|The Patels and Asanis in Mombasa where we made some amazing memories!|
Swimming in the Indian Ocean.
Sheena and my mum
Our parents, Amin and Sully met the Patel parents, Ramesh and Tina before the Patels were married and my mum says the friendship was forged then.
My first memory of the Patels is at Sheena's first birthday party in Nairobi in a maisonette on Waiyaki Way. It was a big party, with lots of people and they had the famous magician clown, Rodrigues. I also remember their Alsation (what German Sheppards are called in Africa), Kira and her pups.
They moved to Mombasa shortly after because Uncle Ramesh's family owned a salt mine and factory, Fundisha Salt works and he went to run it.
Their first house in Mombasa was Madhvani House. It was in town, very close to the tusks and it was huge! I remember celebrating Christmases there.
|Posing with Sheena in front of the famous Mombase tusks! We loved sharing each others' clothes!|
Their next house close to the railway tracks. That's where Tiku was born. I think one day Soly was playing on the sofa above where Baby Tiku lay and rolled over him. He got in big trouble, maybe a beating too!
Sudi, their cook was the cutest little Swahili man. He was always laughing and always smelled of alcohol. Auntie Tina would never let him go because she had a big, caring heart. My mum said when Michelle was little, he'd dress her up like a doll. The tall, skinny Elvina was their house help who looked after the children for many years. They also had a cook, Peter who cooked delicious Indian food!
The Patels were wealthy, they had lots of businesses and lived in beautiful houses and went to private schools. As kids it was amazing living their lives or a short period of time. Can you imagine seven kids (three of us and four of them) about the same age spending holidays together with not a care in the world? Those were amazing times! Our holidays were every four months (April, August and December) and we'd hop on the train from Nairobi and make our way to Mombasa to spend our holidays with the Patels.
|Taking the train from Nairobi to Mombasa for the holidays.|
|Cassava chips at the Lighthouse|
|Uncle Ramesh. He looks just like we remember him, except for the silver top.|
|Goofing around! Looks like we raided Auntie Tina's cupboard and had a fashion show!|
Yes, that's me in a fur coat!
Tiku photo bombing!
On the balcony at the Nyali house!
Auntie Tina was an angel. She was beautiful, kind and fun and she had a heart of gold. She called everyone 'Dahling'. She was a singer and had sang professionally. When she sang Malaika, your heart just melted. I can close my eyes and see her!
Miriam Makeba singing Malaika. I wish we had a recording of Auntie Tina singing Malaika!
|The lovely Auntie Tina! RIP Dahling!|
The Patels are back in Mombasa again and we are a world away, but Whats App has brought us together again, reliving all those beautiful memories from years ago!
Auntie Tina and my dad, two beautiful souls passed away but I have no doubt that they are sitting with their feet in the sand having a smoke and talking about the next pili pili ho ho competition!
|Both Auntie Tina and my dad in this picture along with my mum and kids - from left Michelle, Faiza, Auntie Tina, Soly, Farah, my mum holding Sheena and my dad.|
Tiku probably born yet and I don't where I was - probably taking the photo.
March 3rd, Day 13 of 50 would have been Auntie Tina's birthday.
This blog is timely and in honour of her and this great friendship between our families.
|Meeting Sheena after 21 years in 2010 and it was like we had never been apart!|
|Sisters! Michelle and Sheena.|
|The Baby, Tiku all grown up!|
|Soly and Rakee|
|Sheena and Paulo|
The next generation:
|Antonio, Kahzmir and Christian playing in the sand as their mums (Sheena and me) would have years before!|
Michelle's kids, Shania and Shahir
Soly, his son and daughter, Tara