Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top ten things your tour guide won't tell you about Nairobi

10.  There are approximately 4 million residents of Nairobi.  There is a speed bump for every single one of them.

9.  Nairobi is the host for the annual 124 mile Rhino Run.  This makes child's play of getting gored by a bull in Pamplona.

8.  The Solar Ice Rink boasts 15,000 square meters (area of the total sports complex that houses it).  It is the largest ice rink in Africa and the first ice rink in East Africa.

7.  Malaria is very rare in Nairobi according to medical experts in Nairobi and there are surprisingly few mosquitos here.  But I wouldn't chuck the malaria prophylaxis yet.    

6.  Odd dining options: The Iguana Bar and Grill serves Mexican and Indian food and Tanager Bar and Restaurant serves Chinese and African food.

5.  Narcissism in Nairobi:  A local bride had her wedding cake made to look like herself.

4.  Nairobi is home to the Male Girls Secondary School.  No commentary necessary.

3.  Nairobi hosts the Slum Film Festival, an annual festival celebrating films about slums.  I hope it has a category for films by slum residents.  I wonder if Slumdog Millionaire made the cut?

2.  According to Transparency International's 2013 study of corruption in Kenya, 58% of individuals that had legal issues reported paying bribes to the Judiciary.  77% of individuals having business with the police paid bribes.  I guess the police assumed these two riders on the back of a truck couldn't afford to pay the bribe for the ticket.

1.  A local pastor has banned women from wearing underwear during services underwear during services so that "God can enter their bodies more easily".  He did not ban men from wearing their knickers.  I suppose this pastor of the Lord's Propeller Redemption Church did not want male congregants to have God enter their bodies through their orifice.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

News from Nairobi Weekly (Week of 19/01/15)

This week in the Nairobi News (Week of 19/01/15)

Could it be more inappropriate?

20/01/15:  As I am working in the slum of Kayole-Soweto this morning fighting with Excel, this gem of Hollywood's early attempt to help people just like the ones I am trying to help comes blaring out of one of the residents' home.  Sorry, but this was too strangely funny and too utterly sick not to share.

This post is dedicated to Dr. Lisa Richey.  Check out the book she co-authored with her husband Dr. Stephano Ponte Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World.  She researches the effects of celebrity fundraising on international development.

Only in Kenya

Thursday 10:00 a.m. EAT (East Africa Time):  So I leave my office to go next door to buy the morning caffeine rush.  When I get to the little hole in the wall shop, I see that no one is there to sell my drug of choice.  I decide to wait a bit.  About 5 minutes later, this guy shows up and stands behind me in line for about 5 minutes, then he opens the cage door, which is unlocked  (the cage door is the door that is closed when the store is open and closed.  When the store is open the cage is closed to prevent someone from just walking in and stealing the money.  When the store is closed, you can do the math.).  I assume that the shopkeeper is around the corner for a few minutes.  Who knows?

So the dude walks into the store, he looks at me and says "What can I get for you?".  So I say I want a coke in a plastic bottle.  Then he mentions a price that is about 10 bob higher (that's local lingo for a small number of Kenyan shillings) than I normally pay.  So I say "No.  Sixty bob" and I give my 60 shillings and go back to work.

Was I on Candid Camera or what?

Today in the news

23.01.15   Heard at 7:30 a.m. local time on Nairobi radio station KISS FM:  

The International Criminal Court is an unholy alliance.

Almost as good as dubya's Axis of Evil comment.  Maybe the Unholy Alliance will publish a cookbook like the Axis of Evil did.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Friday 23.01.15

View from the Executive Suite at Arrow Web Hospital Kayole slum, Nairobi

View to the left

View to the right
Man with overloaded bike directly beneath

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tanzanian Excursion to Zanzibar

In late March, I am planning a trip to the Tanzanian spice island of Zanzibar.  It is a UNESCO (think United Nations project) World Heritage Site.  Check out the photos of Stone Town.  I did not know this until I started searching the internet for information, but Stone Town, Zanzibar is the birthplace of  Queen's Freddie Mercury.  Mercury House is his birthplace.  Although his family eventually moved to the UK to avoid the revolution, Mercury House is one of Zanzibar's most famous residents.

As for my trip, I plan to see the old Anglican Cathedral, the mosques and tour the Hamammni (Turkish Bath Houses).

This is a picture gallery of where I will be staying Mizingani Seafront.

Bon voyage to me!

Looks like a great place to retire!
More beautiful water than the Caribbean.
View of Stone Town from the Indian Ocean

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly News from Nairobi (Week of 12/01/15)

Last week in the Nairobi  (Week of 12/01/15)

My Ass is Faster Than Yours

And this week's top story goes to the two (or three) donkeys who may or may not have won the annual donkey race in Nairobi leading to a riot at the finish line.  TV reports indicated that there were only six donkeys in the race.  If all three are declared winners, the donkeys will be just like US children where everyone is a winner no matter where they finish.

All the news that fits, I print.

Gap Year Continues in Nairobi

I have left Kapuwai, Uganda and many friends to work for the Arrow Web Hospital in the Kayole-Soweto slum of Nairobi, Kenya.  I will miss my many friends from Uganda, but it is time to move on.

I'd like to thank my husband, Charles Grose for this gap year in Africa.  I have grown more patient, more understanding and more caring for those who aren't as fortunate as I am.  Thanks honey!

Monkeys near Agnes #1's house in Kumi District

Cheers from Nairobi:)

Mother's Little Helper

The Rolling Stones sang in Mother’s Little Helper the following words “What a drag it is getting old” and nothing could be truer for me this morning.  There is not enough caffeine in this world to get me going, but I go on.

I am now in Nairobi, Kenya working for Arrow Web Hospital as a volunteer for the hospital that is in the Kayole-Soweto slum.  I don't live in the slum, but in a nice townhouse in Donholm with a couple of co-workers.  Nairobi is a far cry in many, many ways from rural Uganda.

My job is to develop a set of spreadsheets that will compile the information that all 14 of the reports that the Ministry of Health (MOH) requires the hospital to report, some are daily, some are weekly, some are monthly, or quarterly or annually.  Much of it is repetitive and the hospital needs something to save time filling out reports.  Hence, I have work to do.  And not enough time in the day to get this done by the time I go home in May, but I will be an Excel wizard when I do go home. 

It is said that time flies when you are having fun, but I say time flies when you hit middle age.  So back to my nested^infinity IF statements and linking cells and endless compiling the same information repeatedly as my need for more caffeine grows.