I went for a stroll through Uhuru Park this weekend. A site of many important events in Kenya. But I wasn’t on a history walk. I leisurely ambled along the paved pathways that wound through the grassed areas, where families, couples, and individuals took refuge in the shade of trees dotting the skyline. I was looking for my own tree to perch beside and read my book. But the more I walked, the less I felt like sitting, and besides, there really wasn’t a free tree.
So I walked.
A bouncy castle delighted children as their shrieks of laughter permeated the surrounding area.
A man, animal balloons tucked snugly under his arm, was face painting a young girl into a flower.
Toy 4x4s, the perfect size vehicle for any six-year-old adventurer, explored the park with me.
Poorly steered paddle boats bumped the side of the pond, and two young kids (a sister with her younger brother perhaps?) took a photo of a couple, smiling and waving (their parents?), as they paddled past.
Everywhere I turned men pushed or pulled mini-freezers totting frozen treats to park goers, and all ages were licking the tops of cones before the sun could melt their ice creams.
I meandered through the pathways and around the artificial lake and over bridges. As I was coming to my exit, I spotted a tree with no inhabitant luxuriating in its shade. Did anyone else see this? How was this possible? This was the only tree in the entire park where I did not see anyone sitting underneath. My book called softly from my bag, but I kept walking.
Uninhibited, undisturbed. A welcome respite from the break-neck pace I’m constantly trying to keep up with while in the Nairobi streets. This past Sunday, it was nice to just stroll.