I hope you find this site useful. It is is intended to be a snap-shot glimpse into my home on Lamu Island in Kenya. It will be regularly be updated with journal entries and photos to keep you current and connected with the place. However because my house is also a holiday rental, I intend this site to be a tool for you to see the property for yourself, to learn about rental information, and to contact me if you wish. Take your time, and enjoy!
Friday, 18 May 2012
The trade winds of the Indian Ocean have been bringing the world to the East African coast for over a thousand years. From the interaction between Africans and foreign traders such as Arabs, Persians and Portuguese, a civilization evolved in Lamu with a unique character all of its own. Through these mixed heritages, the Swahili culture and language was born- and Lamu is the heir to this tradition. Earliest known historical reference to Lamu dates as far back as the 15th century. Yet the 19th century, under the protectorate of Oman, marks the town’s golden age. Lamu grew into a busy trade depot, its dhows trading in ivory, mangroves, grains, tortoise shells and slaves. During this period Lamu also became a center of poetry, politics and religious learning. Cradled by the sea, Lamu sticks to its old way of life and has retained more of its original character than any of the other Swahili settlements. The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless white sandy beaches, magnificent and remote. Sailing dhows still skim the waters and give the island its timeless feeling. The town comes to life each day with the early morning call for prayers, as it has done for centuries The winding streets, too narrow for anything wider than than people or donkeys, fill up with locals going about their business. Men gather on the seafront and market square, boats come and go, bringing the catch of the day. By mid-day the streets regain their calm, as people go for prayers and hide indoors from the heat of the day. Come late afternoon, however, Swahili social life once again flows out from the houses and into the streets, this time pulsing to the sound of Taraab music and to the scent of succulent Swahili food from street stalls.