For Those Who Like Picture Books: Lamu

June 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Welcome to Lamu, an island off Kenya’s most northern coastline.  It is the oldest existing town in the country, over 1000 years old, initially a trading port for slaves, mangrove, turtle shells and rhinoceros horn.  It is one of the key birthplaces of Swahili culture: a mix of Arab and African ancestry.  It is without question the most amazing and enchanting place I have ever been.  The town is a maze of alleyways as wide as a donkey, with women in burkas, incredibly detailed architecture, and the most kind and beautiful people. The island itself with ancient ruins, giant baobob trees, tropical fruit, and long sandy beaches right on the Indian Ocean isn’t too bad either.  It is the most enchanting place I have ever been.

The town of Shela and view from our balcony.

The greatest stranger I have ever met: Yusef.  We spent a part of every day in Lamu with him. He showed us the island from the inside: cooked us stingray at his farm, took us hiking through ruins, and let me sail his boat, among many other generous things. He insists that every day is the ‘best day ever,’ and if you ask him what’s up, he’ll answer ‘the sky is up, so i’m cool rafiki.  What’s up for you?’

Bridget hugging a baobab tree at the Takwa Ruins on Manda Island.

Baobabs store tremendous amounts of water, some can hold up 32,000 gallons, and they do not produce growth rings so they are difficult to date.  The fruit of the baobab can contain more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than cow’s milk.

Sarah Smith and I climbing.

Boat Anchor = Whale Vertebrae

Passing a Dhow.

Traditional Swahili Carving.

Captain Mzungu and the Lamu Pirates.  Where’s my Scotty Z?


For my Fidelity Family.  Acquisition?


Women in Traditional Burka.

Traditional dinner, eaten with fingers on the beach at sunset


I hope you enjoyed!  I am happy to be home and sinking my teeth back into work.  I will be writing again on Friday and returning to my regular Friday postings, so count on that.  Thank you all so much for checking in and sending your love!

Blessings and Gratitude!



§ 2 Responses to For Those Who Like Picture Books: Lamu

  • Lisa Dyer says:

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Glad you are doing so good!!! We miss you like crazy and can’t wait to see you when you come back home for a visit. I’ll put a bug in your dad’s ear about the aquisition of Aboo Insurance Brokers!! I’m thinking you can be the Producer and I will be your Account Manager/Office Manager!! Think he’ll go for it?!?!?!!?

  • Roberta says:

    Hi Brian, thanks for the peek into African life! Lamu looks like a great place to visit. I especially liked the textiles, so colorful and fun. Take csre & see you soon.

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