the same, yet different

The first sounds I heard I’m unsure of. I am, however, sure of the first feelings I felt. The Motherland. The Continent. No more imagining. No more wondering. No more hoping. Here. Present. On-the-continent. ‘Don’t look like a tourist’, I kept saying to myself. I’d been listening to Swahili tapes on my way to work but, unbeknownst to me—while unsurprising—folks in Nairobi speak an Ebonics of sorts called Sheng. We are literally the same, yet different. Within the first few weeks of my arrival I saw every Black person I knew. No lie! You’re Kenyan until you’re not. You speak Swahili until you can’t. You know where you’re going until you don’t. You recognize familiar patterns, behaviors, inflections, affections. You’re at a similar yet different home.

Now for discovery. Now for making friends. I’m from New York so I know how to look like I’m good when I’m not; figure things out in the moment until it’s the path, route, mode I need to take. My ears are attuned to the American accent and respond by sending comfort signals. Then there’s a switch: Swahili to mother tongue to an English that is the same, yet different.

“Do you know…? She’s cool. You’re from Philly…you said jawn. Connect with…

On it goes. Tribe 45.

more later
about me
in Nairobi
until then, make you a cup of tea
and follow me on IG

Sorrel + Herb Reci-Tea™

Enlist the following:

sorrel (fresh, preferably with cloves and cinnamon)

2-3 fresh mint leaves

2 fresh lemon balm leaves

1 medium-sized strawberry

sweetener of choice (optional)

tea kettle



tea strainer, infuser, ball (whichever you like)

mug of choice

a good book to read in mind