Screaming children, 600 greenbacks and skin tax

for the past week some family of mary’s have come down from northern kenya and have been staying with us in the house. they have been living in probably one of the worst places in kenya – the kakuma refugee camp. So it has been nice to offer them a place to stay for a few days and relax and get away from the craziness of that other place.
mary & family

the only thing is that those children know how to make lots of noise. the whole day.:)

so two complaints about Nairobi:

1. It seems anyone is happy to rob you blind. We had an electrician in our house the other day to do some work and have the suspicion that either he or the man he was working with walked off with 600 USD in cash. It mysteriously disappeard after they visited our home. That kinda hurt and really really pissed me off. We thought the money was well hidden and not in a very conspicuous (sp?) location. guess we were the stupid ones.

2. It seems anyone is happy to rob you in front of your face. I have to take Mary with me everywhere to negotiate the price of a thing. Two problems here is that when they see me, the want to charge alot. It seems to be a skin tax. I am a westerner, therefore I have lots of money and can afford to pay 5 times the asking price of a thing. At least this is what I imagine runs through their minds when they see me. Yesterday we had a man come and fill up our water tank. It was supposed to cost the equivalent of 15 dollars. Then he saw me come out of the house to watch. At the end his price changed to 20 dollars. This sort of thing happens about 3 or 4 times daily. Anywhere that we have to negotiate the price of a thing before buying it. If Mary asks before they realize I am with her, the price of the thing is reasonable. If they realize I am with Mary, they try to push it up. I know it shouldn’t bother me so much, but sometimes I get really frustrated with the attitude and approach. plus i don’t want to spend the money:)