? Because this post is a little different. Often I write in Kenya for my North American friends about what life is like in Kenya as a missionary. This post is for my Kenyan friends about life in Canada, particularly Canada in the winter. So you North Americans are welcome to keep reading, don't worry most of it will be english. The title translated is: very cold, but not bad. 
The last few years at Tenwek when I walked to work at 7am in my sandals, scrubs and lab coat, I would run into others walking or riding to work or school dressed in thick coats, scarves and hats - in Canada we call them toques. When I would greet people I would often hear baridi sang (very cold), my reply was often hakuna baridi hapa (there is no cold here) and further explain that I am from Canada and it can be very cold there. So now I am in Canada and the last few weeks have been very cold so I will share a little about that here.
A few days before Christmas I decided to go downhill skiing with my brothers. Yes, I intentionally got up early and headed into the cold. We dressed warm: 3 layers of trousers, a thick sweater, a thick jacket, scarf and a toque. To ski you need to put these big plastic boots on your feet so I had big thick socks as well. We headed to the mountains and sat on a movable chair that carried us all the way up the mountain and then with our skis on the feet went down. The trick is to turn so you don't go straight down and lose control and fall. At the top of the mountain, where the most snow falls, there was so much powdery snow that when you fell it was just a poof and felt like you fell into a pile of feathers. It was so deep that I would put my poles down to get up again and they would sink in about a meter. While we skied it was snowing so my scarf was  white (instead of black) and very icy. It was a beautiful day a little cold at ~ -12C but lovely.

A few days later was the day of my brothers wedding it was a very cold day -25C. My parents house was full with family and we were very thankful for the furnace that burns all day and night and sends warm air into the house. The morning of the wedding I had to go to the store to get some foods for the meal that night. So despite the cold I took the car to the store and picked up various things. We all met at the church in the afternoon. Everyone was there, and on time. People mentioned the cold mostly along the lines of what a beautiful day - as it was a lovely day with fresh snow and it really was lovely. The wedding party took pictures outside, they were a little cold, the ladies in their dresses and the men in their suits but I am sure the pictures will be lovely. I went skiing another day, a different type: cross-country instead of downhill, still cold but beautiful.

When you live here life goes on in the cold and rather than suffer through it we enjoy it. So in a few weeks when am I back in Kenya and you tell me "dada, leo ni baridi sana" (sister today is very cold) you will have to let me argue.

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