When in East Africa, I am realising that I am somewhat exotic.

By exotic I am particularly referring to being a blond haired, green eyed foreigner, and certainly standing out in the crowd - or standing out on a crowded bus! Yesterday in 24 hours of travel I saw no other foreigner. We travelled via Kampala Coaches from Kampala (Uganda) across the border at Malaba into Kenya, to Eldoret where we changed buses and embarked for our evening journey to Mombasa on the coast via the capital Nairobi. If you have ever travelled in East Africa, you will know the roads give a 'free massage' - but seriously nothing compares to seeing the countryside, the small towns, the crops, the sunset, the stars, the sunrise and the lives of thousands of East Africans glimpsed through a bus window.

This image is actually the bus we took from Kigali (Rwanda) to Kampala (Uganda). Quite a nice ride indeed! The bus we took last night was a little bit rougher around the edges :)

And while on this adventure, there are times I feel a bit like I stand out too much - being stared at consistently can be somewhat disconcerting. But, stares are much better than being pinched. Culturally acceptable or not, I'm not so keen on it!

I can see how this directly relates back to Australia with tourists, refugees and migrants. To see an African can result in the overwhelming desire to stare at them, as they are the exotic at home. Or to see a Muslim with a full burka is eye-catching, and fascinating.

So, that which is exotic and the process of admiring one another is a shared experience, and it is important to be on the receiving end from time to time. I think the best part about standing out and being noticed is the chance to be friendly and to show how nice us Aussies really are!