Never in my life did I think I’d be at a beach during the holidays. But since Kenya straddles the equator, winter in America is summer in Kenya. Instead of near freezing temperatures, we were being scorched in 90 degree heat with enough humidity to make showering moot once you stepped out.
Severin Sea Lodge, the resort where we were staying, is an oasis in a city that still looks like poverty is rampant. The palm trees, the ocean breeze, the free meals with bottomless mango and passion fruit juices for breakfast and exotic entrees for dinner, you almost forget that just down the street people still live in mud homes with grass roofs.
But in the gated resort, it was heaven. There were monkeys in the trees to give it an exotic feel, the decor was authentic and well thought out, photos of wildlife in the rooms, mosquito nets over the bed to remind you that the flu here is replaced with malaria.
The beaches are of fine, white sand. The ocean water is warm and because of the geographic feature, there aren’t any waves crashing on the beach, tipping over two year olds. It was a private beach so it wasn’t crowded. The resort grounds, I keep reiterating, were flawless.
Najwa loves the water. Where breakfast is served, it’s open-air and facing the wide expanse of the ocean. After eating, the biggest challenge was distracting Najwa to keep her from running out to the water in her non-beach clothes.
When we first got to Kenya, as with any stranger, it took Najwa to warm up to her grandparents. Slowly, though, Najwa warmed up and stopped throwing tantrums whenever she was around her grandparents.