I'm afraid of Kenyan driving

I'm 30 years old. I've been driving since I was 16. And driving here scares me.

Bamburi traffic, though it doesn't really look scary when the cars aren't moving.

In Bamburi (Mombasa), I would occasionally drive myself and the boys to church when Rodgers went early. Then we started going to a new church that was farther away and would require too much traffic driving (for me), and I left it up to Rodgers.

Sometimes I would pick Nate up from school. We had chosen his school specifically because it was close enough that we could walk if we had to. This meant that I could also drive there without encountering the scary traffic.

Twice I drove all the way to the main highway to pick Rodgers up when he had taken a matatu to do business in Kilifi. But I am still afraid of driving on that highway down there, much less driving "in town," on the actual island of Mombasa. I'm a chicken. What can I say?

While I had walked to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread or some onions and shopped on my own that way, I had lived here more than a year without being able to drive myself to the grocery store. The great thing about moving to Kilifi is that the traffic here isn't so scary. There aren't so many matatus - or cars for that matter. Most Kilifi traffic is in the form of tuk tuks and boda bodas. I had been planning to drive more once we moved here. I did today. And it was fine!

Rodgers had business in Mombasa this afternoon (funny that when we lived there, he seemed to always have business here, and now it's the other way around). He left us the car, and when Ben woke up from nap, we went to Tuskys before picking Nate up from school. By ourselves! We celebrated with ice cream (what else?).

Now my challenge is getting used to driving on 4WD roads. Maybe I'll tackle Mombasa traffic next year.


  1. I remember riding around Mombasa traffic and had NO desire to drive myself. Apparently, there is only one rule to know how to drive there: I can do whatever I want because you are not going to hit me. Look at the matatus; very few have scratches or dents. Just jump out there and go!!


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