Today marks my third anniversary at my workplace. On 10th of September 2007, I started working with my employer.
It has been a journey full of ups and downs, twists and turns that have made it all interesting and worthwhile. However, the reason i am writing this post, which is partly inspired by this post is not to talk about my job or my employer for that matter! Its about living in Limuru.
Never in my fertile imagination had i ever thought i’d end up living in Limuru , or any other small town that is not my hometown.When you are in school , somehow you think you’ll be working in Nairobi!
According to Wikipedia, Limuru is a town in central Kenya located on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley about 30 miles North-West from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.
You have probably heard this but let me emphasize. Limuru IS cold. Sometimes it goes to less than 10 degrees which is a bit too cold for a country that does not experience winter. However it is not ALWAYS cold.
For most of the year, the weather is pleasant. It is never too hot because even in the very sunny days, there is a cool refreshing breeze. During rainy seasons it rains only at night three quarters of the time which i find amazing!
But it does get cold. The next year after my family and i moved to Limuru we all got sick. I remember one night i couldn’t breathe and i had to be rushed to the hospital. Only in Limuru have I had a doctor declare that i am asthmatic! WTH. I have never had asthma! No one in my family line has asthma. But how else do you explain chest pains when it gets a little bit too cold? Well, Limuru weather does that to you. Since then i have learnt how to dress for the weather and invested in a heat fan for the office. Someone once told me. “Hakuna ujanja ya baridi! ..labda kuvaa tu warm” (There is no other way of getting smart with the cold. You have to dress warmly” ).
This dressing for the weather is what has made us survive the cold. I have a particular dress code for my daughters which includes 2 vests + 2 tops +a sweater + a jacket. Dressing for the weather has sometimes meant throwing fashion outside the window which is not a big deal because this is shags, no one cares about fashion what is important is to remain healthy.
Language and Music
Say ndunyu and everyone will know what you are referring to. Ndunyu is Kikuyu for market. However, here it isn’t used to refer to just the vast open air market but the whole Limuru town. If you live here for some time, understanding (even speaking) Kikuyu will come naturally because 90 percent of the people living here speak kikuyu.
They say Kikuyu language is very musical. Kikuyu music just grows on you due to the thoughtful lyrics and catchy tunes. Some gospel songs whose lyrics i find quite hilarious are ‘Nyandikira SMS, Baba unjaririe..'( Father, write to me an SMS and talk to me…) and of course Mabataro where the singer bears the desires of his heart to God (which include mansions and big cars).
Limuru town boasts a 3 star hotel, and 3 supermarkets one of which is quite large, even retailing in clothes and imported furniture.
There are at least 5 banks in the small town. The landmark of Limuru is definitely Bata Shoe Factory. Many Limuru residents work at the factory and if you came to Limuru at around lunch hour, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the hundreds of people you will meet going for lunch are from attending a big rally. The factory shop in Limuru is also a favorite spot especially for travelers passing by. All shoes here are sold at a discount.
Here people love Nyama choma and there are lots of places to enjoy it, including the newly opened, very clean Fanta Butchery. 🙂
If you want to dance the evening away or just unwind as you catch a game then you have the option of Beehive, Memories, Hugs or Manga Corner all of which have DSTV connection.
Within a radius of 10 kilometers there are many fancy hotels and retreat centers. Worth of note are the St Benedicts Monastery retreat center , Brackenhurst, and the magnificent Kentmere Club where i had my wedding reception in 2008.
And how can i forget Limuru Golf and Country club? If Golf is your thing then you’ll be happy to discover the scenic Limuru Golf club.
Culture and People
People here are business oriented and very often you will find children helping their parents to hawk this or sell that. Apart from that, they are quite friendly.
Central province has the most National High schools if am not mistaken. I tend to think children here must have very high standards. Loreto Girls High School and Limuru Girls High are examples of very good schools in Limuru.
There is also the Limuru International school.
So Toyota Probox was designed for commercial use? That’s good because in Limuru they use it as a Passenger Service Vehicle and some passengers occupy the boot!
There are quite a number of motorbikes used as bodaboda and donkeys are commonly used for carrying cargo and are also used for food during meat shortages.
I love the environment here. It is simply green and beautiful! And if the kales in my backyard are anything to go by, then the soils are also very fertile!