saturday shenanigans five

“Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward”.

– Drew Houston.

 

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Where do I begin?

Are you familiar with the work of Antonio Gaudi?
If not, please look him up. I first came across his work in my second year of architecture school. He was a legendary Spanish architect known for his extravagant and organic designs characterized by complex, interesting forms and the free use of materials such as stained glass and wrought iron. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate and know more of his work mostly through this documentary I found on my external hard drive that I probably picked off one of my classmates. For some reason, Park Güell seemed to be the most memorable project to me. Perhaps because at that time I took a course in landscape architecture? For whatever reason it was, and it seems to be the project I could immediately compare the eccentric but beautiful Kitengela Glass to.

Isn’t it interesting how the human mind records information? And even more interesting when it recalls and retrieves the information when triggered by the most subtle of hints, sometimes even uncalled for. Stepping into the Kitengela Glass compound, a sense of dream-like familiarity occurred to me. I have never been to Spain (hope to attract it into existence one day), neither had I been to Kitengela Glass before but just from the imagery I had seen before through this same computer screen that I type this out from, it seemed that I knew this place. Not entirely, but  at least what it was about.

It is one of the most sensory stimulating places I have been in before; sights, smells and the almost prickling heat. Starting from the long rocky drive, to the random sculptures on the road I knew I was in for a real treat. Lelei and Jackie told me I’d need at least two days to see and take pictures of the entire property and I do agree. This just means we need to go back some time 🙂 Everywhere you turn, you notice something new. And I’m sure the next trip will reveal even more!

Odd, quirky and colourful human and animal shaped pieces of garden furniture welcome you into a compound that promises only adventure. The earthy animal smell is too present to ignore – ducks, peacocks, guinea fowl and marabou storks seem to live harmoniously with freely roaming dogs – who often chase monkeys in the compound which is no cause for alarm. “What’s that commotion about?”, we ask Nani as the seven or more dogs run outside. “Oh, it’s nothing. They’re just chasing the monkeys away,” she calmly responds back, entirely oblivious to the cacophony outside.

Our guide to the ‘adventure bridge’ later  tells us that Nani moved to Kenya 40 years ago and has been building Kitengela Glass over the years. Here, they have several workshops that make different crafts – glass, beads, wrought iron, several galleries – and organic cottages for intrepid spirits like ourselves to explore and even rent out for the night.

And so the three musketeers, Lelei, Jackie and I, just went on walking around and exploring the place. We got to see how the artisans made glass objects (we they made a glass), explored one of the many cottages scattered around the property alongside timid hyraxes, walked down to the pool area, crossed a delicate but sturdy bridge made out of iron, plastic bottles and odd glass bobbles in the middle of two cliffs, and later on trekked down an unmarked path to the bottom of a gorge.

Best part is, it was all free of charge. Save for the walk along the bridge, which we paid Kiben our guide 150 Ksh. per person (J & L seem to think we were conned) but we didn’t mind this so much. We hear that the notorious baboons sometimes bully people when they sense fear so Kiben saved our damsel-in-distress lives with his sling shot ready in hand. I’m trying to be humorous here, can you tell? 😀

If you’re going, and I highly recommend that you do, I suggest you have a heavy meal for the road and carry plenty of water, tissue and wet wipes. It gets hot and sticky out there.

Every time I experience something new and exciting, I tend to worry that I may not be able to top this off. Almost as if my ability to experience new and marvelous things is limited. I’ve come to realize that this is farthest from the truth. Because every time, I seem to have more. Because, as I’ve said a million times before, I now actively seek out new and wholesome adventures. Because, it’s all up to you. All I have to do is decide and then make it happen, get it?

Keep chasing your dreams.

Kitengela Glass

Google Earth directions here (link opens in new tab).

Happy adventures 🙂

Author: Fatma Sultan

Hello, I'm Fatma Sultan. Architecture is my chosen career path. My love and appreciation for art is larger than I can put in a few words but it all comes down to the freedom to express oneself in so many different ways: painting, sketching, drawing, poetry, writing, photography, furniture design, cooking, pottery and even personal style. I hope to inspire my readers in any way that I can, and at least put a smile on somebody's face. Thanks for stopping by!

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