A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kenya Part II: Lamu!

After Mombasa we boarded another bus and traveled 7 hours up the coast then took a boat to Lamu Island. A quaint Swahili island in the Indian Ocean. This was a beautiful and restful place. Many say Lamu is a smaller version of Zanzibar and without the tourists which was just fine with us. We ate fresh fish, crab and other seafood daily (almost every meal), enjoyed the empty beaches, played in the warm ocean water, went fishing, sailing and snorkeling and really just relaxed and enjoyed life.

Every day we passed a man on the wharf grilling fish. It always looked so good and we finally stopped to buy some. It turned out he didn’t have any that day but asked if we wanted to put an order in for the following day. Not wanting to commit ourselves when there were so many other wonderful fish options on the island, we smiled and gave half-hearted, “o.k.”’s. The next day we went back to the fish stand. No one was there. We turned around a bit disappointed but intent on choosing our dinner option. Then a man called out to us asking if we had placed an order. Surprise, we nodded in the affirmative and the man said he’d go and get Vincent, the fishman we’d ordered from the previous night.

Vincent came and took us up a few flights of stairs to a large refrigerator. Inside was a giant King Fish cut up. We picked our piece and Vincent went to work rubbing spices on it and grilling our fish on the boardwalk looking out at the Indian Ocean. We sat on a stone bench looking out at the ocean soaking up the evening.
After our fish was grilled, for less than a dollar, we went back to the roof-top of our hotel and made fish tacos. I make a bold statement in saying that fish was possibly the best fish I have ever had in my life! It was beyond delicious. We decided to go back the following night and do the same thing. Sadly, Vincent didn’t get any more fish while we were in Lamu. But at least we have that one wonderful evening to remember forever.

Lamu became our home for a week. We made routines that made us feel a part of the island to a small degree. Each morning we walked to a local hole-in-the-wall and drank tea and ate mandazi’s (like a dense donut). After our breakfast we’d walked to the market and buy ingredients for our lunch. We found the woman who sold limes for the cheapest, the man who had the freshest avocados and the man who’d give us a garlic clove for free every day. This morning routine was one of our favorite parts of our life on Lamu.


  1. A well-deserved vacation! Awesome pictures!

  2. YAY! So beautiful. I'm glad you found such a wonderful place to visit.