On one of the weekend days we try to get to Nairobi. We get money for our weeks expenses and do the shopping that can’t be done here in our own town, although the shopping in Nairobi is getting smaller and smaller as we learn to navigate and shop for things at our local market.
For several weeks, on our way to one of the large shopping centers, the kids have pointed out a play area on the way and have begged to eat there. It has never been the best time to stop…either too early for lunch or we are too stressed out about getting in to Nairobi early so we can make it home before the traffic piles out of Nairobi onto Thika Road. Because we got a late start today and our trip into Nairobi was spontaneous, we passed by the play area just at lunch time. Imagine the indoor play area at the Murray Rd or Cornell McDonalds, and you’ll know what we found. Plastic playground galore! The kids were so excited and happy to play on some equipment. I heard them pretend playing astronaut and monsters, and well, prettty much just monsters. Monsters consists of Eli yelling, “Watch out, there’s a monster down there!” Followed by pretend screams from Lucy who then quickly jumps and climbs up the plastic corkscrew slide.
For lunch, our choices were:
Pizza. Pretty hard to mess up
Chicken tenders with rice
Frozen yogurt concoctions
I went for the pizza. Ian went for the chiken tenders. The pizza won by a mile. It was a margarita pizza, and pretty darn close to what you might find in the states. It cost 440 shillings with unlimited refillable coca-cola products.
I know, I know. There is always a segway into a tangent, and today is no different.
Coca-cola products. Or any soft drink for that matter have been strictly off limits for our kids. We even went so far as to give them some La Croix water (If you haven’t tried it yet you should), knowing they would hate it, and then we fibbed a little and said, “See, that’s soda!” So, they have rarely begged for a sip when we tell them soda is being served etc.
Last week, while I was doing something around the house I let Eli play outside and he went over to the neighbors househelp who was preparing greens out back and hung out by here. No harm. Then I peeked out to check on him and there he was, happily sipping “Ginger Ale mom!” out of a straw. His joy was like a cat that has tried cat nip for the first time. Pure pleasure.
I had been so vigilent about letting family and others know that the kids don’t drink soda and then it didn’t even occur to me here that I would need to pass the message on. Perhaps it was the whole moving to a foreign country and getting ones bearings thing that distracted me.
Needless to say (back to the playground/pizza adventure), Eli was THRILLED that the drink was unlimited refills. I think between the 4 of us we had 4 small soda cups full of Orange Fanta. There’s a lot of Orange Fanta around here. There’s a lot of soda around here actually. A Kenyan teacher at the kids school informed me at the birthday party that soda is “good” for kids and that the pediatrician recommended it. HUH???? Is it just me or does that seem backwards? I said, “Oh, we would go for juice over soda.” He said, “Juice???” Like he thought I was wild to even consider that. I think we’ll stick to the irradiated milk and filtered water. And the hundred packets of KoolAid sent along with us by Angie Battle. Thank you very much. (I’m being sincere, here, really).
Oh, by the way, Lucy has found soda too. She only made it 2 years, 8 months before her taste of the nectar. At this rate, when we have another chid (no, this is in no way an announcement), he/she will be drinking soda by around 16 months. And a fourth child (not that we’re planning on 4, but for the sake of the story) they’ll just take it intravenously.