Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009 - The Total Expat Life

Today is the first day that Kristoffer and I have full-time "staff" working for us.

Charles, our driver, is someone that we wanted to hire before but he was already employed and we couldn't compete with his salary at that job. He contacted Kristoffer on Sunday to say that he had been let go and would accept the position if the offer was still on the table. Indeed it was! So today he arrived at 7 am sharp to drive Kristoffer to work. When he came back home he washed the car - inside and out - and casually waited for me to be ready to go somewhere!

Ida, our housekeeper/cook/future baby helper, arrived at 9:30 with some of her belongings. She will be living in our staff quarters from now on - Monday through Saturday afternoon - and so we needed to go get her some furniture. Charles, Ida and I headed for Ngong Road...the road where many carpenters' shops are and where you can pull over to buy or order furniture. Some of the furniture we have came from Ngong Rd (dining room table, desk). It didn't take very long for us to find a suitable single bed and some shelves for Ida's room...I learned quickly that carpenters are much more likely to give a Mzungu lady a fair price when she has a Kenyan negotiator with her. Ida helped us get good prices for sure! Then we proceeded to go to Nakumatt - the super store - to buy a mattress for Ida's new bed and to get her some personal items that she would need, along with food and cleaning supplies for the house.

All went well, but it did feel a bit strange for me to be driving around in my own car with two people who work for me. I mean, never did I ever think I would be in this situation (prior to a few months ago, that is).

Now Charles has taken Ida back to her real home to finish picking up the rest of her things (linens and stuff) and I opted to stay home and eat lunch, write a blog, and take a nap. Her bed is being delivered in about an hour so I think I can squeeze some shut eye in.

I suppose it will take some getting used to, but I can already sense how expats get addicted to this lifestyle. Contrary to what pops into one's head when thinking about living in Africa...we are so not roughing it!


1 comment:

Gert said...


Happy new year. It is good to see, that you are fine after a busy vacation. You seem to be comfortable by being in your own home, and to feel home in Kenya.

If you are able to show a picture of your employees, it would be nice.