04.14.2017 32 °C
After the sun rose this morning we had breakfast; Josh had the breakfast at the hotel and I had the mango I bought yesterday, which was delicious. We both had chai tea.
We decided to walk along the beach and see what we could come across, and right from our resort the local beach boys followed us. I had a feeling they would want something, but the conversation was good and we enjoyed their company as no one else bugged us during our walk.
We talked politics and economy again, it seems important to them to share how their government works and how corrupt it is and how hard it is to get work. I asked what minimum wage is and they said for a typical restaurant server he will make 15,000 Kenyan shillings a month. That's $194 Canadian or what I worked out to be about $1.21 an hour. It shocked me as we had just pulled out 25,000 shillings from the ATM without even blinking. Alex, the local I was chatting with, said the workers at the Mombasa ferry port make 60,000 a month, which I would think is a government job. Pretty unbelievable since we are finishing the prices not that far off from home. For example the average price of a Tusker beer is 250 shillings or $3.22 Canadian. Almost 3 hours work for these guys, and one third of our minimum wage. Crazy.
They led us down to the beach where the old coral still stands tall, it was really stunning.
They then took us on a sea safari where they shared their knowledge of all of the creatures down on the water and in the corals. It was so interesting and we never would have found all of these creatures if it wasn't for them showing us. They knew so much about the ocean it was really cool.
Of course at the end of our time on the beach they started asking us if we could spare any shillings for their time and knowledge and the leader of their group, Russ, even wrote down a price, which was quite a bit more than the tour we paid for at the Colobus Conservation centre. I told Josh later I would have happily paid them if we had known they would want money from the start. It's very deceiving when they just follow you along the beach and then expect money at the end. They were very nice and we offered them less than their price but more than we thought we would give at first, 2000 shillings or $25 Canadian for them to split.
From there we got changed and headed to the bar we found last night with the cheap Tusker. Russ actually walked with us again as he found us coming out of our villa. We parted ways without a fee this time and headed up to the bar. As soon as we walked in the same bartender from last night said, "one Tusker cider one Tusker?" He remembered our order haha. He was super friendly. We sat and drank and watched these two skinny guys working so hard to put cobble stones down and make a sidewalk. One of them didn't even have shoes, which is so common here. Some rich Canadian needs to buy a bunch of shoes and ship them here; Josh decided he'd do that if we ever win the lottery.
This is the view of behind the bar, I assume it's local housing and shops.
Once finished we bought two Fantas and offered them to the two workers, who happily accepted and sat down to enjoy them. We walked back and decided to lay on the beach, enjoy the breeze and have a siesta before we get picked up for dinner tonight. Josh gave away two pairs of shorts to the locals on the beach and they were so happy, one of the guys went righty away to change into them. They're a much better fit and less worn than his last pair. These guys wear the same clothes every single day.
Oh, and I keep forgetting to post... All the locals ask if Josh "makes gym" at home and they all love his African tattoos. It starts great conversation with the locals