Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013 - Picking out a Pikipiki

In Kiswahili, a motorcycle is called "pikipiki" and Grace and Noah's school has a large fleet of cheap, Chinese plastic, ride-on "pikipikis" (like the one below, only all black/blue/red/gray with no fancy stickers or amenities) that our kids love. Some time back when Kristoffer went to South Africa he brought one home for the kids because it was so cheap there.  And they love that one too.  It makes for great, classic kid-fun now that Noah is tall enough to ride it.

The only problem, actually, is that we have only had the ONE pikipiki.  At some point last week it occurred to us that our kids would be much happier to play outside if we had TWO pikipikis so that they could play together.  We know what store (a bit of a distance away) sells them so decided to take the kids on a field trip there (to the oldest indoor "mall" here).  But first, we told them that it is not Christmas or their birthday so they really don't need to get a present, but we think it would be fun to have one more at our house.  So, we said if they wanted to help buy the pikipiki with their own money we would go get one.  They agreed.

When the kids cracked open their banks for the first time, out spilled a lot of Tanzanian coins (as expected) and also, as a complete surprise to us, some Tanzanian cash!  I asked Grace, "where did you get all this paper money?" and she said, "Rose!"  So I was pretty curious to ask Rose about that when she returned.

Everybody put their cash and coins in a bag and we went to the store.  The pikipikis were indeed more money than we wanted to pay for cheap, Chinese plastic but we just really felt that they (and we) would be so happy with another pikipiki.  Luckily they had all that cash and we chipped in the rest.  (I think it was $15 more expensive than we would have paid for it at Target or Walmart at home). 

We brought the pikipiki home and once we sorted out which kid would ride which pikipiki, we basically haven't seen Grace and Noah since except for meals and bedtime.  They LOVE playing together outside and are having so much making up all kinds of games and pretend stories with those pikipikis.  Totally worth the money (and why, dear God, did we not think of this before the first two weeks of summer vacation when they were rotten and fighting all the time?!).  Best cheap, Chinese plastic we ever bought.

And also Rose came back!  So I was very eager to ask her about the cash!  She told me that when she first started working for "mzungus" in Nairobi, another Kenyan housekeeper told her that if she finds money in the clothes when she does the laundry that she can keep the money.  Finders Keepers!  But, she always felt that it was wrong to do that because it would be like stealing.  So if she finds any cash in OUR pockets or clothes when she does the laundry, she puts the money into Grace and Noah's piggy banks!  Which explains the mystery money (about $25) we found.  And, also it was a nice reminder that she is not only hardworking but also honest.  Yay for Rose and yay for our pikipikis :)


p.s. in case you haven't caught on yet, it is just really fun to say "pikipiki," which is why at our house we only say "motorcycle" when talking about a big bike that grownups ride.

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