WHY I LOVE AFRICAN DESIGN PT 4: East Africa

Lamu home, Architectural Digest, August 2010.
Images from”Swahili Time” Architectural Digest, August 2010

Swahili Style?  HAKUNA MATATA!

Every day in Lamu I would hear polepole from the locals. They were telling me to go “slowly, slowly!” I felt like I was slowing down but apparently time moves so unhurried on the island of Lamu it seems to go counterclockwise. This foreign experience of time does something to your soul that I cannot explain and those that have been to Lamu understand what I mean.

Plus the architecture on this little jewel of an island off the coast of Northern Kenya is stunning; the woodworking exquisite. Not to mention the food! Oh the food. Fish, coconut milk and ugali – the only way to eat under the stars and a rising crescent moon.

Lamu is a true and enduring hybrid culture because of the trade that has passed through the island for centuries – Arab, Chinese, African, Portuguese, Indian – this is what makes the food so fantastic and the island décor so special.

Back in the day my desire was to hire a dhow and crew to sail down the Swahili coast to Zanzibar and beyond to Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion…maybe even Mauritius! This is one of my dream trips that will have to remain, for now,  a fantasy but my little black and white shells gathered back on the beach in Lamu help keep the dream alive!

Lamu home, Architectural Digest, August 2010.

Lamu home, Architectural Digest, August 2010.

Lamu home, Architectural Digest, August 2010.