The Joys of Racecourse Road…

Most of you know that each month we deliver food supplies to Ruai School to support the feeding program. To purchase the food we go to an area of town called Racecourse Road, because there are many shops where you can buy staples at wholesale costs. The area is one of the main hubs for matatu and bus traffic in Nairobi, so it is extremely busy and packed with people and vehicles. Racecourse Road does have a notorious reputation of being unsafe and dangerous, but from our experience, it isn’t necessarily a place that should be feared or avoided. We have met some incredibly kind and helpful people in this area. However, it is the type of place where you might want to guard your pockets and not a place you want to be after dark. It also isn’t a place where you want to have car trouble…which is exactly what has happened 3 of the last 5 times we have gone…well to be more precise, the times I (Jamie) have gone without Jess. We usually go together but for different reasons Jessica didn’t accompany me on these particular trips to pick up the goods. What she missed out on these 3 occasions was a fender bender that took hours to resolve, a misunderstanding with a parking attendant that resulted in an angry mob of over 60 angry people threatening the poor attendant and demanding justice for the mzungu (crazy story that would take too long to write, but I am just lucky the mob was on my side, though as soon as the officer let me go and the crowd began to cheer…yes cheer…one guy told me to “go quickly because these people will now turn on you”), and a break down in the middle of the street that led to a few guys climbing inside (not making it up) my van to “fix the problem” and made me an easy target for hustlers. Luckily, I was able to handle myself in these situations without any serious issues and I gained some great experience in these adventures, but the most important lesson learned is that Jessica should always come along.

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