Birthdays in times of Covid-19

by Monicah Wangari
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I’ve always wanted to go for a road trip on a Monday; a solo trip.
That was the plan.
My birthday this year was a Monday, the 6th of April. How ideal for my plan.

The Plan that Was

I would have traveled by day on a bus or a train to Mombasa. I’ve done night bus rides before and absolutely loved them. I love staring into the vastness of the nights, the wind whirling, the tranquility, and
the thought of arriving at the coast by morning. I love the stops we make on our way down
there, the rushed ones where you have to visit the queued washrooms, munch on something, and restock on a few items. I don’t like the swollen feet because it does happen sometimes and
the feeling when the bus overtakes yet there’s an oncoming trailer with full headlights on. I don’t
like how sweaty one gets from sitting for at least four hours tucked in trying to get some sleep.


From Mombasa, I was going to make my way to the Southern Coast’s Diani via the
the ferry – it is free of charge but gets crowded especially during the rush hour.
The cottages of my dreams for a while now, Stilts Backpackers would be my home for a week. I
have always fancied their treehouses and bush babies.

An image of one of Stilt's treehouses
Credits; bookings.com

I used the process that I advised my readers to use when finding a travel destination. I already had contacted Stilt’s management – they came in handy as they sent me the price list and how to get there.


The week of my birthday was gonna be Easter weekend. This meant that I would have had
ample time to travel, have a good time, and be back home on time to resume work.
This period became the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic in our country Kenya. It was on the 6th
of April when the president announced the cessation of movement in and out of the Nairobi
Metropolitan which is my home. It was going to last for 21 days but it is still due till the 6th of
June.

See more on Kenya’s Covid-19 journey; COVID-19_pandemic_in_Kenya

What actually happened

Luckily I had not booked for any of the activities as the Covid-19 scare had hit the country from mid-March. It was on the 13th of March when the first case in Kenya was discovered.

I turned a year older last month. I am healthy, really beautiful with colorful outfits to rock, a place
to sleep, a few meals a day, a family and friends, a job to go to, and for all that, I am grateful.

I went to work on my birthday – didn’t take leave from work as I didn’t see the need to.
Later on in the evening a few friends and family made me feel special by getting me cake,
booze, and faithfully washing me with lots of water lol. I was in for lots of treats that whole week.
Thank you for making me feel special.

My bitmoji, swimming in love


Happy birthday to everyone who will have to do things differently this year.
What matters is that we are still here.

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