Surprise goodbye

So… remember the part where this was supposed to be an exchange semester?

Yeah, me too. It’s a long story. The short version is that the lecturers went on a strike which took too long for me to wait out. I had to make a decision or risk having to take all my leftover credits in the last semester if something went wrong here in Nairobi. So last week, I decided to go home. I’ve got my flight, I’ll be leaving tomorrow… suddenly Kenya feels like a dream and I’m about to wake up. A part of me is really sad. Another part of me is a little relieved (obviously this was the more difficult route than just staying home in the first place, and maybe, a little bit, I am happy I don’t have to challenge myself like this). The largest part of me is surprisingly stoic, now that the decision is made. So I’ll go back. It’s not the end of my adventures. I can come to Kenya anytime. The idea is maybe to come back over winter break, depending on how I can combine it with some other plans that I have, and how I am going to pay for it, of course.

Anyways, to say goodbye properly, I went to get my hair done Kenyan-style today. I opted for long microbraids that are a little wavy, and even though I was really nervous, I am actually quite happy with the result. It’s gotten mixed reactions, as was expected, but then I didn’t get it so everybody would love it, I got it to see what it’s like to get your hair braided, and what it feels like to run around with a large amount of fake hair very firmly attached to your head. It should last about a month and I hope I can care for it well enough so I don’t destroy my natural hair completely in the process… but the experience of getting it done in itself was already pretty much worth it.

A hairstylist (recommended to me because she’s especially fast) took four hours and five large pieces of fake hair, plus an assistant who was pretty much the Kenyan version of the stereotypical superawesome gay fashionista stylist – the end result will take some getting used to and also a few days before it stops pulling at my scalp the way it does right now… but it’s kind of awesome. I have no idea what I’ll do with it when I exercise – it’s heavy, and it won’t ever fit into a normal hairtie! – or how I’m going to find a swimming cap big enough to hold all of this craziness together… but I’m sure I can figure it out.

Obviously I look like a total tourist, but tomorrow I’ll leave and back in Germany, I have no idea what the reactions will be… maybe people will think I’m part African, who knows. Maybe the Africans on campus will think I’m the weirdest person ever. It doesn’t really matter… I have the coolest souvenir possible. With my microbraids, I’m going to take a little bit of Kenya back to Germany. So for now… asante sana, Kenya, it was a good time, and tutaonana 🙂

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