The Westgate Mall, however, was an exception. The people here could afford safety. All visitors were checked with metal detectors. Cars were stopped, questioned, and the trunks searched. Guards patrolled every floor, smiling at Eric as he ran by. One guard helped Eric ride the elephant sculpture in front of Nakumatt, the grocery store currently sheltering the remaining terrorists. The Westgate Mall provided a taste of luxurious, safe living in a city of organized chaos.
Last Saturday, we spent the morning at the Westgate Mall. We met a car dealer on the roof of the building who showed us a potential car. We noted a sign advertising a “Children’s Party” for the following Saturday. Eric loved riding up and down the escalators. People smiled and waved as he went up and down and up and down…. The woman behind the counter of the coffee shop on the first floor excitedly told me about her own 14 month old named Steven. From across the mall, Eric noticed the massive elephant statue outside the main entrance. He shrieked, and ran off. The two security guards laughed as he banged its trunk. On the way back in, a blissful woman running a jewelry shop called us over and told me Eric was the cutest kids she had ever seen. She then asked if he was a boy or a girl. There was a raised Samsung Galaxy display with two large round egg shaped seats. Eric climbed up onto it and started playing one like a drum. Instead of being upset, the salesman stopped what he was doing and began banging the other seat like a drum with Eric. Eric was overjoyed.
|Eric and I eating at the coffee shop on the first floor at Westgate|
|Eric enjoying lunch at Artcaffe, the initial site of the attack|
Other thoughts and notes from the week:
- Naivasha is dominated and fully dependent on flower plantations selling roses. You can see the greenhouses in the picture to the right. Camille mentioned today how crazy it is to think that the price of roses can alter the entire economic status of the town. Roses are inedible, devour the farmland, and serve no purpose other than looking pretty. They are gold in Naivasha.
- When I brought Eric to preschool this morning, the teacher had all of the kids jumping up and down and running around because it was “so cold.” It was around 70 degrees. I decided I better put a jacket on Eric over his t-shirt.
- More Eric stories! People are fascinated that Eric can eat solid food and chew at 15 months. We went to this awesome little café called Grapes today for lunch. Camille knows the owner, the Kenyan food is delicious, it is extremely cheap, and I could have sworn it was Eric proof; safe for him to run around without destroying everything. But, sure enough, Eric found a plant…and scooped all the dirt on the floor. The owner, Eunice, just laughed. She said, “Let him play,” sat next to him, and swept up after he was done. She also was shocked when she saw him eat! He’s too young for solid foods! It turns out Kenyan woman nurse their children until around two, but potty train them at 18 months! Sign us up for that.
|Um, what should I do with it.|
|I'll eat it.|
- I drive though the neighboring slum of Karagita almost every day. Kioks line the road with the makeshift housing in the back.
|Matatu taxi van. They are everywhere.|
|A little farther down the road.|
- Top animal picks of the week
|Donkeys in the road! I think the one on the right is pregnant.|
|Baboon is guarding something.|