Missing Kenya #10: Cheap Flowers

We have mentioned before on our blog that Kenya's #1 export is flowers. This may seem strange, but less so when you've lived in this continual growing climate. The prior context for mentioning this fact was that Kenya lost millions every day that air traffic to Europe was closed during the Icelandic ash storm last year.

And so, almost everywhere you go in Nairobi, people are selling flowers. When you consider the price of sending them to Europe, you can probably imagine that they are pretty cheap here. The lilies you see below cost 200 shillings, or about $2.40. They are beautiful and last for quite a while, so we've gotten in the habit of picking up a bunch when we are in town.

Roses are even cheaper. They don't even sell them a dozen at a time. You have to get two dozen, which costs 150 shillings, or about $1.75. We were just hearing of a high-school missionary kid asking a girl to a dance by sending her a bouquet of 6 dozen roses. Of course, she was impressed, but he would have spent more by taking her out to McD's, and buying an extra value meal. Not that it wasn't debonair. It was. Really.

In the US, we'd pick up some flowers occasionally at Trader Joe's, even when the only special event was the beginning of spring, which was in fact, a special event. But we've gotten to enjoy them more here, and we'll miss it.