We have been here since May 2011 end and till last week we had only seen rains and cold (of course not extreme cold but definitely more than what we experience in Pune). So that is the impact of elevation 1,600+ meters or approx 5,500 ft in Nairobi (as against that of Pune - 560 meters or 1,840 ft). From this context we have actually travelled to a three times higher land. And this week (mid Sept) all of a sudden it is very hot outside – enough to burn your skin if you sit for long. So that’s 1° and few seconds latitude (90 miles or 145 km south of equator) at play – although the mostly pleasant weather makes us forget that equator is so close at hand. The weather is very rapidly changing and unpredictable, even same day weather can vary from cold to hot to rainy – as a result you always find the children at school or play grounds to have running noses. And it is in southern hemisphere (although equator so close by means not so marked out seasons) hence mid year is wintry and end or beginning of the year is summery – which seems a little strange when you are used to the routine of northern hemisphere. Imagine a Christmas tree with jingle bells minus the snow, Santa Claus without furry coats. A Christmas in summer is a first that I look forward to.
And there is one big surprise here – which comes really as a surprise since our images of Africa are hot and tropical - there are no fans in Nairobi. No fan no AC (barring AC in big hotels). So when it is heating up in Sept, Aamir is already grumbling about the office temperature. Our house is very cool, a real blessing in summers. Sept evenings are very pleasant, and it is a pleasure to walk in that – only challenge being I cannot find a place to walk. That is what I miss most about Konark Pooram – have been so used to pleasant evening walks for the most part of the last twelve years. I understand in Pune as well it is a luxury to find an accessible place to walk, we have been plain lucky. So here I am at Arcadia Valley Nairobi – wondering how to get the best of the pleasant breeze, how to best play open air cricket or foot ball with my son. I actually checked out the nearby apartments as well in spite of all the security and so far no luck – can not find any gathering for children, all I seem to find are slopes all around.
One of the important factors for putting my “just under two” son to school was this need for socializing. What better avenue than the school. Adi has already started enjoying the sand pit and the really big play ground – something that is unthinkable for a kindergarten in India. July and August were lovely time for the ground. But with the turn of weather, September open air noon time is a good dose of Vitamin D. So here is one of my mental notes which I must implement asap – sun screen application as part of my son's school readiness checklist.