Phil and I experienced many changes in daily life when we moved to Nairobi five years ago. Some are quite pleasant. Nairobi is a hub and and we see friends from around the world when they pass through. We buy mangoes and avocados at the little shop next door and flowers from the vendor on the corner. I can walk to an ATM or the Italian restaurant or my hairdresser. The giraffe center and elephant orphanage are just on the other side of town.
But there was one change I was not happy about. The bird population. I admit I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to our feathered friends and prefer the fancy ones. I was disappointed to discover the neighborhood birds. The black kite, the hadada ibis and the pied crow. Not very pretty and pretty noisy.
The black kite
The pied crow
The raucous cawing, the annoying “haa-daa-dah, haa-daa-dah” of the ibis and the startling swoop of the whistling kite greeted me each day. It was a bit tiresome. Then, unexpectedly, I had a lovely surprize.
Last week, a friend and I were absorbed in conversation at a table just by the hedge covered stone wall at the Italian Restaurant. The waiter brought our meal, and as I picked up a piece of pizza, I froze. “Don’t move,” I whispered. “Shh! Turn around very slowly and look!” She turned very slowly, her eyes widened and she smiled. Silently, we watched a brilliant paradise fly catcher gaily hopping through the branches near our table. We enjoyed him for several minutes before he flew away. Right here in the middle of Nairobi, practically next door! My heart sang.
It was a delightful Nairobi surprize. Thank you, Jesus.