Houses have always caught my attention, wherever I go. I like to stop to observe them and ask myself what has attracted me to this or that construction.
Why a little blue-painted shop in front of a lush forest next to a road?
The solution is very simple: Get attention. In a very harsh and increasingly complex environment, with more offers, in which travelers ignore you and pass you by is the most normal thing, the color of the paint the booth can make the difference between being able to eat today or not.
That is pressure. And the pressure sharpens the wits.
This small construction is next to the muddy dirt road that goes up to the High Lands of Kenya. Traveling through these lush and humid natural landscapes in the direction of Lake Nakuru, you will find many villages of friendly and curious locals who come out to greet you as you pass. For them you are a novelty that they go to scrutinize, you are in their world and they have every right to approach and observe. Their rules are not yours, their protocols are not like the ones you have and their ways may be daring.
The younger ones come up and overwhelm you with questions. They touch you, they smell you. They try to empathize by repeating the names of famous football players over and over again and, when they think they have some of your attention, they end up asking you to give them whatever you are wearing that they found funny. They have every right because that is their world and you, obviously, are on loan there.
Regarding the constructions, which is what brings me here, in the villages the simple people build their homes with what little they can find. Walls made of clay or built with planks, fabric, plastic or wooden doors, corrugated metal roofs, shipping containers turned into shops…
In cities the buildings are a bit more sophisticated. In fact, some of them are very similar to the ones you can find in Europe. Of course, chaos abounds and everyone has their style, their shapes and their colors.
In the countryside, reminiscences of the past, of the old England that colonized them. Wooden mansions by the lake, surrounded by wild nature, with the mighty buffaloes, the slender giraffes or the dreaded crocodiles just a stone’s throw away. Built imitating the colonial style, with thatched roofs, in the shape of the classic hut.
Many belong to millionaires, mostly Europeans, although there are already a large number of Chinese and other nationalities. Next to Lake Nakuru or in the Naibasha I found real gems to admire.