The Great Flood

Germany in November can be rainy. But it’s nothing like what I am experiencing in Nairobi right now. Once or twice a day, the heavens open up to drench the world in what feels like a gazillion megatons of water.

These shoes aren’t made for washing

This usually happens around six p.m., which means that if I am unlucky, I will just be on my way home when the rain starts. I have had to wade through ankle-high mud soup on occasion. Last week, I had to put my shoes into the washer twice.

After coming home completely soaked a week ago, I caught a bad cold. Fortunately, after that incident my flatmate took pity on me and gave me her umbrella. She never had to use it, since she has a car.

I first opened it a few days later when I was on my way to work and it started to drizzle. Imagine my surprise when I saw the logo on the huge white umbrella: “National Police Service – Internal Affairs Unit”. I have gotten more than a few puzzled looks walking around with that.

My Hero


But I am not even safe from the rains when I’m at home. There is this big pillow underneath the window in my room. I usually remove it before I leave the house and put two towels in its stead, because said window is leaking. What I did not know until yesterday is that this is also the case for one of my flatmate’s windows.

I was just chilling on the sofa when I heard my other flatmate, Adi, shouting “Ruth! Come here, quick!” I jumped up and ran into the room, where I found Adi in the process of salvaging our flatmate’s belongings. Everything was sopping wet: Passport, vaccinaction card, notebook battery, money…

We laid everything out to dry, got a fan from the other room and started soaking up the excess water with all the towels we found. It took us about half an hour, but in the end, I think we managed to save everything.


Content but exhausted, I fell back onto the sofa and ate a whole chocolate bar. But not without first capturing the flood that was happening outside:




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