Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Morning Sun Bath

A Very Big Boy


Jumping Maasai

Maasai Woman Dancing

Maasai Village Girl and Her Baby Goat

Big Mouth!

The Day of the Jackal

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

7 Year Old Maasai Boy Herding Goats

Giraafe (Twiga) In Evening Light

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Nairobi, Kenya, Blog 4, November 2, 2014

November 2, 2014

Nairobi, Kenya

Here we are in Nairobi spending the day together before Hinda leaves for the US after being here for a couple of weeks. It was a great visit for both of us, spending time together, meeting old friends, seeing the progress Peter has made at KMET and going on a great safari.

There are new roads being built all of this country and all of them seem to be constructed by the Chinese.  There is one new road in Kisumu going to the airport however, all it is short and all roads leading to it are worse than ever. Try going on them on a motorbike or a tuktuk and it will might jar your teeth loose. 

Before Hinda came I had power blackouts at least twice a day but since she came there have not been any, but now that she is leaving I am a bit worried.  I’ll see what awaits me when I get back to Kisumu Monday night.

At work, the construction is progressing faster and more efficiently than any of us could have imagined and I am sure it will be finished before I return to Seattle at the end of December. One of my jobs is to help raise money for this project, I have raised about 1 million shillings or $12,000 and still going strong. If you want to see the construction progress find KMET Kenya on Facebook. I have just successfully negotiated with the power company to underground all wires so that there will be no wires or poles hanging around the building which will be much safer.  This is the kind of expertise I bring to KMET that no one else has.  And hopefully will pave the way for others, in fact, I am mentoring a young man who I worked with a couple of years ago when he was an intern and he is learning quickly. So this is what it is about for me.

Guess what? Bagels have come to Kisumu, well, they look like bagels. But looking like and tasting are two different things. 

I was supposed to have wifi in my cottage, but somehow, like so many things, it never came.  Finally I was told one day that when I came home from work the wifi would be there. Hakuna wifi-No wifi.  Hinda was here by this time, we called the wifi company, that evening, 3 technicians and a salesperson came to our cottage, while they were trying to figure out the problem, one of their phones rang and the ring was “this is the president of the United States calling”, we all had a good laugh but the wifi still did not work. The next day, and three and half hours late the wifi company replaced the router and lo and behold, the wifi came right on and has been working ever since.

We have told you before that even when people live in mud and stick houses with dirt yards they are neat and clean. The people who live there have the whitest, cleanest, neatest well ironed clothes. And despite walking through mud their shoes are bright and shiny.

Shortly after Hinda arrived she was asked to give a motivational talk to the young women in the KMET training programs.  She spoke to about 30 young women, telling them they need to believe in themselves, make sure to take care of themselves and their children and not to let anyone tell them they cannot do anything.  They had lots of questions about the US, like how many wives can a man have, (in Kenya a man can have many), does everyone have to go to school, how do we support young girls who have children as young as 12 or 13, is it true, you can earn a lot of money, washing cars on the street?  These young women have a very distorted view of life in America.  Many of them have had children and are very young, one women I met is 24 and has a 10 year old son. Since she is the oldest child in her family she is responsible for taking care of her mother, 3 sisters and her son.  Talk about burdens. See the KMET Kenya facebook page for some photos.

We have traveled all over the world beginning in 1961. We grew up in NYC which purportedly has some of the worst traffic in the world but nothing compares to Nairobi.  The traffic jams are endless.  It can take more than two hours to go 10 miles/17 kilometers.

We went to the Maasai Mara for a 4 day safari. We saw every animal except a Black Rhino, that live in the Mara. For the first time, we saw a leopard on the ground.  All that we have seen previously were in trees. We also saw a crocodile trying to take a Zebra as he crossed the Mara River.  Fortunately, the Zebra did a double kick and got away.  Wounded but alive.  It was sad, because his family was on the other side of the river and could not cross because the crock was lying in wait, so the poor wounded Zebra paced back and forth not knowing what to do next.

On the morning before we left while out searching for the elusive Black Rhino, we came upon a magnificent male Lion.  It is no wonder, they are called the King of the Beasts.  He was having a morning sunbath alone in a quiet spot in the bush. We were less than 10 feet away as he posed, yawned and seemed quite unconcerned about our presence, and why should he be. We took lots of photos, here are a couple.

But to get to the Maasai Mara we had to travel 90 kilometers/55 miles on dirt road which was blocked most of the time by rock barricades. Why? The Chinese were supposed to pave the road but were held up by the county refused to pay the contractor who prepared the road for the Chinese, so the contractor blocked the road every few feet with rocks since he was not paid. 

Before and after the safari, our son Saul, gave us 2 nights in the Nairobi Hilton.  It was really nice and we even had lox and eggs for breakfast, which was really good. Thanks Saul.

Back to KMET, the girls in the training program and some of the staff and volunteers are hard at work preparing to record a CD similar to the one we produced, and some of you may have heard in 2009. Again, the songs and music were composed by the singers.

Love, Hinda and Peter